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7374 Rewind 13:02 - Apr 20 with 6277 viewsDannyPaddox



The Rs second season back in the top flight finishing as top London team for the first time in the club’s history. Was looking good for Europe too but ran out of steam towards the end. Nonetheless a magic season. One I’m particularly fond of as I made my debut - in the Shed. A six-goal ding-dong baptism of fire.

My Grandad was pushing Liverpool on me at the time, and he almost succeeded, but I defy you show any 8 year-old that team in that kit back then and they would end up Rangers for life. The tracksuit (above) was pretty special too.

I’ve trawled YouTube and found approximately a third of the season in various shapes and sizes. Will post below.






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7374 Rewind on 13:28 - Apr 20 with 5075 viewsDannyPaddox



Starts off with a visit to Toffee Town. There’s a 40 minute version of this as well in case you’re even more retro OCD than me. And for those of you watching in black and white QPR are wearing the dark socks



This one’s a beaut with a corker from Gerry. Never a penalty for Newcastle but was justice done? I’m not telling. PaulParker the poster posted this on the other 70s nostalgia thread and Boston regaled us of tales of how he nearly got his head kicked in. As a warning that god awful Rangers song plays for the first thirty seconds.



Thanks to losethedrum for finding this one. Always great to see the terraces packed at Loftus Road. Not sure if the Givens goal was offside. Mind you the rules were different. You had to have two men and a dog between you and the goal to stay onside.



Yet another away game but ah first sight of the hoops (actually second sight as the previous clip, Chelsea home, was added later. I’m not going to give the score away but let’s say Rangers were to score a third - have a good look and you’ll understand why the old farts bang on about Dave Thomas so much. As much as a hero to me, and I’m sure to many others, as Stan was back then.
[Post edited 30 May 2020 11:09]
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7374 Rewind on 13:40 - Apr 20 with 5046 viewsDannyPaddox



A little mood music from the era
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7374 Rewind on 13:48 - Apr 20 with 5015 views2Thomas2Bowles

7374 Rewind on 13:28 - Apr 20 by DannyPaddox



Starts off with a visit to Toffee Town. There’s a 40 minute version of this as well in case you’re even more retro OCD than me. And for those of you watching in black and white QPR are wearing the dark socks



This one’s a beaut with a corker from Gerry. Never a penalty for Newcastle but was justice done? I’m not telling. PaulParker the poster posted this on the other 70s nostalgia thread and Boston regaled us of tales of how he nearly got his head kicked in. As a warning that god awful Rangers song plays for the first thirty seconds.



Thanks to losethedrum for finding this one. Always great to see the terraces packed at Loftus Road. Not sure if the Givens goal was offside. Mind you the rules were different. You had to have two men and a dog between you and the goal to stay onside.



Yet another away game but ah first sight of the hoops (actually second sight as the previous clip, Chelsea home, was added later. I’m not going to give the score away but let’s say Rangers were to score a third - have a good look and you’ll understand why the old farts bang on about Dave Thomas so much. As much as a hero to me, and I’m sure to many others, as Stan was back then.
[Post edited 30 May 2020 11:09]


2Thomas2Bowles

When willl this CV nightmare end
Poll: What will the result of the GE be

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7374 Rewind on 14:12 - Apr 20 with 4999 viewsqprxtc

You can leave Joe “git” Waters out of this.
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7374 Rewind on 14:24 - Apr 20 with 4980 viewsDannyPaddox

Don’t jump the gun Mr. TC. As traumatic as it was at the time I do believe, with hindsight, Joe Waters was put on this earth to teach young children not to get carried away as life can often and unexpectedly deliver a swift kick to the bollocks.
[Post edited 20 Apr 2020 14:26]
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7374 Rewind on 14:42 - Apr 20 with 4951 viewsDWQPR

That third goal against Wolves, Parkes, Thomas, Bowles is timeless. One of the best breakaway goals of all time. Could watch it time and again. How lucky those of us who were around at that time to watch that team grow into the side of '75-'76.

Poll: Where will Clive put QPR in his new season preview

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7374 Rewind on 14:50 - Apr 20 with 4921 views2Thomas2Bowles

I was trying to find some video of Gordon Jago at that time who built most of that squad but can't find any.

So unlucky to get the sacked/ resigned (fell out with JG) but then there was Sexton...

[Post edited 20 Apr 2020 15:01]

When willl this CV nightmare end
Poll: What will the result of the GE be

1
7374 Rewind on 14:59 - Apr 20 with 4909 viewsBoston

7374 Rewind on 14:50 - Apr 20 by 2Thomas2Bowles

I was trying to find some video of Gordon Jago at that time who built most of that squad but can't find any.

So unlucky to get the sacked/ resigned (fell out with JG) but then there was Sexton...

[Post edited 20 Apr 2020 15:01]


“Gordon Jago’s Blue & White Army”.... how I Idolized the bloke.

Lives in Plano, a suburb of Dallas. Fortunate to have met the man.
[Post edited 20 Apr 2020 15:00]

Poll: Thank God The Seaons Over.

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7374 Rewind on 15:03 - Apr 20 with 4886 views2Thomas2Bowles

7374 Rewind on 14:59 - Apr 20 by Boston

“Gordon Jago’s Blue & White Army”.... how I Idolized the bloke.

Lives in Plano, a suburb of Dallas. Fortunate to have met the man.
[Post edited 20 Apr 2020 15:00]


Yeah, I was gutted when he left.

Lovely man.

From QPR reports site

Gordon Jago - 1971-1974
Gordon Jago laid the early foundations for the greatest team in the history of Queens Park Rangers Football Club.
Jago was Manager at Loftus Road from 1971 to 1974. In that time, he built a side that eventually went on to compete with the best in the land.
He said: "It was the happiest period of my career. I took great pleasure from working with the QPR players and I always enjoyed the quality of their play.
"The key to our advancement was the sale of Rodney Marsh in March 1972. We didn't want him to leave, but it was Rodney's choice and he wished to join Manchester City. Fortunately, my Chairman Jim Gregory negotiated a marvellous transfer deal and we got £200,000 clear, which was a large sum of money to rebuild with in those days.
"There was a certain kind of player that was attractive to me. I always went for skilful technique. I didn't favour the old fashioned, big centre-forward down the middle and crashing the ball up to him. I liked to play good football.
"We faced Carlisle United just after Rodney left and Stan Bowles played magnificently against us at Loftus Road. I thought he would be ideal for me. A very similar type of striker to Marsh - very talented, able to beat people, a cute passer of the ball. Stan had a different type of personality, but it was still similar to Rodney's. They were both very flamboyant and I loved that.
"I had also watched Don Givens at Luton Town and Burnley's Dave Thomas. So the money we got for Rodney was used to buy Bowles, Givens and Thomas, who were three top class forwards. We didn't need a lot of new faces as we had some really promising youngsters coming through in Gerry Francis, Dave Clement and Ian Gillard.
"And when I got my final X1 together, from Clement at right-back all the way over to Thomas at outside-left, they could each play passing football. They were happy with the ball and had good touch. There were some great characters and we won promotion to the top flight in 1972/73."
Jago eventually left the R's in October 1974 after a disagreement behind the scenes. But he took immense pride as the Rangers success story continued with Dave Sexton in charge.
"You didn't have to be too clever to know that we had assembled a good squad," said Jago.
"In my first year up in the First Division, we finished eighth. We matched everybody and beat Arsenal and Chelsea for the first time in our history.
"We had a nice blend of experience - like McLintock and Venables - along with the younger element. So it was a perfect position for me as a manager. I felt that the next stage would be the upper echelons of the table and perhaps European football.
"Then unfortunately I fell out with Jim Gregory. It was the most disappointing day of my life when I resigned. It was a hellish decision for me to make.
"So when I walked away, I realised that I wasn't going to have the opportunity to fulfil my dream at Loftus Road. We'd started something, we'd built an excellent team and we'd gone a long way towards where we were aiming.
"I always knew that Rangers were going to be a top side. Of course the season after I departed, they finished runners-up in the League by a point to Liverpool and then went on a superb UEFA Cup run.
"Years afterwards as QPR sustained their status at the highest level, I was able to quietly say to myself 'I had a little bit to do with that.' It was nice to see Rangers become firmly established as a strong club."

I think had we not got Sexton that team would not have done well under another manager as none were like Jago and Sexton.
[Post edited 20 Apr 2020 15:31]

When willl this CV nightmare end
Poll: What will the result of the GE be

4
7374 Rewind on 15:55 - Apr 20 with 4845 viewsDannyPaddox

That’s a great write-up on Jago. Boston did you exchange many words with the great man?

We finished 8th that season but were 4th (and bound for European football) right up until April. We had a double header with Ipswich over Easter and lost both narrowly 1-0. If (if if) those scores had been the other way around we would’ve finished 4th in the table instead of Ipswich.

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7374 Rewind on 16:02 - Apr 20 with 4833 viewsqprxtc

7374 Rewind on 15:55 - Apr 20 by DannyPaddox

That’s a great write-up on Jago. Boston did you exchange many words with the great man?

We finished 8th that season but were 4th (and bound for European football) right up until April. We had a double header with Ipswich over Easter and lost both narrowly 1-0. If (if if) those scores had been the other way around we would’ve finished 4th in the table instead of Ipswich.



After “that” game we only win two more and that cost us a place in Europe. So that little ejit cost us more than the Cup. Ggggrrrr.
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7374 Rewind on 16:22 - Apr 20 with 4790 viewsCamberleyR

7374 Rewind on 15:55 - Apr 20 by DannyPaddox

That’s a great write-up on Jago. Boston did you exchange many words with the great man?

We finished 8th that season but were 4th (and bound for European football) right up until April. We had a double header with Ipswich over Easter and lost both narrowly 1-0. If (if if) those scores had been the other way around we would’ve finished 4th in the table instead of Ipswich.



I hadn't realised that we were that close to a European place so late in the season. qprxtc is right, that sixth round cup defeat really took the wind out of us when we were flying and our form fell off a cliff. Only 7 goals in those last 11 games, three of them in one game.

Poll: Which is the worst QPR team?

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7374 Rewind on 17:52 - Apr 20 with 4727 viewsDannyPaddox

The Joe Waters effect doesn’t explain it all. After the cup exit we had two tough home games against Derby and Wolves (both top half, both decent) and both games ended goalless. In between we got a 1-0 away win at struggling Coventry. So four and a half hours of football without conceding immediately after the cup game. Then we went to Anfield where Liverpool were chasing the title and we only lost narrowly. Then a game I remember fairly well we mullered Man City 3-0. First time I’d been to Loftus Road in the evening (must have been school holidays) Electric atmosphere and the Rs were their rampant selves.

So we went into the Ipswich double header on the back of some decent league form. Ipswich were a very decent side then managed by Bobby Robson. I definitely went to the home game and I have a vague memory of going to the away game. I haven’t much more to recall of either other than sitting in the Ellerslie and being vaguely frustrated that we weren’t managing to score. I think two slim defeats against a well-organised Ipswich were the killer blows in themselves and not really down to the Quarter Final defeat.
[Post edited 20 Apr 2020 18:01]
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7374 Rewind on 20:37 - Apr 20 with 4642 viewsCamberleyR

Fair points DP, when you look a bit closer I suppose. Looks like Leicester had the sign over us that season though. The two league games against Leicester produced zero goals in three hours football. We should have realised what was coming in the cup...

Poll: Which is the worst QPR team?

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7374 Rewind on 23:29 - Apr 20 with 4590 viewsDannyPaddox

Good spot Cambers. I didn’t realise the Leicester stat. Good old Shilts. Stands resolute for four and half hours against the Rs. Throws one in the fkin net for Poland against England. I guess even in a great season there’s a bogey team or two that either has the rub of the green or works you out. In 2010/11 it was Millwall and Norwich we couldn’t score against. In 73/74 it was Leicester and Ipswich.

Time for some more action,



A short clip and our first (edit: second) sight of Loftus Road. Jesus I miss the place. I went for a run the other day, took a detour and did a lap around. The stadium was quiet but still held the eye like a sleeping beauty, a girlfriend in a coma. She sends her love. 1973 was the first time we beat Arsenal. Stan’s goal. Even an open goal he takes with such aplomb and style. He looks like he going to sky it but no 2-0. Just beautiful.



Another away game. Another Saturday afternoon where Stanley gets kicked up in the air only to pick himself up uncomplaining, dust himself down, and go on to have the last laugh. A full house at a mild and misty Baseball Ground. Derby 4th in the league at the time. Rs mid table but stariting to put a run together. Gerry Francis’s deft strike for the first is world class. Another dodgy penalty goes the other way. Decent defensive cameos from Parkes and Mancini. Venables, a footballing Mike Baldwin, always something to say, once more constantly in the face of the ref, and in this instance the penalty taker.



Yet another away game and a greater football travesty in the seventies you will not find. We visit the league leaders in December who are already soaring away with a 6 point lead at the top of the table (9 points in today’s money). Though they are unbeaten at home we run rings around them. A hard snowy pitch whatever. This is the future of football (QPR) playing the ghost of football’s past (Leeds). The Rs are cruising it 1-0 and score a timely well-worked second just before half time only for the referee, obviously from Heckmondwike, West Yorkshire, and a close relative of Don Revie, to rule it out. Second half workmanlike Leeds claw their way in front. What’s the point of having a sexy orange football to stand out in the snow if the home team are running around camouflaged in all white like a bunch of extras from the heroes of Telemark? Bowles and Francis with a piece of continental brilliance eventually level the score. Leeds will go on to win the league and spend the next forty years telling people they also won the European Cup.
[Post edited 30 May 2020 11:11]
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7374 Rewind on 23:41 - Apr 20 with 4567 viewsM40R

Thanks for starting this thread. That was a great season. I remember being fearful that it would be like 68/69 again, especially as we did not make a great start at home. In fact it's hard to believe that after 5 home draws the first home win in the league was not until 27th October. It was a cracking and dominant 2-0 win over Arsenal. The other memorable game was the 3-0 home win over Manure on New Year's Day. Stanley was electric and outshone Best on I think one of his last games for them.

Some things never change though, such as losing 3-0 at home to Plymouth in the League Cup.
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7374 Rewind on 00:03 - Apr 21 with 4552 viewsM40R

7374 Rewind on 23:29 - Apr 20 by DannyPaddox

Good spot Cambers. I didn’t realise the Leicester stat. Good old Shilts. Stands resolute for four and half hours against the Rs. Throws one in the fkin net for Poland against England. I guess even in a great season there’s a bogey team or two that either has the rub of the green or works you out. In 2010/11 it was Millwall and Norwich we couldn’t score against. In 73/74 it was Leicester and Ipswich.

Time for some more action,



A short clip and our first (edit: second) sight of Loftus Road. Jesus I miss the place. I went for a run the other day, took a detour and did a lap around. The stadium was quiet but still held the eye like a sleeping beauty, a girlfriend in a coma. She sends her love. 1973 was the first time we beat Arsenal. Stan’s goal. Even an open goal he takes with such aplomb and style. He looks like he going to sky it but no 2-0. Just beautiful.



Another away game. Another Saturday afternoon where Stanley gets kicked up in the air only to pick himself up uncomplaining, dust himself down, and go on to have the last laugh. A full house at a mild and misty Baseball Ground. Derby 4th in the league at the time. Rs mid table but stariting to put a run together. Gerry Francis’s deft strike for the first is world class. Another dodgy penalty goes the other way. Decent defensive cameos from Parkes and Mancini. Venables, a footballing Mike Baldwin, always something to say, once more constantly in the face of the ref, and in this instance the penalty taker.



Yet another away game and a greater football travesty in the seventies you will not find. We visit the league leaders in December who are already soaring away with a 6 point lead at the top of the table (9 points in today’s money). Though they are unbeaten at home we run rings around them. A hard snowy pitch whatever. This is the future of football (QPR) playing the ghost of football’s past (Leeds). The Rs are cruising it 1-0 and score a timely well-worked second just before half time only for the referee, obviously from Heckmondwike, West Yorkshire, and a close relative of Don Revie, to rule it out. Second half workmanlike Leeds claw their way in front. What’s the point of having a sexy orange football to stand out in the snow if the home team are running around camouflaged in all white like a bunch of extras from the heroes of Telemark? Bowles and Francis with a piece of continental brilliance eventually level the score. Leeds will go on to win the league and spend the next forty years telling people they also won the European Cup.
[Post edited 30 May 2020 11:11]


Think the Derby YouTube clip is from two seasons later, when we drew 1-1 and Nutt equalised?
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7374 Rewind on 00:35 - Apr 21 with 4545 viewsDannyPaddox

Top man for pointing that out M40R (M for short?). Should be rectified now.

A great point you make about the expectations going in to the season and the early results. My nascent football consciousness was dropped midway through the season. Normality for me was QPR being the football kings, far superior to anyone else in London, and a match for the northerners at the top of the table. Putting it into the context of the first return back after the severely frustrating and disappointing 68/69 season if makes all these victories against London rivals and aways win up north literally ground-breaking for the club. And those continuous draws at home without a win must have had people wondering if, despite the obvious quality in the side, it was going to be another unlucky season in the top flight.
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7374 Rewind on 02:25 - Apr 21 with 4519 viewsbob566

7374 Rewind on 13:28 - Apr 20 by DannyPaddox



Starts off with a visit to Toffee Town. There’s a 40 minute version of this as well in case you’re even more retro OCD than me. And for those of you watching in black and white QPR are wearing the dark socks



This one’s a beaut with a corker from Gerry. Never a penalty for Newcastle but was justice done? I’m not telling. PaulParker the poster posted this on the other 70s nostalgia thread and Boston regaled us of tales of how he nearly got his head kicked in. As a warning that god awful Rangers song plays for the first thirty seconds.



Thanks to losethedrum for finding this one. Always great to see the terraces packed at Loftus Road. Not sure if the Givens goal was offside. Mind you the rules were different. You had to have two men and a dog between you and the goal to stay onside.



Yet another away game but ah first sight of the hoops (actually second sight as the previous clip, Chelsea home, was added later. I’m not going to give the score away but let’s say Rangers were to score a third - have a good look and you’ll understand why the old farts bang on about Dave Thomas so much. As much as a hero to me, and I’m sure to many others, as Stan was back then.
[Post edited 30 May 2020 11:09]


Love 7.26 of that third clip. Your man kicking the ball off the dugout into his own head
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7374 Rewind on 12:51 - Apr 21 with 4396 viewsWalnut

7374 Rewind on 14:59 - Apr 20 by Boston

“Gordon Jago’s Blue & White Army”.... how I Idolized the bloke.

Lives in Plano, a suburb of Dallas. Fortunate to have met the man.
[Post edited 20 Apr 2020 15:00]


Great idea for a thread, good luck finding all the footage, there's some cracking games available. I bought a few from the QPR DVD COPY SHOP from 73 74, the Newcy & Wolves one above plus some more to come no doubt.
On the subject of Jago, I read he was in the frame (with half a dozen others) to replace Alf Ramsey when he got binned in 74. Revie got the gig in the end.
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7374 Rewind on 14:40 - Apr 21 with 4345 viewsTheChef

7374 Rewind on 02:25 - Apr 21 by bob566

Love 7.26 of that third clip. Your man kicking the ball off the dugout into his own head


Loved the roof of that stand at Molineux, proper old football ground it used to be.

Always amused me when they built the John Ireland stand in the late 70s, they built it behind the old stand first which they knocked down afterwards, leaving a huge gap to where the pitch was!


Poll: How old is everyone on here?

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7374 Rewind on 00:58 - Apr 29 with 4171 viewsDannyPaddox

Right where were we? 1973. Power cuts, the 3 day week, Rs top half of the table, The games are kicking off at 2 o clock to save turning the floodlights on. It’s the Saturday before Christmas. A strangely poor turn out 15,757 (lowest gate of season so far) But the stay-aways and Christmas shoppers missed a thriller.

Intro by Alan Ball



And here’s the rest (ie: the goals)



Lovely bit of work by Mick Leach in the right hand corner to set up the winner

So to New Years Day 1974 and the visit of Manchester United. It was to be George Best’s last game for United but the newspapers the following day were all about one man, Stan Bowles.

Bowles, who surely one day must step out for England, scored two goals and in the process tortured United’s Scottish international Martin Buchan, said the Daily Express

The Rs won 3-0. Apparently there’s an ITN clip of the goals. But I couldn’t find it. So here’s one of my favourite pictures of Stan. Half of the United team left floundering in his wake as he struts off job done. Pure magic.



Now the start of a Cup run. Over 30,000 watch a goalless draw at Stamford Bridge in the FA Cup 3rd Round. Chelsea keeper Phillips is Man of the March. And 10 days later the replay takes place at Loftus Road. The game kicks off at 1.30 pm on a Tuesday afternoon due to the oil crisis. I’m told a lot of of West London were off sick from work that day. And the Guinness book of records still has it the biggest number of school bunkings-off. One goal decided the game. You’ll have to do your own commentary.



Next Round another home draw.
Birmingham City.



Into the 5th Round and so far every goal a header. But now our first away tie. Coventry City. I’m sure I saw the highlights on a Sunday afternoon back in 74, one of those shorter segments after the big London match when the action comes from the Midlands or the North. Grounds such as the Baseball Ground, Maine Road, or Roker Park, places which sounded genuinely exotic to a 7 year old.

The game finished 0-0. If we can beat the Sky Blues in a replay we’re home again to Leicester City. Two winnable home games from a first ever Semi-Final appearance.

Cue groovy music:




In case you lost count. Twice Cov took the lead. Twice the Rs equalised and then with the last kick of the match Stan scores with an imperious free-kick. England manager Sir Alf was in the crowd.

And now for some Blue Peter. John Noakes goes up the Loftus Road (Batman Close) floodlight to change a bulb on a cold February before an evening game with Burnley. A great bit of archive footage. Noakesy gives the score out at the end.

https://mobile.twitter.com/bbcarchive/status/1106223094375608320?lang=e

Next up Spurs at home. My first ever visit to Loftus Road. I remember like yesterday Dave Thomas nicking the ball off a Spurs defender, heading for the corner flag near where I was in the loft, and flinging over a fantastic cross for the flying barrel-chested Gerry Francis (half man/ half pigeon) to head home. Glorious.



QPR went fourth in the league after that win with 11 games to play. Europe beckoned. And so did Wembley. Small matter of a home game against Leicester in the Quarter Final first.



Fortunately that was as brief as possible. I didn’t go to the game. I saw the MOTD highlights and vaguely remember the Rs being unlucky with a few chances and then this Joe fking Waters turns up with a rocket shot. I’d never heard of him before and I never heard much about him after. Some say he ended up selling fish in Grimsby. There was another story about him fronting a Rory Gallagher tribute band. This was the first big heartbreak game. Like Joe Fkin Waters shot it came out of the blue. QPRXTC is a few years younger than me so he would’ve been about five years old. It was this game that turned him to serious drinking.

As a footnote the FA Cup used to have a 3rd/4th place play off back then. Burnley best Leicester 1-0 at Filbert Street. 4,432 people turned up to watch. 3rd/4th place play-offs were scrapped after that. Fkin Joe Waters. Let’s move on.

Well that’s about it. There’s probably a news-clip of the last home game of the season somewhere. Leeds turned up to Loftus Road, already champions, and nicked a 1-0 win. 35,353 were there which I believe is the biggest gate ever at Loftus Road.

I saw us play at Highbury in the very last game; a 1-1 draw. Stan scored and Alan Ball broke his leg. And that was the end of the season. We finished 8th and in early May on the cover of the Ron Hunt testimonial programme we proudly announced ourselves as Top London Club. The first time we ever achieved this. More greatness was to come.

[Post edited 29 Apr 2020 1:10]
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7374 Rewind on 02:34 - Apr 29 with 4149 viewsDWQPR

Looking at the montage of programmes, the Derby one which was unique as it was produced as a newspaper. Had to laugh at one of the headlines there. ‘Bride wore blue Rams Panties’. Can’t think we’ll see such an article in Hoops!

Poll: Where will Clive put QPR in his new season preview

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7374 Rewind on 10:30 - Apr 29 with 4077 viewsterryb

That is still my favourite season of wathching Rangers!

The rest of the country didn't know how good a side we were when promoted (applies to Burnley as well) & we took them by surprise. The football we played was sublime at times, but it didn't really matter when we had a bad day as we were not going to win it!

My only regrets from the season were losing at home to Plymouth & Leicester in the two cups & (for family reasons) the two defeats against Ipswich at Easter!

Gordon Jago will remain my favourite manager when my last breath has gone!
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7374 Rewind on 15:54 - Apr 29 with 4012 viewsqprxtc

7374 Rewind on 00:58 - Apr 29 by DannyPaddox

Right where were we? 1973. Power cuts, the 3 day week, Rs top half of the table, The games are kicking off at 2 o clock to save turning the floodlights on. It’s the Saturday before Christmas. A strangely poor turn out 15,757 (lowest gate of season so far) But the stay-aways and Christmas shoppers missed a thriller.

Intro by Alan Ball



And here’s the rest (ie: the goals)



Lovely bit of work by Mick Leach in the right hand corner to set up the winner

So to New Years Day 1974 and the visit of Manchester United. It was to be George Best’s last game for United but the newspapers the following day were all about one man, Stan Bowles.

Bowles, who surely one day must step out for England, scored two goals and in the process tortured United’s Scottish international Martin Buchan, said the Daily Express

The Rs won 3-0. Apparently there’s an ITN clip of the goals. But I couldn’t find it. So here’s one of my favourite pictures of Stan. Half of the United team left floundering in his wake as he struts off job done. Pure magic.



Now the start of a Cup run. Over 30,000 watch a goalless draw at Stamford Bridge in the FA Cup 3rd Round. Chelsea keeper Phillips is Man of the March. And 10 days later the replay takes place at Loftus Road. The game kicks off at 1.30 pm on a Tuesday afternoon due to the oil crisis. I’m told a lot of of West London were off sick from work that day. And the Guinness book of records still has it the biggest number of school bunkings-off. One goal decided the game. You’ll have to do your own commentary.



Next Round another home draw.
Birmingham City.



Into the 5th Round and so far every goal a header. But now our first away tie. Coventry City. I’m sure I saw the highlights on a Sunday afternoon back in 74, one of those shorter segments after the big London match when the action comes from the Midlands or the North. Grounds such as the Baseball Ground, Maine Road, or Roker Park, places which sounded genuinely exotic to a 7 year old.

The game finished 0-0. If we can beat the Sky Blues in a replay we’re home again to Leicester City. Two winnable home games from a first ever Semi-Final appearance.

Cue groovy music:




In case you lost count. Twice Cov took the lead. Twice the Rs equalised and then with the last kick of the match Stan scores with an imperious free-kick. England manager Sir Alf was in the crowd.

And now for some Blue Peter. John Noakes goes up the Loftus Road (Batman Close) floodlight to change a bulb on a cold February before an evening game with Burnley. A great bit of archive footage. Noakesy gives the score out at the end.

https://mobile.twitter.com/bbcarchive/status/1106223094375608320?lang=e

Next up Spurs at home. My first ever visit to Loftus Road. I remember like yesterday Dave Thomas nicking the ball off a Spurs defender, heading for the corner flag near where I was in the loft, and flinging over a fantastic cross for the flying barrel-chested Gerry Francis (half man/ half pigeon) to head home. Glorious.



QPR went fourth in the league after that win with 11 games to play. Europe beckoned. And so did Wembley. Small matter of a home game against Leicester in the Quarter Final first.



Fortunately that was as brief as possible. I didn’t go to the game. I saw the MOTD highlights and vaguely remember the Rs being unlucky with a few chances and then this Joe fking Waters turns up with a rocket shot. I’d never heard of him before and I never heard much about him after. Some say he ended up selling fish in Grimsby. There was another story about him fronting a Rory Gallagher tribute band. This was the first big heartbreak game. Like Joe Fkin Waters shot it came out of the blue. QPRXTC is a few years younger than me so he would’ve been about five years old. It was this game that turned him to serious drinking.

As a footnote the FA Cup used to have a 3rd/4th place play off back then. Burnley best Leicester 1-0 at Filbert Street. 4,432 people turned up to watch. 3rd/4th place play-offs were scrapped after that. Fkin Joe Waters. Let’s move on.

Well that’s about it. There’s probably a news-clip of the last home game of the season somewhere. Leeds turned up to Loftus Road, already champions, and nicked a 1-0 win. 35,353 were there which I believe is the biggest gate ever at Loftus Road.

I saw us play at Highbury in the very last game; a 1-1 draw. Stan scored and Alan Ball broke his leg. And that was the end of the season. We finished 8th and in early May on the cover of the Ron Hunt testimonial programme we proudly announced ourselves as Top London Club. The first time we ever achieved this. More greatness was to come.

[Post edited 29 Apr 2020 1:10]


A fine and well researched thread Young Daniel. You are correct in your statement that this contributed to my Guinness soaked, liver stained years to come. Along with many other traumas.

Interesting fact. If you have a gander at that Leicester away programme you may find the first (and only) advert for a top shelf magazine by the name of ‘Game’. Scantily clad vixen an all.🙀

Them were the days.
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