Easter tear up - History
Thursday, 26th Oct 2017 07:47 by Clive Whittingham
Ahead of the visit from league leaders Wolves on Saturday, LFW looks back to a feisty encounter between the two teams at Loftus Road in 1997.
QPR 2 Wolves 2, Monday March 31, 1997, First Division
There are many reasons why it took QPR 15 years to return to the Premiership after relegation in 1996, but fairly high up on the list is the way they wasted the 1996/97 season in the First Division. Flush with new money from Chris Wright Rangers blew the rest of the division out of the water with transfer fees spending significant seven figure sums on John Spencer, Gavin Peacock, Steve Morrow and others.
But they made fundamental mistakes as well. They started the season with Ray Wilkins in charge despite relegation the previous season. Nothing wrong with giving a manager another chance after relegation per se but having allowed Wilkins to shape the team as he wished over the summer and conduct pre-season training he then left (still debate about whether he was sacked or resigned) four games into the campaign after a home defeat by Bolton.
Rangers then appointed Stewart Houston who’d done a sound job as caretaker manager at Arsenal on several occasions but didn’t have any experience of a number one role. He first of all appointed Bruce Rioch as his assistant and then took an age to spend any of Wright’s money improving the squad.
Director Nick Blackburn later told A Kick Up The R’s: “Well, Clive Berlin prepared his contract. One of the things Clive said Stewart insisted on putting in his contract was that he appointed his own number two. Later, Stewart called us and he said I want to come over to Chris Wright’s office and tell you who my number two is. So we all go over. There’s Clive, me, Chris, and somebody else I can’t remember. He told us that his number two is going to be Bruce Rioch. We said: “Are you sure?” But he thought it was fantastic. We went, “Are you sure?”. But we couldn’t change it because it was in his contract that he could appoint his number two.
“We didn’t think it was a good idea at all. Not because we thought Bruce was a bad manager. In fact Bruce’s track record is pretty good. But we didn’t think the chemistry between the two of them would work. I then heard that in the first training session he took, Houston called Rioch “Gaffer” in front of the players.
“The other thing about Stewart was that he was a remarkably honest and decent man, and I think he was a very good coach, But he was very slow to make decisions. We had Matt Jackson on loan at the time, who I thought was a decent player, and Stewart said, “I’m not going to sign him until I’ve watched him a few more times.” So Matt said, “I’m not going to stay here on trial” and went back to Everton. I always remember, Stewart started quite well and then the club slipped down the table, yet he had money available. But he just wouldn’t sign anyone. Chris was away and he rang me up one day and said,“Tell Stewart, if he doesn’t sign anybody, I’m going to sign some fucking players”, because we were still slipping down the table.”
When he did spend money he initially spent it very well, signing Gavin Peacock and John Spencer from Chelsea who were both excellent for Rangers. But that period of uncertainty and indecision pre-Christmas cost QPR at the other end of the season and when Wolves came to town on Easter Monday it was getting to do or die time.
For half an hour QPR were absolutely magnificent in the blazing London sunshine. A beautifully worked and typically well finished John Spencer goal gave them the lead after 13 minutes and Gavin Peacock lashed in a fabulous second before the half hour. I remember my mum randomly went to this game and even she turned around and said after half an hour “I didn’t realise QPR were actually this good.”
The problem is, they weren’t. They couldn’t hold their lead until half time and Don Goodman stole in to halve the deficit before the break. The second half was a tense and increasingly bad tempered affair. Six players were shown yellow cards including Wolves goalkeeper Mike Stowell who objected to some rough contact in his penalty area and started a melee – but strangely didn’t concede a penalty for it.
A spot kick was awarded at the other end however and Keith Curle, a perennial scourge of QPR before he became their assistant manager more recently, converted at the Loft End. Cue another melee. Curle had become involved in an argument with Rangers’ American goalkeeper Jurgeon Sommer before taking the kick as the pair tried to put each other off and having scored he celebrated in the goalkeeper’s face sparking another round of handbags.
Rangers had to settle for a draw and ended up finishing eighth, missing out on the play off positions altogether. Wolves finished third but lost out in the play offs as sixth placed Crystal Palace came roaring through to take the final promotion spot behind Barnsley and Bolton.
QPR: Sommer, Yates, McDonald, Maddix, Brevett, Impey, Barker (Quashie 77), Peacock, Murray, Spencer, Dichio (Slade 77)
Subs not used: M Graham
Goals: Spencer 13, Peacock 27
Bookings: McDonald, Barker, Spencer
Wolves: Stowell, Smith, Venus (Law 40), Curle, Atkins, Froggatt, Corica (Thomas 33), Osborn, Ferguson, Goodman, Roberts
Subs not used: Thompson
Goals: Goodman 39, Curle (penalty) 70
Bookings: Thomas, Roberts, Stowell
Wolves 1 QPR 2, Saturday December 31, 2016, Championship
Six straight defeats, four games without scoring, it had been a desperate December for QPR who’d already lost once to Wolves in that run and seemed almost certain to do so against Molineux on New Year’s Eve. Ian Holloway gave a surprise senior debut to Ryan Manning and the Irishman was integral in a surprise victory sealed late on by a bundled close range effort from Pawel Wszolek. Earlier Idrissa Sylla had given QPR a deserved lead but a perennial scourge of the R’s, Dave Edwards, had levelled for the hosts. QPR subsequently won again two days later against Ipswich.
Wolves: Ikeme 6; Coady 6, Baath 6, Stearman 5, Doherty 6; Edwards 7, Price 6, Enobakhare 6 (Mason 71), Cavaleiro 6; Dicko 6 (Bodvarsson 83), Costa 7
Subs not used: Saville, Hause, Iorfa, Burgoyne, Ronan
Goals: Edwards 61 (assisted Costa)
Booking: Price (foul)
QPR:Smithies 7; Perch 7, Hall 8, Lynch 6, Bidwell 6; Sandro 6 (Borysiuk 68, 6), Manning 7; Wzsolek 7, Mackie 7, Ngbakoto 4 (Washington 78, 6); Sylla 8
Subs not used: Ingram, Shodipo, Hamalianen, El Khayati, Eze
Goals: Sylla 53 (assisted Wszolek), Wszolek 87 (assisted Mackie)
Bookings: Manning (foul), Bidwell (foul), Perch (time wasting)
QPR 1 Wolves 2, Thursday December 1, 2016, Championship
QPR lost the first meeting between these sides that season due in no small part to a stupid red card for right back James Perch in the first half. Rangers should have been reasonably confident of a win in Ian Holloway’s third match in charge, with Wolves coming into the game without a win in nine matches. But Perch’s reckless lunch on Matt Doherty when already on a yellow card saw him dismissed before the break and Wolves made the most of their numerical advantage with second half goals from Dave Edwards and Helder Costa. A stoppage time goal from Joel Lynch, his first for the club, looked like mere consolation but in an extended period of injury time at the end of the game the centre back went agonisingly close to snatching an unlikely equaliser.
QPR: Smithies 8; Perch 2, Onuoha 5, Lynch 6, Robinson 4; Hall 6; Luongo 5, Sandro 5 (Henry 61, 5), Chery 5; Polter 5 (Sylla 67, 5), Washington 5 (Ngbakoto 46, 6)
Subs not used: Ingram, Gladwin, Cousins, Bidwell
Goals: Lynch 90 (assisted Robinson)
Red Cards: Perch 35 (two yellows)
Yellow Cards: Perch 9 (dissent), Perch 35 (foul), Luongo 51 (foul)
Wolves: Ikeme 6 (Lonergan 81, -); Iorfa 6, Baath 6, Stearman 6, Doherty 6; Coady 6, Saiss 7, Edwards 7; Costa 7, Dicko 6 (Bodvarsson 76, 6), Cavaleiro 6 (Saville 73, 6)
Subs not used: Wallace, Price, Hause, Enobakhare
Goals: Edwards 60 (assisted Dicko), Costa 67 (assisted Saiss)
Yellow cards: Cavaleiro 49 (foul), Batth 78 (dissent)
QPR 1 Wolves 1, Saturday January 23, 2016, Championship
A headed goal from Seb Polter after just two minutes still couldn’t set QPR up for a win against Wolves at Loftus Road when these sides met in Shepherd’s Bush in January 2016. The German powerfully headed an early free kick into the bottom corner but James Henry’s thrive deflected shot bobbled past Alex Smithies for an equaliser straight after half time. Rangers really should have taken all three points late on when great work down the left flank by Conor Washington set Tjaronn Chery up for what seemed like a simple finish only for the Dutchman to catch the ball too cleanly and send it flying back into play off the inside of the post.
QPR: Smithies 7; Perch 6, Onuoha 7, Hall 7, Konchesky 5; Luongo 6, Henry 5 (Chery 73, 5); Phillips 6, Hoilett 6 (Washington 83, -), Fer 5; Polter 6
Subs not used: Hill, Mackie, Lumly, Faurlin, Angella
Goals: Polter 2 (assisted Phillips)
Wolves: Ikeme 6; Iorfa 7, Batth 6, Ebanks-Landell 6, Doherty 6; Van La Parra 8, McDonald 7, Edwards 7 (Saville 82, -), Henry 6, Coady 6; Le Fondre 5
Subs not used: Goldbourne, McCarey, Rowe, Price, Byrne, Enobakhare
Goals: Henry 48
Wolves 2 QPR 3, Tuesday August 20, 2015, Championship
QPR kick-started their 2015/16 season with a remarkable comeback to victory in the rain at Molineux back in August. Having quickly fallen two goals down, and looked overwhelmed in defence by Bennick Afobe and Noah Dicko, it looked like a long night was in store. However a trademark Charlie Austin header from a similarly typical Matt Phillip cross halved the deficit and the winger scored twice himself, making the most of fine approach work from Massimo Luongo and poor goalkeeping from the home custodian, after half time.
Wolves: Martinez 3; Iorfa 6, Stearman 6, Hause 5, Golbourne 6; Henry 7 (Van La Parra 63, 6), Coady 6, McDonald 7, Edwards 7; Afobe 8, Dicko 7 (Le Fondre 46, 5)
Subs not used: Ikeme, Price, Doherty, Ojo, Ebanks-Landell
Goals: Afobe 17 (assisted Henry/Edwards), McDonald 24 (unassisted)
Bookings: Hause 45 (foul), Le Fondre 74 (foul), Coady 90+4 (foul)
QPR: Green 7; Perch 6, Hall 6, Onuoha 6, Konchesky 5; Faurlin 7 (Polter 89, -), Henry 7; Luongo 8, Chery 8 (Doughty 78, 7), Phillips 8; Austin 7
Subs not used: Hill, Gladwin, Lumley, Emmanuel-Thomas, Hoilett
Goals: Austin 38 (assisted Phillips), Phillips 52 (assisted Luongo), 72 (assisted Luongo)
Bookings: Onuoha 60 (foul), Henry 64 (foul)
QPR 1 Wolves 2, Saturday February 4, 2012, Premier League
QPR lost a crucial relegation six-pointer at home to Wolves the last time the sides met following a typical brain fart from striker Djibril Cisse. Bobby Zamora had given mark Hughes’ expensively assembled, new-look side the lead with his first goal for the club after a quarter of an hour but Cisse undid the good work by taking Roger Johnson by the throat after the centre half had committed an ugly tackle on him – Mark Clattenburg booked the Wolves player and dismissed Cisse. Against ten men Wolves came roaring back with a goal straight after half time from Matt Jarvis and another from Kevin Doyle midway through the second half.
QPR: Kenny 6, Young 7 (Hall 65, 7), Onuoha 6, Ferdinand 6, Taiwo 6, Taarabt 8, Derry 5 (Traore 64, 6), Barton 6, Wright-Phillips 6, Cisse 6, Zamora 7 (Hulse 74, 5)
Subs Not Used: Cerny, Hill, Mackie, Smith
Sent Off: Cisse 34 (violent conduct)
Goals: Zamora 16 (assisted Wright-Phillips)
Wolves: Hennessey 7, Stearman 5 (Doyle 46, 7), Johnson 6, Bassong 5, Ward 6, Foley 6, Frimpong 6 (Ebanks-Blake 24, 7), Edwards 6, O'Hara 6 (Milijas 87, -), Jarvis 8, Fletcher 7
Subs Not Used: De Vries, Elokobi, Hunt, Berra
Booked: Johnson (foul), Fletcher (foul), Bassong (foul)
Goals: Jarvis 46 (assisted Doyle), Doyle 71 (assisted O’Hara/Ebanks-Blake)
Wolves 0 QPR 3, Saturday September 17, 2011, Premier League
The relegation scrap that materialised that season seemed a million miles away when QPR demolished Wolves on their own patch back in September. Fresh from a mad deadline day the new look QPR side was in fine form at Molineux and surged into an early two goal lead thanks to a scuffed effort from Joey Barton and a thunderous long range volley from Ale Faurlin. The Wolves team was constantly abused by its own supporters and that only got worse when the excellent Armand Traore crossed for substitute DJ Campbell to make it 3-0 three minutes from time. The game was marred by a dreadful late tackle on Barton by his old enemy Karl Henry. Barton responded to the subsequent jeers from the Wolves fans by reminding them of the score but clashed with Henry again at the final whistle and the story dominated the papers for days afterwards.
Wolves: Hennessey 6, Stearman 5, Johnson 6, Berra 6, Elokobi 5 (Vokes 46, 5), Kightly 5 (Guedioura 46, 6), Henry 5, O'Hara 6, Jarvis 6 (Hunt 73, 5), Ward 5, Doyle 5
Subs Not Used: De Vries, Hammill, Milijas, Foley
Booked: Guedioura (foul), Vokes (use of elbow)
QPR: Kenny 7, Young 7, Gabbidon 7 (Hall 83, -), Ferdinand 8, Traore 8, Derry 7, Faurlin 8, Barton 8, Wright-Phillips 8, Taarabt 6 (Smith 75, 6), Bothroyd 6 (Campbell 73, 7),
Subs Not Used: Murphy, Buzsaky, Connolly, Puncheon
Booked: Bothroyd (foul), Faurlin (foul), Ferdinand (dissent)
Goals: Barton 8 (assisted Wright Phillips), Faurlin 10 (unassisted), Campbell 87 (assisted Traore)
QPR 1 Wolves 0, Saturday December 6, 2008, Championship
Martin Rowlands scored the last, and arguably the best, of his 37 QPR goals against Mick McCarthy’s men when these sides met in a live Sky game in 2008. Manager Paulo Sousa had his tactics absolutely spot on, targeting Wolves’ talented but somewhat lightweight centre half pairing of Richard Stearman and Michael Mancienne with a physical front three of Dexter Blackstock, Patrick Agyemang and Heidar Helguson. Even though Blackstock was forced off injured in the first half QPR were good value for a 1-0 win secured by a fabulous strike from Rowlands midway through the second half. For me though it was the performance of Patrick Agyemang rather than the goal that was the most memorable thing about this game – he gave Mancienne a torrid time in his best performance in a QPR shirt. He was almost unplayable that night, which made his performances since even harder to fathom.
QPR: Cerny 8, Ramage 6, Stewart 9, Gorkss 9, Delaney 7, Ephraim 7, Mahon 7, Rowlands 8, Blackstock 6 (Cook 27, 6) (Di Carmine 90, -), Helguson 7 (Tommasi 77, 5), Agyemang 7
Subs Not Used: Cole, Borrowdale
Booked: Rowlands (foul)
Goals: Rowlands 63 (assisted Helguson)
Wolves: Hennessey 8, Foley 6, Stearman 5, Mancienne 5, Ward 6, Kightly 5, Edwards 6, Henry 6, Jones 6 (Jarvis 58, 7), Iwelumo 5 (Vokes 72, 6), Ebanks-Blake 5 (Keogh 78, 6)
Subs Not Used: Higgs, Collins
Booked: Mancienne (handball)
Head to Head >>> QPR win 15 >>> Draws 16 >>> Wolves wins 18
2016/17 Wolves 1 QPR 2 (Sylla, Wszolek)
2016/17 QPR 1 Wolves 2 (Lynch)
2015/16 QPR 1 Wolves 1 (Polter)
2015/16 Wolves 2 QPR 3 (Phillips 2, Austin)
2011/12 QPR 1 Wolves 2 (Zamora)
2011/12 Wolves 0 QPR 3 (Barton, Faurlin, Campbell)
2008/09 Wolves 1 QPR 0
2008/09 QPR 1 Wolves 0 (Rowlands)
2007/08 Wolves 3 QPR 3 (Buzsaky, Blackstock, Leigertwood)
2007/08 QPR 0 Wolves 0
2006/07 Wolves 2 QPR 0
2006/07 QPR 0 Wolves 1
2005/06 QPR 0 Wolves 0
2005/06 Wolves 3 QPR 1 (Gallen)
2004/05 QPR 1 Wolves 1 (Gallen)
2004/05 Wolves 2 QPR 1 (Gallen)
2000/01 Wolves 1 QPR 1 (Bruce)
2000/01 QPR 2 Wolves 2 (Peacock 2)
1999/00 Wolves 3 QPR 2 (Peacock, Slade)
1999/00 QPR 1 Wolves 1 (Peacock)
1998/99 QPR 0 Wolves 1
1998/99 Wolves 1 QPR 2 (Sheron 2)
1997/98 QPR 0 Wolves 0
1997/98 Wolves 3 QPR 2 (Sheron, Peacock)
1997/98 Wolves 1 QPR 2 (Peacock, Murray)*
1997/98 QPR 0 Wolves 2*
1996/97 QPR 2 Wolves 2 (Peacock, Spencer)
1996/97 Wolves 1 QPR 1 (Dichio)
1983/84 QPR 2 Wolves 1 (Wicks, Gregory)
1983/84 Wolves 0 QPR 4 (C Allen, Gregory, Stainrod)
1982/83 QPR 2 Wolves 1 (Flanagan, Hazell)
1982/83 Wolves 4 QPR 0
1979/80 Wolves 1 QPR 0*
1979/80 QPR 1 Wolves 1* (C Allen)
1978/79 QPR 3 Wolves 3 (Roeder, Busby, Gillard)
1978/79 Wolves 1 QPR 0
1977/78 QPR 1 Wolves 3 (Shanks)
1977/78 Wolves 1 QPR 0
1975/76 QPR 4 Wolves 2 (Givens 2, Thomas, Francis)
1975/76 Wolves 2 QPR 2 (Givens 2)
1974/75 QPR 2 Wolves 0 (Givens, Thomas)
1974/75 Wolves 1 QPR 2 (Givens 2)
1973/74 QPR 0 Wolves 0
1973/74 Wolves 2 QPR 4 (Bowles 2, Leach, Francis)
1969/70 QPR 3 Wolves 1* (Clarke 2, Bridges)
1968/69 QPR 0 Wolves 1
1968/69 Wolves 3 QPR 1 (I Morgan)
1899/00 Wolves 0 QPR 1** (Bedingfield)
1899/00 QPR 1 Wolves 1** (Haywood)
* - League Cup
** - FA Cup
ConnectionsBob Hazell >>> Wolves 1977-79, 1985 >>> QPR 1979-1983
Bob Hazell was a big, physical, uncompromising heart of the defence at Loftus Road in the early 1980s. Signed by Tommy Docherty in 1979 he went on to form a formidable centre half partnership with Steve Wicks, particularly during Terry Venables' reign in W12. He played at Wembley as a Second Division player for Rangers in the FA Cup final against Spurs, which we lost after a replay, and won promotion into the First Division with us a year later.
The R's, famed for their well drilled offside trap and plastic pitch in that promotion campaign, inexplicably lost 4-0 at Wolves on their way into the First Division which must have been particularly tough for Hazell who was a graduate of the youth set up at Molineux and had moved to Loftus Road from Wolves in 1979.
It was the semi final v West Brom at Highbury, rather than the final, that Hazell is probably best remembered for at Rangers. Against the Baggies' feared talisman Cyrille Regis Hazell turned in one of the all time great centre half performances and marked him out of the game in a 1-0 win. As a former Wolves man this should have been a sweet moment but Hazell was actually brought up as a Baggies fan and his only recollection of the game is Tony Currie coming to congratulate him after the final whistle.
In an interview with the Express and Star newspaper in 2008 Hazell said: “You will find this hard to believe but the truth is I can barely remember one or two incidents from that game. It was one of those matches where I concentrated so hard that even when the final whistle went I didn’t realise it was the end of the game. But, at that time, Cyrille was ripping up trees, he was really doing the business and I remember vividly the team meeting beforehand. Terry Venables looked at me at that meeting and said: ‘Bob, if you can look after Cyrille, we have got a good chance here.
“Although Cyrille and I were and are good friends that was my mission for the day. For the day? It felt like it was my life’s mission. And from the time we walked out on to the pitch to after the match had been finished, barely a couple of things have ever come back to me. I can remember the lead up to our goal although I can’t remember how the ball came in my direction. They showed it on TV last week but the clip was so short I still couldn’t remember how it got there."
Hazell, who was the first black player to ever score for Wolves, scored eight goals for Rangers, mostly from set pieces, but is also remembered for a headed own goal past Peter Hucker in a match against West Ham. He was moved on by Rangers to Leicester in 1983 with Wicks partnered by Terry Fenwick at this point and a young Alan McDonald progressing through the ranks in his position.
Hazell spent brief periods on loan back at Wolves and Reading later in his career then signed for Third Division side Port Vale in 1987 and played 17 times in their 1988/89 promotion season before being forced to retire from the game.
Despite being born in Jamaica he won England Under 21 and B caps in his youth and now works in the Midlands in a programme for young offenders.
Others >>> Jay Bothroyd, Wolves 2006-2008, QPR 2011-2014 >>> Keith Curle, Wolves 1996-2000, QPR (coach) 2009-2014 >>> Marcus Bent, QPR (loan) 2010, Wolves (loan) 2010-2011 >>> Leon Clarke, Wolves 2003-2007, QPR (loan) 2006, 2010-2011 >>> Carl Ikeme, Wolves 2003-present, QPR (loan) 2010 >>> Matt Hill, Wolves 2008-2011, QPR (loan) 2010 >>> Gavin Mahon, Wolves 1995-1996, QPR 2008-2011 >>> Tim Flowers, Wolves 1984-1986, QPR (coach) 2008 >>> Michael Mancienne, QPR (loan) 2006-2008, Wolves (loan) 2008-2011 >>> Paul Jones, Wolves 1991-1996, 2004-2006, QPR 2006-2007 >>> Rohan Ricketts, Wolves 2005-2007, QPR (loan) 2007 >>> Dean Sturridge, Wolves 2001-2005, QPR 2005-2006 >>> Keith Lowe, Wolves 2004-2008, QPR (loan) 2006 >>> Bob Taylor, Wolves 2000-2002, QPR (loan) 2001 >>> Darren Ward, QPR (loan) 1999-2000, Wolves 2007-2010 >>> Mark Kennedy, QPR (loan) 1998, Wolves 2001-2006 >>> Simon Osborn, QPR 1995-1996, Wolves 1996-2001 >>> Dougie Freedman, QPR 1993-1994, Wolves 1997-1998 >>> Darren Peacock, QPR 1990-1994, Wolves 2000 >>> Brian Law, QPR 1987-1991, Wolves 1994-1997 >>> Andy Sinton, QPR 1989-1993, Wolves 1999-2002 >>> John Burridge, QPR 1980-1982, Wolves 1982-1984 >>> Keith Pritchett, Wolves 1972-1973, QPR 1974-1975 >>> Dave Thomas, QPR 1972-1977, Wolves 1979-1980 >>> Tommy Docherty, QPR (manager) 1968, 1979-1980, Wolves (manager) 1984-1985 >>> Peter Eastoe, Wolves 1971-1973, QPR 1976-1979 >>> Mark Lazarus, QPR 1960-1961, 1962-1964, 1966-1968, Wolves 1961-1962 >>> Fred Ramscar, Wolves 1946-1947, QPR 1947-1949
Pictures – Action Images
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