Sheron's Easter resurrection - History
Thursday, 12th Oct 2017 17:05 by Clive Whittingham
Ahead of Saturday's trip to Sunderland, LFW looks back to 1998 when QPR gave their relegation battle a shot in the arm with an unlikely fightback at the new Stadium of Light.
Sunderland 2 QPR 2, Friday April 10, 1998, First Division
Denied the services of Richard Ord, a big summer signing from Sunderland on whom more shortly, Rangers struggled throughout the 1997/98 First Division season.
Heading into a televised Friday night game at Sunderland things didn’t look promising. Rangers had won just two of 21 games since Boxing Day, although that bizarrely included a 5-0 home win against promotion chasing Middlesbrough. They travelled to the Stadium of Light without a win in five attempts and very firmly in the First Division relegation zone.
These were still the days when you could extract performances and results from football players by shouting at them and throwing tea cups around so Peter Reid was doing particularly well as manager of Sunderland who came into this game looking good for automatic promotion. Having been relegated from the Premiership the season before Middlesbrough, Nottingham Forest and Sunderland were now locked in a three-way battle to bounce straight back up.
It's a tremendously stereotypical thing to say about a trip to the North East for football, but good God the weather was awful that night. The game was televised in the early evening on Good Friday but despite the April date the conditions were unforgiving. The QPR fans huddled together for warmth on their first visit to the brand new Stadium of Light as a sharp, biting wind brought hard sleet in over the roof of the opposite stand and directly into our faces. I can remember being close to tears through the pain of little shards of ice cutting into my face during the second half and many Rangers fans spent the majority of the second period below decks watching the match on the television screens on the concourse.
Sunderland had already won 1-0 at Loftus Road earlier in the season thanks to a late goal from Niall Quinn and that partnership up front of the giant Irishman in his prime alongside a young Kevin Phillips was far too much for the better teams in the Championship to cope with, never mind Ray Harford's hapless QPR outfit. Quinn scored the first goal of the evening on the half hour and then intelligently hooked home a second after half time to set Sunderland on their way to what seemed like a comfortable and inevitable victory.
But Harford's final role of the dice that season had been the signings of Vinnie Jones from Wimbledon and Neil Ruddock on loan from Liverpool in the hope it would inject some fighting spirit and grit into a limp wristed and often half committed QPR team. Harford got the job at Loftus Road after taking West Brom to the top of the First Division table. After a defeat at Loftus Road he told chairman Chris Wright he'd have QPR in the Premiership in no time at all given the chance to work with a forward line of John Spencer, Kevin Gallen and Mike Sheron. That assertion seemed laughable as the club and team continued to fall apart around his ears after he arrived but on this night at least the latter player came good for him.
With nothing to lose and nerves starting to effect the title chasing Sunderland players, Sheron ran through on goalkeeper Lionel Perez twice in the final 15 minutes and finished well on both occasions to snatch an unlikely point from a 2-2 draw. The result was costly for Sunderland who subsequently drew 3-3 with West Brom in their next game and then lost at Ipswich which meant despite accruing 90 points over the course of the season they missed out on automatic promotion altogether with Forest and Boro going up in first and second. They were hot favourites to win through the play offs anyway and beat Sheffield United in a two legged semi before losing on penalties to Charlton at Wembley after an epic 4-4 draw.
QPR meanwhile completed an unlikely escape from relegation. The stalemate at Sunderland was one of six consecutive draws secured after the arrival of Jones and Ruddock culminating in another memorable 2-2 at Manchester City where the losing team faced relegation, but a point would be good enough to keep QPR up at City's expense. Despite falling behind in the first minute Rangers fought back thanks to the classic Jamie Pollock own goal. A draw meant the R's were safe and City were down, despite Bury's 1-0 win at Loftus Road on the final day of the campaign.
Sunderland: L Perez, C Makin, M Gray, L Clark, D Holloway, D Williams, N Summerbee, K Ball, N Quinn, K Phillips, A Johnston
Subs not used: A Rae, J Craddock
Goals: Quinn 28, 55
QPR: L Harper, D Bardsley, K Ready , N Ruddock, I Baraclough, V Jones (S Slade, 71), G Kulcsar, N Quashie , M Sheron, K Gallen (M Rose, 88), T Scully Subs not used: D Dichio, S Morrow
Goals: Sheron 75, 83
QPR 1 Sunderland 2, Tuesday September 21, 2016, League Cup
Two cup victories counts as a run deep into the competition for QPR and a creative ticketing strategy for a home tie against Premier League opposition brought a big crowd to Loftus Road for the visit of Sunderland last September. Beatable Premier League opposition as well, given the Mackems’ appalling league form, and Rangers did take the lead on the hour when Sandro volleyed in from a corner. A false dawn in several respects – forced to play for more than an hour, Sandro fell in a hole and Paddy McNair, who’d never scored a senior goal in his life, bagged two in quick succession to turn the game around for David Moyes’ side.
QPR: Ingram 6; Kakay 6, Caulker 6, Lynch 7, Hamalainen 5; Sandro 6, Cousins 6 (Chery 85, -); Wzsolek 6, El Khayati 4, Washington 6 (Luongo 79, 6); Sylla 7 (Polter 74, 5)
Subs Not Used: Smithies, Onuoha, Borysiuk, Paul
Goals: Sandro 60 (assisted Lynch)
Sunderland: Pickford 6; Denayer 5 (Love 69, 6), O’Shea 6, Djilobodji 6, van Aanholt 6; NDong 8, Kirchhoff 6, McNair 8, Gooch 5 (Cattermole 69, 7); Watmore 6, Asoro 5 (Maja 69, 7)
Subs not used: Jones, Mika, Kone, Greenwood
Goals: McNair 70 (assisted Watmore), 80 (assisted NDong)
Sunderland 0 QPR 2, Tuesday February 10, 2015, Premier League
QPR had lost all 12 of their away games in the Premier League by the time they headed up to Sunderland for a midweek match in February 2015 – Harry Redknapp describing matches away from Loftus Road as “bonus games” before slumping off in a sulk at the end of the transfer window when he hadn’t been allowed to spend yet more money on his failing squad, coming up with some bullshit excuse about his knees being too bad for him to continue. In the first match without him, Leroy Fer powered a header in and Bobby Zamora whipped a spectacular volley into the top corner and lo, Chris Ramsey was one for one on the road as caretaker manager. Not so difficult after all as it turned out.
Sunderland: Pantilimon 6; Réveillère 5 (Brown 63, 5), O’Shea 5, Vergini 3, Van Aanholt 5; Bridcutt 5; Johnson 6, Larsson 5; Gomez 5 (Alvarez 46, 6); Wickham 6 (Fletcher 82, -), Defoe 6
Subs not used: Mannone, Coates, Agnew, Graham
Bookings: Larsson (foul), Alvarez (dissent)
QPR: Green 8; Isla 6 (Doughty 85, -), Ferdinand 7, Caulker 6, Yun 7; Phillips 8 (Wright-Phillips 52, 6), Barton 8, Henry 7, Kranjcar 6; Fer 8 (Zarate 75, 6); Zamora 6
Subs not used: McCarthy, Traore, Hill, Taarabt
Goals: Fer 17 (assisted Phillips), Zamora 45 (assisted Phillips)
Bookings: Zamora (unsporting conduct), Ferdinand, Barton
QPR 1 Sunderland 0, Saturday August 28, 2014, Premier League
QPR ended a nightmare week which had seen them thrashed at Spurs, knocked out of the League Cup at Burton, sell Loic Remy to Chelsea and mourn Ale Faurlin’s latest cruciate knee ligament injury on a bright note with a victory against Sunderland at Loftus Road back in August that season. It was Rangers’ first win of the Premier League season and was sealed in first half injury time when Leroy Fer nodded down Joey Barton’s corner and Charlie Austin swept home his first ever top flight goal from close range.
QPR: Green 8; Isla 7, Ferdinand 7, Caulker 7, Hill 7; Barton 6, Mutch 7, Fer 8 (Taarabt 90, -); Hoilett 6 (Traore 83, -), Phillips 6, Austin 7 (Zamora 69, 7)
Subs not used: Onuoha, Murphy, Henry, Dunne
Goals: Charlie Austin 45 (assisted Barton/Fer)
Bookings: Mutch 56 (foul)
Sunderland: Mannone 7; Vergini 5 (Altidore 82, -), Brown 6, O’Shea 6, Van Aarnholt 6; Cattermole 7; Larsson 6, Rodwell 6 (Giaccherini 69, 7), Johnson 5, Wickham 6; Fletcher 6 (Buckley 69, 6)
Subs not used: Pantilimon, Jones, Bridcutt, Gomez
Bookings: Cattermole 36 (foul), Giaccherini 90 (diving)
QPR 3 Sunderland 1, Saturday March 9, 2013, Premier League
Although QPR endured a torrid time during the 2012/13 Premier League season, winning only four games and amassing just 25 points, one of those wins and four of those points came from the two games against Sunderland. At Loftus Road in March that year the R’s made it two wins from as many games with a 3-1 success, following the previous week’s victory on the road at Southampton on a day when The Mirror led with damaging allegations about player behaviour during a warm-weather training camp in Dubai. Things didn’t look good at Loftus Road when Steven Fletcher knocked in Adam Johnson’s cross at the Loft End amid defensive disorganisation but the R’s were back on terms within ten minutes when Spurs loanee Andros Townsend fed the in form Loic Remy to equalise. Townsend was having a superb game on the wing and he scored his first goal for the club, in spectacular fashion, with a dipping Loft End volley 20 minutes from time. When Jermaine Jenas also lashed in from the edge of the area in the very last minute the win was sealed and a remarkable escape looked on. Sadly, subsequent 3-2 defeats in crucial, winnable away games at Villa and Fulham undid that brief period of good work and condemned Harry Redknapp’s side to relegation.
QPR: Green 6, Bosingwa 7, Samba 7, Hill 7, Da Silva 6, Townsend 8, Park 7, Mbia 7, Hoilett 7 (Wright-Phillips 76, 7), Zamora 7 (Mackie 72, 7), Remy 7 (Jenas 79, 7)
Subs not used: Murphy, Onuoha, Granero, Bothroyd
Goals: Remy 30 (assisted Townsend), Townsend 70 (unassisted), Jenas 90 (unassisted)
Sunderland: Mignolet 6, Gardner 6, O’Shea 5, Bramble 4, N’Diaye 5 (Vaughan 77, 6), Larsson 6, Colback 6 (Bardsley 81,-), Johnson 6, Sessegnon 6, Graham 4 (Rose 57, 6), Fletcher 6
Subs not used: Westwood, Kilgallon, Cuellar, Mangane
Goals: Fletcher 20 (assisted Johnson)
Bookings: N’Diaye (foul), Gardner 71 (foul)
Sunderland 0 QPR 0, Tuesday November 27, 2012, Premier League
Sunderland: Mignolet 7, Bardsley 6, Kilgallon 6, Cuellar 6, Rose 7*, Cattermole – (Colback 5, 6), Larsson 5, Gardner 5 (Saha 78, 5), Johnson 5 (McClean 70, 6), Sessegnon 5, Fletcher 6
Subs not used: Westwood, Bramble, Vaughan, Campbell
Bookings: Cuellar 50 (foul)
QPR: Cesar 7 (Green 46, 7), Bosingwa 6, Nelsen 7, Hill 7, Traore 7, Mackie 7, Diakite 6 (Park 66, 6), Granero 6, Mbia 7, Taarabt 6 (Wright-Phillips 77, 6), Cisse 6
Subs not used: Ferdinand, Fabio, Derry, Hoilett
Bookings: Diakite 54 (repetitive fouling), Hill 67 (foul), Mackie 80 (foul)
Sunderland 3 QPR 1, Saturday March 24, 2012, Premier League
Following a memorable comeback victory against Liverpool at Loftus Road during a midweek round of fixtures, relegation haunted QPR travelled to Sunderland in March 2012 with renewed optimism. That was sadly blown away during the following 90 minutes in which Sunderland were better in every department. They opened the scoring before half time when Nicklas Bendtner headed home a deep cross and any hopes of a Rangers comeback were extinguished ten minutes into the second half when Djibril Cisse collected his second red card of the season for a wild two footed tackle. Sunderland made their extra man count with late goals from James McClean and Stéphane Sessègnon with only a spectacular late free kick from Taye Taiwo giving the travelling R’s fans anything to cheer.
Sunderland: Mignolet 6, O'Shea 6 (Campbell 27, 6), Kyrgiakos 6, Turner 6, Bridge 6 (Meyler 70, 6), Gardner 7, Vaughan 7, Colback 7, McClean 8, Bendtner 7 (Elmohamady 82, -), Sessegnon 8
Subs Not Used: Gordon, Wickham, Kilgallon, Ji
Booked: Kyrgiakos (unsporting conduct), Bridge (foul)
Goals: Bendtner 41 (assisted McClean), McClean 70 (unassisted), Sessegnon 76 (assisted Vaughan)
QPR: Kenny 6, Young 5, Onuoha 4, Ferdinand 5, Taiwo 6, Taarabt 6 (Wright-Phillips 60, 5), Derry 6, Diakite 6 (Buzsaky 52, 5), Mackie 6, Zamora 5 (Bothroyd 82, -), Cisse 5
Subs Not Used: Cerny, Hill, Gabbidon, Barton
Sent Off: Cisse 55 (serious foul play)
Booked: Diakite (foul), Young (foul), Zamora (unsporting conduct)
Goals: Taiwo 79 (free kick, won Zamora)
QPR 2 Sunderland 3, Wednesday December 22, 2011, Premier League
QPR suffered a heartbreaking late loss in the first meeting between these two sides following the London outfit’s promotion in 2011, although in truth Neil Warnock’s side were lucky to still be in the game when Wes Brown rose unmarked at the near post to head in a last minute winner from a corner kick. Sunderland, under the new management of Martin O'Neill, made a fast start and profited from slack marking by Matt Connolly to take the lead after 20 minutes when Nicklas Bendtner headed in from another set piece. The back four didn't improve much thereafter and allowed Stéphane Sessègnon a free run on the Loft End goal after half time for 2-0. The game appeared well and truly up for Warnock's men but turned on its head in a bizarre four minute spell in which Ale Faurlin set up Heidar Helguson for the first and then Jamie Mackie dived full length at close range to head home an unlikely equaliser. Suddenly the home side seemed like the like winner but more slack marking at corners cost them at the death.
QPR: Kenny 7, Young 6, Gabbidon 4, Connolly 5 (Bothroyd 90, -), Traore 7 (Hall 80, -), Barton 5, Faurlin 6, Derry 6, Wright-Phillips 6 (Taarabt 46, 7), Mackie 6, Helguson 7
Subs Not Used: Cerny, Hill, Campbell, Smith
Booked: Faurlin (foul), Young (foul)
Goals: Helguson 63 (assisted Faurlin), Mackie 67 (assisted Helguson)
Sunderland: Westwood 6, O'Shea 6, Bramble 6, Brown 7, Bardsley 6, Larsson 7 (Gardner 75, 7), Cattermole 6, Vaughan 5 (Colback 71, 6), Richardson 7, Sessegnon 8, Bendtner 8
Subs Not Used: Carson, Kilgallon, Ji, McClean, Elmohamady
Booked: Sessegnon (foul), Cattermole (repetitive fouling)
Goals: Bendtner 19 (assisted Richardson), Sessegnon 53 (unassisted), Brown 89 (assisted Richardson)
Sunderland 2 QPR 1, Saturday April 14, 2007, Championship
These two sides were heading in opposite directions when they met at the Stadium of Light in 2007. Sunderland, in their first season under Roy Keane, had recovered from a desperately bad start to the campaign and topped the table heading into our April trip to the north. QPR had spent most of the season struggling against the drop but had put together a run of form at just the right time under John Gregory and were just about safe going into this game. You could tell as well, with Sunderland looking nervous and QPR much more relaxed the visitors fought back to equalise Dean Whitehead’s early goal for the hosts with a Martin Rowlands penalty midway through the first half. In the end, as he had done at Loftus Road earlier in the season, Grant Leadbitter struck the killer goal with 13 minutes left to play. Sunderland won the title and have been in the Premiership ever since, QPR avoided relegation and were bought out by Flavio Briatore and Bernie Ecclestone in August that year.
Sunderland: Ward 6, Simpson 6, Evans 7, Edwards 7, Whitehead 8, Murphy 6 (Stokes 77, -), Nosworthy 7, Collins 7, Connolly 8, Wallace 7 (John 46, 5), Yorke 6 (Leadbitter 61, 8)
Subs not used: Fulop, Elliott.
Scorers: Whitehead 7, Leadbitter 76
Bookings: Simpson 80 (foul)
QPR: Camp 6, Bignot 5, Cullip 5 (Kanyuka 43, 4), Stewart 6, Timoska 6, Rowlands 7, Bolder 6, Lomas 6 (Idiakez 83, -), Smith 6, Moore 5 (Furlong 69, 5), Blackstock 6
Subs: Cole, Nygaard.
Scorers: Rowlands 22 (pen)
Bookings: Cullip 41 (foul), Bolder 42 (foul), Furlong 76 (foul)
Previous ResultsHead to Head >>> QPR wins 13 >>> Draws 7 >>> Sunderland wins 14
2016/17 QPR 1 Sunderland 2** (Sandro)
2014/15 Sunderland 0 QPR 2 (Zamora, Fer)
2014/15 QPR 1 Sunderland 0 (Austin)
2012/13 QPR 3 Sunderland 1 (Remy, Townsend, Jenas)
2012/13 Sunderland 0 QPR 0
2011/12 Sunderland 3 QPR 1 (Taiwo)
2011/12 QPR 2 Sunderland 3 (Mackie, Helguson)
2006/07 Sunderland 2 QPR 1 (Rowlands)
2006/07 QPR 1 Sunderland 2 (Jones)
2004/05 QPR 1 Sunderland 3 (Shittu)
2004/05 Sunderland 2 QPR 2 (Furlong, Rowlands)
1998/99 QPR 2 Sunderland 2 (Maddix, Gallen)
1998/99 Sunderland 1 QPR 0
1997/98 Sunderland 2 QPR 2 (Sheron 2)
1997/98 QPR 0 Sunderland 1
1990/91 Sunderland 0 QPR 1 (Tilson)
1990/91 QPR 3 Sunderland 2 (Maddix, Wegerle, Falco)
1984/85 QPR 1 Sunderland 0 (Byrne)
1984/85 Sunderland 3 QPR 0
1983/84 Sunderland 1 QPR 0
1983/84 QPR 3 Sunderland 0 (Fenwick, Stainrod, C Allen)
1979/80 QPR 0 Sunderland 0
1979/80 Sunderland 3 QPR 0
1976/77 Sunderland 1 QPR 0
1976/77 QPR 2 Sunderland 0 (Bowles, McLintock)
1972/73 Sunderland 0 QPR 3 (Bowles 2, Thomas)
1972/73 QPR 3 Sunderland 2 (Bowles 2, Givens)
1971/72 Sunderland 0 QPR 1 (Busby)
1971/72 QPR 2 Sunderland 1 (Marsh, O’Rourke)
1970/71 QPR 2 Sunderland 0 (Leach, Venables)
1970/71 Sunderland 3 QPR 1 (Leach)
1968/69 Sunderland 0 QPR 0
1968/69 QPR 2 Sunderland 2 (L Allen, Clarke)
1956/57 Sunderland 4 QPR 0*
* - FA Cup
Richard Ord >>> Sunderland 1987-1988 >>> QPR 1998-2000
Richard Ord was ostensibly a one club man. He signed forms at Roker Park in 1986 fresh out of school and made 284 appearances for the Mackems over the next 12 years. Having grown up playing in the centre of midfield he found more opportunities at Sunderland as a centre back, and made his debut in a 7-0 home win against Southend in the Third Division in November 1987.
Ord won two promotions during his time atg the club and also played in the 1992 FA Cup semi final. But having played regularly in his first two seasons as a pro Ord found manager Dennis Smith’s faith in him wavering and he played mostly reserve team football in his early 20s before Peter Reid took over as boss in 1995. He was a key member of Reid’s 1996 promotion winning team.
Sunderland only stayed in the Premiership for one year initially despite amassing 40 points. Reid stayed and took them through to a memorable play off final against Charlton a season later but Ord began having trouble with his back and didn’t even make the bench for the Wembley final.
Ord told the Sunderland Echo in 2007 what happened next when Ray Harford made a bid to bring him to Loftus Road.
“I didn't even make the bench for Wembley and I was gutted,” he said. "I spat the dummy a bit, to be honest, and I made a decision that I've always regretted. Ray had been my England Under-21 coach and was a fantastic bloke and great coach. He got in touch and asked about me. I don't think Reidy wanted me to leave and I know that Bobby Saxton didn't, but they were fair and said it was up to me. I went to see Ray and he wanted me in his side and was going to make me captain, so I made the decision to go. I still had four years on my deal at Sunderland and time to turn things round, which I think I could, but I was upset about not being involved in the side and I made the hardest decision of my life, to go."
He waved goodbye to the north east which had been his home for his entire life and signed for Queens Park Rangers for the thick end of £1m. Harford had made a centre back signing his top priority that summer with Alan McDonald pensioned off to Swindon by Stuart Houston who made subsequent unsuccessful attempts to replace the legendary Northern Irish international with first Matthew Rose and then Steve Morrow. Houston had been sacked midway through the 1997/98 season and QPR had survived relegation by the skin of their teeth with Liverpool’s Neil Ruddock playing at the heart of the defence on loan.
Harford spent the majority of the summer pursuing Bolton’s no-nonsense centre half Gerry Taggert. He would become a figure of hate at Loftus Road later in his career after a high profile on-field spat with Marc Bircham during his Stoke days, but he would have been an excellent signing for Harford and Rangers at the time. In the end they lost out to Leicester who went onto win the League Cup, upset the Premiership big boys and qualify for Europe under Martin O’Neill who based his team on a fearsome defence of Taggert, Matt Elliott and Steve Walsh.
Rangers meanwhile went for Ord who, on paper at least, was also a very sound signing. Except, in true QPR style, disaster struck. Within 15 minutes of his first ever appearance in a QPR shirt in a pre-season friendly at Aylesbury Ord badly ruptured his cruciate knee ligaments. Several attempts to return to training were made over the next two seasons but he never managed it and eventually retired two years after joining Rangers, aged 30, without a single competitive QPR appearance to his name.
"To be honest, it was a miracle I passed the medical with QPR because my back wasn't good; I had a prolapsed disc,” said Ord. "But I went down to QPR really fired up for something new, and it was all finished before I'd played a game for them. I gave it two years down there and had six operations, but it was never going to be right and I was finished. I came home and had a couple of years with Durham, but I couldn't train between games and the knee went again, so that was it."
The worse news for Rangers was that the outlay on Ord represented the last big spend of chairman Chris Wright’s illfated reign at Loftus Road. The purse strings were tightened thereafter as the club plummeted into debt and, eventually administration and relegation. Harford, and then Gerry Francis who succeeded him midway through the 1998/99 season after a disastrous start, were left to coax performances out of a back four made up more often than not of Morrow, Rose, and the ever accident prone Karl Ready.
Others >>> Nedum Onuoha, Sunderland (loan) 2010-2011, QPR 2012-present >>> Anton Ferdinand, Sunderland 2008-2011, QPR 2011-2013 >>> Tommy Smith, Sunderland 2003-2004, QPR 2010-2012 >>> Pascal Chimbonda, Sunderland 2008-2009, QPR 2010 >>> Djibril Cisse, QPR 2012/13, Sunderland 2008/09 >>> Liam Miller, Sunderland 2006-2009, QPR 2009 >>> Richard Ord, Sunderland 1987-1998, QPR 1998-2000 >>> Danny Dichio, QPR 1993-1997, Sunderland 1998-2001 >>> Peter Reid, QPR 1989-1990, Sunderland (manager) 1995-2002 >>> Clive Walker, Sunderland 1984-1986, QPR 1986-1987 >>>John Byrne, QPR 1984-1988, Sunderland 1991-1992 >>> Chris Woods, QPR 1979-1981, Sunderland 1997 >>> Leighton James, QPR 1977-1978, Sunderland 1983-1984
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