Memories of the 1983 Venables promotion team - History
Thursday, 28th Sep 2017 16:25 by Clive Whittingham
With Fulham coming across the Hammersmith Broadway tomorrow we’re going back to 1983 for the history column, when a 3-1 win for the R’s in this fixture sealed the Second Division title.
QPR 3 Fulham 1, Monday May 2, 1983, Second Division
These clubs may only be separated by a couple of miles of West London, but competitive meetings between them have been few and far between down the years. Certainly none were as important as the clash at Loftus Road in 1983 when Rangers needed a win against fellow promotion chasers Fulham to seal the Second Division title.
In front of more than 24,000 fans at Loftus Road Rangers surged into an early lead on their plastic pitch when midfielder, and future R’s manager, John Gregory raced through the wide open spaces of the Fulham defence to finish confidently from the edge of the penalty box. Gregory’s performances that season earned him an England call up at the end of the campaign for the summer tour of Australia.
The visiting defence didn’t improve much thereafter, Tony Sealy making the most of acres of space and slack defending to hammer a volley into the roof of the net from 12 yards out. Rangers now two to the good, with the time barely out of single figures.
The Whites held out until half time without further damage but the words of manager Malcolm McDonald had barely left his lips during the break when Rangers made the game safe. The trademark set piece during Terry Venables’ reign at Loftus Road saw a ball lobbed into the near post for giant defender Bob Hazell to head on and with the Fulham keeper inadvisably rushing out to try and beat the former Wolves man in the air the goal was left open for Simon Stainrod to nod home, unmarked, from close range.
Welshman Gordon Davies pulled a goal back for Fulham 20 minutes from time, seizing on a rare lapse in QPR’s defence to finish past Hucker from a tight angle, but the game was well and truly up when Ray Lewington hacked into the back of Stainrod and was sent off.
Rangers eventually finished ten points ahead of Wolves who were second that season, a title winning triumph that many attributed to the unfair home advantage afforded to them by the plastic pitch. However, Rangers finished the season with ten wins and four draws away from home, rather putting paid to that idea. Fulham finished fourth, a single point behind the other promoted side that year Leicester City.
Influential chairman Jim Gregory tried to sell a controlling interest in the club to manager Terry Venables as it prepared for life in the First Division but a deal was never struck and 12 months later, after a successful return to the top flight, Venables was taken from QPR by Spanish giants Barcelona. Imagine that.
QPR: Hucker, Neil, Hazell, Fenwick, Wicks, Dawes, Sealy, Waddock, Gregory, Flanagan, Stainrod
Message Board Memories
Add your recollections of the 1983 promotion campaign here.
“It was a three horse race between us, Wolves and Fulham. I seem to remember the three clubs were well clear of the pack. Fulham eventually blew it and got overtaken by Derby. It was three up automatically, before the play offs came along.
“We just went from strength to strength, it was never in doubt, there were no nervous nights like they were in our recent promotions. On the run in with Sealy and Gregory seeming to score every game and a well drilled and organised defence (the Venables offside trap) we strode to the title. I can still see John Gregory in the directors box after receiving the trophy, looking absolutely knackered!
“A lot of the actual football memories have faded but I can recall going to Chelsea around March and winning 2-0, I think. I hated them even then with their fans, clogging team and crap ground. Winning there seemed quite a regular feat in those days.
“Whilst there is no doubt, the other clubs hated the plastic pitch, they only had to play on it once a season and could afford to go diving in. We, on the other hand, had to learn to play controlled football on it, which Venables had us doing very well and we did win ten away games that season anyway.” -FrancisBowles
“I was a steward that season and watched the entire magnificent season sitting on the pitch in front of the away end. It was every bit as good as it sounds. It was the days when stewards just directed people on the way in and then watched the match because there were loads of police in the ground to do the proper work.
“The last few matches had a (fairly) peaceful pitch invasion from home fans at the end. The police horses waited in the corner between the school end and the ellerslie stand and came straight on at the final whistle to block the path to the school end. The omniturf could handle it without a problem. The piles of manure were no use for making it grow, though, so the groundsmen still moaned.
“It was the only time that I remember feeling that every home game was a guaranteed win and we could just relax and enjoy the quality of the play. No wonder Barcelona came for our manager.” -Hoof Hearted
“That was my second season with my dad as ST holders. The football was just sublime to watch at times and while people understandably 'blamed' the pitch, we had to play to feet and on the ground and for that season and the next back in the 1st Division, we played some teams off the park at their own grounds.
“The 82/83 promotion season, we played up at Cambridge and it was just ridiculous how good we were; you basically knew we were up from then on. Boro at home was also a footballing lesson handed down by us.
“My best mate at school was a Fulham fan and so I sometimes caught their home games with him when we were away. They also had a bloody good side, but lacked depth and just ran out of steam at the death. I bunked off school and went with him to see Fulham also at Cambridge for a night game and it was one of those games they needed to win and they did everything but score and went down 1-0. By the time they came to us with about three games to go, they were running on empty; and we were finding it way too easy. Great days!” -Planet Honneywood
"Fulham game was the day before my 14th birthday. My mate Steven Payne got on the pitch when we went two up (only about ten minutes in if I recall correctly?) and a copper nicked his Union Jack with Sealy on it and threw him back in the West Paddock.
"We were so good that year in what must have been a strong division. Wolves had Andy Gray who may still have been the most expensive transfer at the time, Fulham had Tony Gale, Paul Parker, Ray Houghton and Gordon Davies who was pretty prolific and Leicester had Lineker.
"People go on about the Omniturf but I think we had 10 away wins that season, we were far and away the best team in the division.
"Three lively home games to finish the season too. Leeds to get promoted, Fulham to win the division and Wolves to parade the trophy. Can't remember police horses on the pitch at three home games in a row before or since?" -Kingshill
QPR 1 Fulham 1, Saturday January 21, 2017, Championship
Ryan Manning’s first goal for the club, and yet another Alex Smithies penalty save, were not quite enough to seal the win for QPR when these sides met at Loftus Road in January. Manning seized on loose defending from McDonald to slide Rangers into a first half lead, but only after Chris Martin had been denied from the spot by Smithies after the first of what turned out to be a string of nonsense decisions from referee Keith Stroud. That was the third penalty Fulham had missed against QPR that season but Martin would exact his revenge with a second half equaliser.
QPR: Smithies 8; Furlong 7, Onuoha 7, Lynch 7, Bidwell 7; Manning 8, Hall 7 (Perch 90, -) Luongo 8; Mackie 7 (Lua-Lua 83, 6), Wszolek 7, Sylla 7 (Washington 68, 5)
Subs not used: Ingram, Doughty, Shodipo, Ngbakoto
Goals: Manning 25 (unassisted)
Bookings: Furlong (foul), Luongo (foul), Manning (foul), Sylla (handball), Lynch (fighting)
Fulham: Button 6; Ream 6, Kalas 7, McDonald 5; Fredericks 5 (Odoi 45, 6), Malone 6; Johansen 6, Cairney 6, Piazon 7 (Sessegnon 77, 6); Aluko 6 (Smith 88,-), Martin 6
Subs not used: Sigurdsson, Parker, Bettinelli, Madl
Goals: Martin 75 (assisted Cairney)
Bookings: Fredericks (dissent), Cairney (pushing), Martin (fighting)
Fulham 1 QPR 2, Saturday October 1, 2016, Championship
QPR somehow won the first meeting between these sides last season despite Fulham having two penalties and a host of other gilt edged chances besides. Our old chum Lee Mason wasted no time in awarding the first spot kick for apparent pulling in the area by Steven Caulker but Alex Smithis saves from Tom Cairney. Chris Martin and Sone Aluko both missed open goals either side of Conor Washington opening the scoring but Tim Ream’s scrambled effort levelled the scores after half time. An Impressive cameo from Mide Shodipo swung the game in QPR’s favour long enough for Idrissa Sylla to head in what seemed like a winner three minutes from time only for Mason to award the hosts another questionable spot kick deep into added time. Aluko, this time, hit the base of the post.
Fulham: Button 5; Odoi 6, Sigurdsson 5, Ream 6, Malone 7; Parker 7 (Jozabed 78, 7), Tunnicliffe 6, Cairney 7 (Kebano 71, 6); Aluko 5, Piazon 6, Martin 4 (Smith 56, 6)
Subs not used: Bettinelli, Madl, Sessegnon, Adeniran
Goals: Ream 47 (assisted Cairney)
Bookings: Malone 58 (foul) Ream 83 (foul)
QPR: Smithies 7; Onuoha 5, Caulker 6, Hall 5, Lynch 6 (Hamalainen 81, -); Henry 6, Luongo 7; Wzsolek 6 (Shodipo 63, 7), Chery 7, Washington 7; Polter 6 (Sylla 60, 7)
Subs not used: Ingram, Sandro, Kakay, El Khayati
Goals: Washington 20 (assisted Wzsolek), Sylla 87 (assisted Chery)
Bookings: Caulker 5 (not much), Henry 74 (foul), Sylla 90+5 (dissent)
QPR 1 Fulham 3, Saturday February 13, 2016, Championship
More of everything we’ve come to expect from recent matches with Fulham when these sides met at Loftus Road back in February. The visitors were three up before half time, as usual, with Luke McCormack, Moussa Dembele and Tom Cairney running riot and Everton loanee Luke Garbutt making the most of Matt Phillips’ refusal to track back by revelling in the space down the Fulham left. Cairney set up McCormack for the first and scored the third himself with Garbutt teeing up Dembele for the second in ten devastating minutes before half time. QPR rallied slightly after half time, and scored a late consolation through Tjaronn Chery, but overall this was yet another shambolic defeat for Rangers against their nearest neighbours.
QPR: Smithies 6; Perch 5, Onuoha 4, Hall 5, Konchesky 4; Phillips 3 (Chery 76, 6), Toszer 3, Luongo 5, Hoilett 5 (El Khayati 65, 6); Polter 4 (Washington 46, 5), Mackie 6
Subs not used: Hill, Henry, Ingram, Petrasso
Goals: Chery 89 (assisted Tozser)
Bookings: Onuoha 48 (dissent), Hall 82 (foul)
Fulham: Lonergan 6; Fredericks 7, Madl 6, Burn 8, Christensen – (Garbutt 6, 8); Amorebieta 6, Parker 7 (Ince 78, 6), O’Hara 7, Cairney 8; McCormack 8, Dembele 7 (Hundman 84, -)
Subs not used: Richards, Smith, Kacaniklic, Lewis
Goals: McCormack 35 (assisted Cairney), Dembele 41 (assisted Garbutt), Cairney 45+2 (assisted Dembele)
Bookings: Burn 63 (foul), O’Hara 65 (dissent)
Fulham 4 QPR 0, Friday September 25, 2015, Championship
QPR suffered their annual humiliation at Craven Cottage in September last season, surrendering in fairly typical circumstances. Much like the other recent thrashings on that ground, the damage was all done in the early minutes. Fulham took the lead after a minute through a header from Moussa Dembele and as the defence imploded further goals from Ben Pringle and Ross McCormack followed before half time. McCormack made it four on the hour after another shambles, and what happened after that I’m not sure as I was back in the Boat House in Putney.
Fulham: Lonergan 6; Fredericks 7 (Voser 77, -), Stearman 7, Ream 6, Husband 8; Cairney 8, Tunnicliffe 6, O’Hara 7 (Christensen 65, -), Pringle 8; McCormack 8; Dembele 7 (Woodrow 76, -)
Subs not used: Lewis, Mattila, Kavanagh, Burn
Goals: Dembele 1 (assisted Husband), Pringle 18 (assisted Faurlin), McCormack 30 (assisted Cairney), 62 (assisted Angella)
QPR: Green 3; Perch 2, Angella 2, Onuoha 2, Konchesky 2; Faurlin 2, Henry 2; Phillips 3, Luongo 3, Chery 3 (Mackie 35, - (Fer 45, 5)); Austin 4 (Tozser 59, 5)
Subs Not Used: Hall, Smithies, Doughty, Gladwin
Bookings: Perch 79 (foul)
Fulham 3 QPR 2, Monday April 1, 2013, Premier League
The April Fools jokes wrote themselves as QPR’s continued their recent poor record against their nearest neighbours with a first half defensive shambles at Craven Cottage in 2013. Chris Samba was at fault for the first two, coneding a penalty which Dimitar Berbatov converted and then passing a suicidal ball straight to the home side to allow the Bulgarian to stroke in an easy second. A Clint Hill own goal before half time rather summed it up. A typical Adel Taarabt strike at the start of the second half, and close range finish from Loic Remy, sparked hope of a comeback but Remy missed a penalty and Rangers, bizarrely, failed to overly exert themselves in the search for an equaliser as the half wore on.
Fulham: Schwarzer 7, Riether 6, Hangeland 7, Senderos 6, Riise 7, Dejagah 6 (Emanuelson 38, 6 (Frimpong 78, 6)), Sidwell 5, Karagounis 4, Duff 6, Berbatov 8, Ruiz 6
Subs not used: Etheridge, Richardson, Hughes, Frei, Rodallega
Goals: Berbatov 8 (penalty, won Dejagah), 22 (unassisted), Hill og 41 (assisted Riise)
Red Cards: Sidwell 78 (serious foul play)
Bookings: Riether 88 (time wasting), Senderos 90 (time wasting)
QPR: Cesar 5, Bosingwa 6, Samba 2, Hill 2 (Onuoha 45, 5), Traore 4 (Mackie 83, -), Remy 6, Mbia 8, Jenas 6, Townsend 6, Taarabt 6 (Hoilett 74, 5), Zamora 6
Subs not used: Green, Ben Haim, Park, Granero
Goals: Taarabt 45 (assisted Zamora), Remy 51 (assisted Mbia)
Bookings: Hill 13 (foul)
QPR 2 Fulham 1, Saturday December 15, 2012, Premier League
It took Queens Park Rangers 17 attempts to win a Premier League game this season, a diabolical run that stretched right into December and looks highly likely to condemn the R’s to relegation come May. Mark Hughes paid the price with his job and Harry Redknapp finally put three points on the board ten days before Christmas against near neighbours Fulham. The game had been billed as the battle of two maverick forwards – Adel Taarabt and Dimitar Berbatov – and it was QPR’s Moroccan who dominated proceedings. Despite referee Martin Atkinson allowing Steve Sidwell to kick lumps out of him all afternoon, Taarabt was at his unplayable best scoring first with a deflected shot off Brede Hangelaand and then with a sumptuous shot with the outside of his boot after he’d nutmegged the Norwegian centre half in back play. A late goal by Mladen Petric set pulses racing, but the scoreline flattered Fulham and Rangers finally had their win.
QPR: Green 6, Onuoha 7, Nelsen 7, Hill 7, Traore 7, Wright-Phillips 7 (Fabio 85, -), Faurlin 8, Mbia 8, Mackie 6, Taarabt 9, Ciise 7 (Ferdinand 90, -)
Subs not used: Cesar, Derry, Diakite, Granero, Hoilett
Goals: Taarabt 52 (assisted Faurlin), 68 (unassisted)
Bookings: Taarabt 52 (overcelebrating)
Fulham: Schwarzer 5, Riether 6 (Kelly 45, 6), Hangeland 5, Hughes 5, Riise 6, Duff 6, Sidwell 5, Baird 5, Richardson 5 (Petric 63, 7), Berbatov 6, Rodallega 6 (Dejagah 72, 5)
Subs not used: Etheridge, Senderos, Karagounis, Kacaniklic
Goals: Petric 88 (unassisted)
Bookings: Sidwell 75 (repetitive fouling), Dejagah 77 (foul)
QPR 0 Fulham 1, Saturday February 25, 2012, Premier League
QPR fans attending this home match with Fulham were treated to the most farcical debut since Bob Malcolm when Samba Diakite took to the field in Rangers colours for the first time. Having lost crucial relegation six pointers against Wolves and Blackburn in the two previous matches the R’s were in need of points but Andy Johnson had a header disallowed for a marginal offside decision inside a minute and with the time still in single figures Pavel Pogrebnyak waltzed around Kenny and opened the scoring for the visitors. Any remaining hope quickly drained away when referee Phil Dowd was left with no option but to dismiss Diakite for two yellow cards before half time after half an hour of unchecked gratuitous violence. Things could have been worse had Dickson Etuhu shown more composure when played through on goal late in the second half but he rolled the chance wide.
QPR: Kenny 6, Onuoha 6, Ferdinand 6, Hill 7, Taiwo 5 (Traore 72, 6), Diakite 5, Barton 6, Wright-Phillips 5 (Buzsaky 83, -), Mackie 6, Taarabt 7, Zamora 6
Subs Not Used: Cerny, Derry, Gabbidon, Bothroyd, Smith
Sent Off: Diakite 33 (two yellows)
Booked: Diakite (repetitive fouling), Diakite (repetitive fouling)
Fulham: Schwarzer 7, Kelly 6, Hughes 7, Hangeland 8, Riise 6, Ruiz 6 (Duff 78, -), Murphy 7 (Baird 74, 6), Dembele 8, Dempsey 7, Pogrebnyak 7, Johnson 7 (Etuhu 81, -)
Subs Not Used: Stockdale, Orlando Sa, Senderos, Frei
Booked: Pogrebnyak (over celebrating), Dembele (foul), Riise (foul), Baird (foul)
Goals: Pogrebnyak 7 (assisted Dembele)
Fulham 6 QPR 0, Sunday October 2, 2011, Premier League
Neil Warnock said his QPR teams would take some thrashings in their first Premiership season, and he was proved more than correct early in October when an abject display resulted in a crushing 6-0 defeat at Craven Cottage. Optimism had been high before the game with a host of new players bringing about three excellent performances and five points from games with Newcastle, Wolves and Aston Villa but Fulham scored through Andy Johnson inside the first two minutes and kept scoring at regular intervals after that. Paddy Kenny embarked on a fool’s mission to retrieve a ball Fitz Hall should have cleared in the twentieth minute resulting in a foul on Johnson and a penalty from Danny Muprhy for 2-0 and Johnson made it three himself before half time. With Adel Taarabt substituted and allegedly standing on the Fulham Palace Road waiting for a bus Rangers shipped three more with Johnson completing his hat trick and Clint Dempsey and Bobby Zamora filling their boots in a rout.
QPR: Kenny 5, Ferdinand 5, Hall 4, Young 5, Orr 5, Faurlin 5, Derry 4 (Smith 45, 5), Wright-Phillips 5, Taarabt 4 (Campbell 45, 6), Barton 5, Bothroyd 4 (Mackie 72, 7)
Subs Not Used: Murphy, Perone, Buzsaky, Helguson
Booked: Hall (foul), Faurlin (foul), Wright-Phillips (dissent)
Fulham: Schwarzer 7, JA Riise 6, Hangeland 6, Baird 6, Grygera 7, Sidwell 8, Murphy 7 (Etuhu 83 6), Dempsey 6, Johnson 8 (Ruiz 75 6), Zamora 7, Dembele 7 (Sa 87, -)
Subs Not Used: Etheridge, Kelly, Senderos, Duff
Goals: Johnson 2, 38, 59, Murphy (penalty) 20, Dempsey 65, Zamora 70.
Booked: Sidwell (foul), Hangeland (foul)
Fulham 2 QPR 0, Saturday March 10, 2001
The writing was well and truly on the wall for QPR when these sides last met at Craven Cottage. Gerry Francis had recently left his post with Rangers very firmly in the relegation zone and been replaced by his former midfield charge Ian Holloway. Despite impending administration Holloway was able to add Leon Knight, and later Marcus Bignot and Andy Thomson to his line up, but it was no match for Jean Tigana’s Fulham side which was marching towards promotion. Louis Saha scored a penalty before halftime and Lee Clark stuck home a second in injury time to seal a 2-0 win which could have been many more. The Fulham fans taunted their visitors with the old “we’ll never play you again” chant. These were two sides very firmly heading in opposite directions, and when you look down the respective starting elevens it’s not hard to see why.
Fulham: Taylor, Finnan, Symons, Melville, Brevett, Clark, Davis, Collins, Goldbaek (Riedle 69), Saha (Stolcers 80), Hayles (Boa Morte 64)
Subs not used: Hahnemann, Nielson
Goals: Saha (penalty, 37), Clark 90
QPR: Harper, Perry, Ready, Plummer, Baraclough, Darlington, Rose (Kulscar 79), Peacock, Murray (Kiwomya 57), Knight (Warren 72), Crouch
Subs not used: Miklosko, Wardley
Bookings: Baraclough, Crouch
QPR 0 Fulham 2, Wednesday January 31, 2001
In many ways Rangers’ fate was finally sealed in the first meeting that season at Loftus Road. Not with the result, because given the respective resources and starting elevens that was never really in doubt, but the legacy of the match would last long after the final whistle. After ten minutes England Under 21 international Clarke Carlisle was stretchered off with a ruptured cruciate knee ligament that would keep him out of the QPR team for more than a year and lead him into a personal battle with alcohol. Twenty minutes later Richard Langley followed him to hospital – incredibly with exactly the same injury. It almost seemed cruel when Fulham took advantage with goals from Peter Moller and Karlheinz Riedle. This was already a very poor QPR side, but shorn of Richard Langley and Clarke Carlisle it was doomed.
QPR: Miklosko, Perry, Plummer, Carlisle (Bruce 11), Baraclough, Langley (Kulscar 37), Rose, Peacock, Connolly (Ngonge 79), Kiwomya, Crouch
Subs not used: Harper, Morrow
Fulham: Taylor, Finnan, Melville, Symons, Brevett, Goldbaek, Davis, Clark, Fernandes, Saha, Moller (Riedle 70)
Subs not used: Hahnemann, Stolcers, Neilson, Sahnoun
Goals: Moller 45, Riedle 77
Head to Head >>> QPR wins 14 >>> Draws 6 >>> Fulham wins 15
2016/17 https://www.fansnetwork.co.uk/football/queensparkrangers/news/44886/qprs-renewed 1 Fulham 1 (Manning)
2016/17 Fulham 1 QPR 2 (Washington, Sylla)
2015/16 QPR 1 Fulham 3 (Chery)
2015/16 Fulham 4 QPR 0
2011/12 QPR 0 Fulham 1
2011/12 Fulham 6 QPR 0
2000/01 Fulham 2 QPR 0
2000/01 QPR 0 Fulham 2
1999/00 QPR 0 Fulham 0
1999/00 Fulham 1 QPR 0
1982/83 QPR 3 Fulham 1 (Gregory, Sealy, Stainrod)
1982/83 Fulham 1 QPR 1 (Stainrod)
1979/80 Fulham 0 QPR 2 (Waddock, Burke)
1979/80 QPR 3 Fulham 0 (P Goddard, Allen, Currie)
1978/79 Fulham 2 QPR 0*
1972/73 QPR 2 Fulham 0 (Bowles, Clement)
1972/73 Fulham 0 QPR 2 (Bowles, Givens)
1971/72 QPR 0 Fulham 0
1971/72 QPR 1 Fulham 1* (Mancini)
1971/72 Fulham 2 QPR 1* (Clement)
1971/72 Fulham 0 QPR 3 (Saul, McCulloch, Matthewson og)
1970/71 Fulham 2 QPR 0**
1948/49 QPR 1 Fulham 0 (Ramscar)
1948/49 Fulham 5 QPR 0
1931/32 QPR 3 Fulham 1 (Wiles, 2, Haley)
1931/32 Fulham 1 QPR 3 (G Goddard 2, Cribb)
1930/31 Fulham 0 QPR 2 (G Goddard, Coward)
1930/31 QPR 0 Fulham 2
1929/30 Fulham 0 QPR 2 (G Goddard, Rounce)
1929/30 QPR 0 Fulham 0
1928/29 Fulham 5 QPR 0
1928/29 QPR 2 Fulham 1 (G Goddard, Young)
1905/06 Fulham 1 QPR 0
Player ConnectionsRodney Marsh >>> Fulham, 1962-1966 >>> QPR 1966-1972
Rodney Marsh is remembered to this day as one of the finest players ever to wear a QPR shirt. He was the maverick talisman in the Rangers side that swept from the Third Division to the First in the 1960s.
A combination of injuries and a fall out with then Fulham manager Vic Buckingham saw his time at Craven Cottage, where he started his career after a spell with West Ham juniors, cut short and he moved to Loftus Road for £15,000 in 1966. Despite his struggles with Fulham, Marsh immediately became a big hit at Rangers, scoring an astonishing 44 goals in 53 matches in his first season. One of those goals was a particularly crucial one - coming at Wembley as the R’s came from two down to win the League Cup 3-2 against First Division West Brom while still a Third Division side.
QPR won the Third Division by 12 points in an age of two points for a win, and scored more than 100 goals into the bargain with Marsh at the pinnacle of an exciting team that included the Morgan twins, Les Allen and Mark Lazarus with Mike Keen as captain. This was during the chairmanship of Jim Gregory who transformed Rangers from a Third Division South outfit into a top flight club playing in a brand new stadium.
Marsh eventually left Rangers in 1972 to join Manchester City for a then record fee of £200,000. He played in an era of somewhat flawed geniuses – our own Stan Bowles was another but there was also George Best and later Tony Currie – and his time at City did not begin well. He joined in March with Malcolm Allison’s side four points clear at the top of the league but by May they had slipped to fourth with Marsh struggling to settle in the team. He did nevertheless bag 19 goals the following year and made the League Cup final again but this time he was defeated.
As ever with players of this type he never really received the international recognition his skill deserved. He won nine caps (Phil Neville has 59, Gareth Barry 53) and scored once but was not a regular under World Cup winning manager Alf Ramsey. At the QPR Player of the Year dinner a couple of years ago Marsh told a story about how, when QPR were in the Third Division, a national newspaper had offered him a handsome sum of money to put his name to a story headlined “I’m Ready for England Alf – Marsh”. Having discussed it with his QPR manager Alec Stock they decided it would be a foolish idea, but a day later Marsh woke to find the same story published under the headline “Rodney’s ready for England Alf – Stock”.
He spent more than ten years at the end of his career playing for Tampa Bay Rowdies in Florida, where he still lives today, but did briefly return to Fulham to link up with George Best and Bobby Moore in a briefly lived veteran dream team set up.
In retirement he sullied his reputation with QPR fans somewhat by inadvertently playing a part in the departure of Gerry Francis from his first spell as manager at the club. Relations between Francis and chairman Richard Thompson were already strained when Thompson approached Marsh to be a director of football at the club. Marsh wanted to discuss the role with Gerry Francis first but was not given the chance before he turned up to a televised home match with Liverpool in a QPR scarf. Francis was furious, apparently believing that Marsh would be taking over responsibility for the transfers from him, and resigned later that week. Marsh never did take up the post and has since expressed regret about the incident.
Since then he has been making his living as an outspoken football pundit, but he was sacked from his regular job on Sky Sports for making an inappropriate joke about Newcastle United’s Toon Army in the wake of the Boxing Day Tsunami in Asia. He apologised but it didn’t save his job. He has appeared on numerous television reality shows and football phone ins since.
Others >>> Bobby Zamora, QPR 2012-2015, Fulham 2008-2012 >>> Andy Johnson, QPR 2012-2014, Fulham 2008-2012 >>> Heidar Helguson, Fulham 2005-2007, QPR 2008-2013 >>> Stephen Kelly, QPR (loan) 2003, Fulham 2009-2013 >>> Zesh Rehman, 2004-2006, QPR 2006-2009 >>> Callum Willock, Fulham 2000-2003, QPR (loan) 2002 >>> Paul Peschisolido, Fulham 1997-2001, QPR (loan) 2000 >>> Ray Wilkins, QPR 1989-1994, (manager) 1994-1996, Fulham (manager) 1997-1998 >>> Rufus Brevett, QPR 1991-1998, Fulham 1998-2003 >>> Robbie Herrera, QPR 1988-1993, Fulham 1993-1998 >>> Leroy Rosenior, Fulham 1982-1985, 1987-1988, (loan) 1990-1991, QPR 1985-1987 >>> Paul Parker, Fulham 1982-1987, QPR 1987-1991 >>> Dean Coney, Fulham 1980-1987, QPR 1987-1989 >>> Bobby Keetch, Fulham 1964-1966, QPR 1966-1969 >>> Jim Langley, Fulham 1957-1965, QPR 1965-1967 >>> Dave Metchick, Fulham 1961-1964, QPR 1968-1970
Pictures – Action Images
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