Remembering the 1982 FA Cup semi-final - History
Friday, 17th Aug 2018 08:40 by Clive Whittingham
Ahead of Saturday’s trip to West Brom, LFW looks back at the FA Cup semi-final meeting between the sides at Highbury in 1982.
Memorable MatchQPR 1 West Brom 0, Saturday April 3, 1982, FA Cup Semi Final
Following a club like QPR means big occasions are few and far between, and victories in them even scarcer, but the omens suggest we couldn’t be playing anybody better this Saturday than West Bromwich Albion. When it really matters, QPR seem quite adept at dealing with the Baggies on the big day.
Having beaten the First Division Albion side in the 1967 League Cup final while still in the third tier (a match we covered in the last history column prior to the home meeting this season) Rangers found themselves paired with the Baggies again in an FA Cup semi final in 1982. The R’s had needed replays to see off Middlesbrough and Blackpool and also registered victories against Grimsby and Crystal Palace on their way to the Highbury showdown. West Brom meanwhile had beaten Blackburn, Norwich, Coventry and Gillingham in previous rounds and kept three clean sheets in the process.
Once again Rangers went into the game in a lower division than their opponents, although this time there was only one league between the two. Terry Venables’ men, in a change strip of red, were competing in a first ever FA Cup semi final for the club and more than 20,000 Rangers fans packed onto Highbury’s famous North Bank for the match. West Brom, by contrast, held the competition record for semi final appearances at the time – this was their nineteenth.
Venables recalled Terry Fenwick and Ian Gillard as his full backs, they’d been replaced by Ian Dawes and Warren Neil for the 2-0 league win against Sheffield Wednesday five days previous, but he was without suspended midfielder John Gregory. Baggies boss Ronnie Allen named four players in his line up who’d played the last time they reached a semi final in 1978, including Derek Statham who passed a late fitness test. Allen dropped Gary Owen to the bench in favour of Steve MacKenzie who had played in two cup semi finals the previous season while with Manchester City. The goal threat was carried by Cyrille Regis.
Despite the greater big game experience of the Albion side, the presence of Regis in attack and QPR’s lower division status it was the team with eight London born players in their starting 11 that threatened first. Flanagan crossed from the left, Allen hung back to give himself space in the penalty area and his crisp volley flashed a yard wide of the Clock End goal with Grew beaten all ends up.
Northern the Elder was always of the opinion that Tony Currie deserved more of a mention when people discussed great QPR players of the past and he started and finished a move here that could have led to the opening goal. Initially, thanks to Currie, the move was slick and incisive but when it descended into a farce and crowd of bodies on the edge of the area Currie swooped in once more with a first time shot that was blocked away.
Currie found himself dictating the play at the start of the second half as well. He combined with Micklewhite who then swung over a deep cross which Flanagan nodded back and Simon Stainrod, with 20 goals to his name already that season, flashed a volley wide of the post from the edge of the area
One of the big stories of the day was the manner in which former Wolves trainee Bob Hazell coped with Regis but when Rangers finally won their first corner of the game 20 minutes from time the giant centre back had a chance to move forward into an offensive position of his own. Currie’s initial delivery was well above his head but Rangers’ tenacity prevented Albion from clearing the corner, and three subsequent crosses, properly. Eventually the ball broke to Hazell in the area and although West Brom were quickly in with a tackle the ball smacked against the shin of Clive Allen and flew into the net to send the North Bank into delirium. It was Allen’s seventh FA Cup goal of the season, and fifteenth overall.
Flanagan went close to adding a second with a late header, and Stainrod had a decent penalty appeal waved away by Sheffield-based referee Keith Hackett but comfortably saw out the victory.
After the game goalscorer Allen said: “We’d trained all week and set out our plan for the way we wanted to play. Terry had obviously given us the incentive to go and play as we wanted to and not to worry about West Brom and that seemed to go pretty well. At half time all he was concerned about was us keeping our authority on the game and going on and scoring. Overall we were the better side, I’m not saying it was a good game but we were the better side.”
Venables himself added: “It was a long 15 or 20 minutes to the end of the game. It’s very emotional, we’ve got a few young boys in there who are emotionally full up. It’s a wonderful moment for us. We wanted to keep the ball and try and run them out, they’re a good side and we had to make sure they didn’t catch us on the break. We had Tony Currie going into the back and our full backs breaking and I felt they had a problem trying to stop our full backs. We were starting our build ups mainly from wide positions and I felt that we did it very well.
“We were 4/1 against today which upset me in the first place, I thought that was a disgrace. That was quite a good spur for us because I think that upset everyone.”
QPR: Hucker, Fenwick, Hazell, Roeder, Gillard, Currie, Waddock, Flanagan, Allen, Stainrod, Micklewhite
West Brom: Grew, Batson, Statham, Zondervan, Wile, Robertson, Bennett, King, Regis, Cross, MacKenzie
Highlights >>> QPR 3 West Brom 1 09/10 Highlights >>> West Brom 2 QPR 2 09/10 Highlights >>> West Brom 3 QPR 3 06/07 Highlights >>> QPR 1 West Brom 0 FA Cup semi final 1982 highlights >>> West Brom 2 QPR 3 League Cup final 1967 highlights
West Brom 1 QPR 4, Saturday April 4, 2015, Premier League
QPR went goal crazy on their last visit to The Hawthorns, completing an unlikely Premier League double and prolonging their survival hopes for another week. Tony Pulis had guided the Baggies into the security of midtable after early struggles under Alan Irvine, while Rangers had struggled all season and won only once away from home. But the visitors surged into a 3-0 half time lead with a long range strike from Eduardo Vargas, a typical poacher’s effort from a corner by Charlie Austin, and the club’s Goal of the Season lobbed in from the corner of the area with the outside of his boot by Bobby Zamora. Anichebe scored soon after half time for the home side to set nerves back on edge but a red card for Mulumbu and late fourth from Joey Barton made it a rare away day to remember during our recent spell in the top flight.
Subs not used: Wisdom, Yacob, Pocognoli, Rose
Goals: Anichebe 57 (assisted Berahino)
Red Card: Mulumbu 83 (dangerous play)
Bookings: Sessegnon 45 (foul), Brunt 90+5 (dissent)
QPR: Green 7; Isla 5, Caulker 6, Onuoha 8, Yun 6 (Hill 82, -); Phillips 7, Barton 8, Sandro 7, Vargas 7 (Kranjcar 30, 7); Austin 7, Zamora 7 (Henry 75, 6)
Subs not used: McCarthy, Sutherland, Hoilett, Doughty
Goals: Vargas 15 (assisted Zamora), Austin 37 (assisted Phillips/Kranjcar), Zamora 44 (assisted Phillips), Barton 90+4 (assisted Phillips/Austin)
Bookings: Caulker 22 (foul), Barton 73 (handball), Henry 90+2 (foul)
QPR 3 West Brom 2, Saturday December 20, 2014, Premier League
Charlie Austin made it a happy Christmas for QPR fans with a powerful hat trick to rescue victory from the jaws of defeat in the first meeting between these sides that season. The Baggies flew out of the traps and looked a class apart from their hosts initially, surging into a two goal leads through Joleon Lescott and Silvestre Varela. But a questionable penalty, awarded just four minutes after West Brom had gone two nil up, gave Austin a chance to smash QPR onto the scoresheet, change the momentum of the game and sow a seed of doubt in the visitors’ minds. He equalised after half time, finishing a goal mouth scramble from close range at the Loft End, and then rose to power in a vintage header four minutes from time when Joey Barton picked him out with a corner. His first QPR hat trick, and what felt like an important victory, lifting QPR clear of the relegation zone, had been secured. Rangers haven’t won a home match since.
QPR: Green 7; Onuoha 6, Dunne 7, Caulker 6, Yun 5 (Hill 30, 6); Vargas 6 (Hoilett 67, 6), Barton 7, Henry 6, Fer 5, Zamora 6 (Kranjcar 80, -), Austin 9
Subs not used: Ferdinand, Phillips, McCarthy, Mutch
Goals: Austin 24 (penalty, won Fer), 48 (assisted Zamora), 86 (assisted Barton)
Bookings: Dunne 38 (foul)
West Brom: Foster 5; Wisdom 6, McAuley 5, Lescott 6, Pocognoli 5 (Gamboa 91, -); Sessegnon 7, Gardner 6, Morrison 5, Dorrans 6, Varela 6; Brown 5 (Berahino 69, 7)
Subs not used: Baird, Yacob, Myhill, Mulumbu, Dawson
Goals: Lescott 10 (assisted Sessegnon), Varela 20 (assisted Sessegnon)
West Brom 0 QPR 1, Tuesday January 15, 2013, FA Cup Third Round replay
QPR rarely win FA Cup matches, and in 2012/13 they struggled to win games of any sort - just four victories all season in a miserable league campaign - however they miraculously progressed through to the fourth round of the world’s oldest knockout trophy that year courtesy of an unlikely replay win at The Hawthorns against West Brom. Jay Bothroyd scored a rare goal, heading in Ale Faurlin’s cross 15 minutes from time, to set up a fourth round tie at home to MK Dons in which the R’s were thrashed 4-2.
West Brom: Myhill 6, Popov 6, McAuley 6, Jones 6, Tamas 6 (El Ghanassy 81, -), Morrison 7 (Reid 90, -), Thorne 6, Dorrans 6, Thomas 6 (Odemwingie 71, 6), Rosenberg 7, Lukaku 6
Subs not used: Foster, Olsson, Ridgewell, Dawson
Bookings: Thomas 50 (foul), Rosenberg 76 (foul)
QPR: Green 8, Onuoha 8, Ferdinand 6, Hill 7, Ben Haim 7, Park 6, Derry 7, Faurlin 6, Mackie 7 (Taarabt 90, -), Bothroyd 8 (Mbia 80, -), Cisse 4 (Wright-Phillips 46, 7)
Subs not used: Murphy, Ephraim, Ehmer, Hulse
Goals: Bothroyd 75 (assisted Faurlin)
Bookings: Ben Haim 17 (foul)
QPR 1 West Brom 1, Saturday January 5, 2013, FA Cup Third Round
Less than a fortnight after The Baggies had won at Loftus Road in controversial fashion in the league, they returned to West London for an uninspiring FA Cup tie which featured a plethora of changes to both teams and the strong sense that neither was that bothered about winning the game. It seemed as though the away side would be progressing through to round four when Shane Long finished smoothly 12 minutes from time but the forgotten man of Harlington Kieron Dyer ran through on goal in injury time and stabbed in an equaliser to force a replay nobody wanted.
QPR: Cesar 7, Dyer 6, Hill 6, Nelsen 6 (Onuoha 71, 6), Ben Haim 6, Park 5, Granero 5 (Bothroyd 46, 5), Mbia 6, Mackie 5, Taarabt 6, Campbell 6
Subs not used: Green, Ferdinand, Faurlin, Cisse, Derry
Goals: Dyer 90 (assisted Ben Haim)
West Brom: Myhill 6, Jones 6, Ridgewell 6, McAuley 6, Tamas 6, Morrison 6, Thorne 7, Brunt 6, Gera 6 (Fortune 21, 6 (Thomas 45, 6)) Long 7, Lukaku 6 (Dawson 88, -)
Subs Not Used: Foster, Jara, El Ghanassy, Rosenberg
Goals: Long 78 (assisted Thorne)
Bookings: Brunt 88 (repetitive fouling)
QPR 2 West Brom 1, Wednesday December 26, 2012, Premier League
QPR manager was critical of referee Chris Foy when these sides met at Loftus Road in the league on Boxing Day in 2012. Chris Brunt fired the Baggies into a first half lead against relegation haunted QPR but Djibril Cisse struck back with an equaliser midway through the second half. The game swung on two late refereeing calls with Robert Green fumbling into his own net under pressure from Marc Antoine-Fortune which would usually result in the award of a free kick to the goalkeeper, then Liam Ridgwell getting away with an obvious handball in his own area in injury time.
QPR: Green 4, Fabio 5 (Hoilett 64, 6), Ferdinand 5, Hill 6, Traore 5, Mackie 5, Faurlin 4 (Diakite 64, 6), Mbia 6, Wright-Phillips 6, Taarabt 5, Cisse 6
Subs not used: Cesar, Derry, Granero, Dyer, Ehmer
Goals: Cisse 68 (assisted Mbia)
Bookings: Mbia 83 (foul)
West Brom: Foster 7, Jones 6, McAuley 6, Olsson 6, Popov 6 (Ridgewell 35, 6), Morrison 7 (Tamas 86, -), Mulumbu 8, Gera 6, Fortune 6, Brunt 7, Lukaku 6 (Long 76, 6)
Subs not used: Myhill, Dorrans, Rosenberg, Odemwingie
Goals: Brunt 29 (unassisted), Green og (assisted Brunt)
West Brom 3 QPR 2, Saturday October 6, 2012, Premier League
QPR produced a defensive horror show at The Hawthorns in October 2012 as they slipped to a 3-2 defeat. They fell behind early, when Shane Long powered down the right and delivered a sumptuous cross for James Morrison to open the scoring. When Anton Ferdinand failed to cut out another Long cross at the midway point of the half Zoltan Gera stuck home a second but the deficit was halved before the break when Adel Taarabt brilliantly pulled down a pass from Esteban Granero on his thigh then turned and whipped a powerful volley into the net. That rather flattered Rangers but it took until five minutes from time for the home team to seal the win with a goal from Youssuf Mulumbu at the end of a slick move. Even then there was time for Granero to score a fine second goal for QPR and Jose Bosingwa to miss an absolute sitter to equalise with the final kick of the game.
West Brom Foster 6, Tamas 4 (Jara 46, 5), McAuley 7, Olsson 7, Popov 7, Yacob 6, Mulumbu 8, Morrison 8, Odemwingie 6 (Rosenberg 62, 6), Gera 7, Long 8 (Lukaku 68, 6)
Subs: Daniels, Dawson, Dorrans, Fortune
Goals: Morrison 5 (assisted Long), Gera 22 (assisted Long), Mulumbu 85 (assisted Jara)
Bookings: Tamas 25 (repetitive fouling), Mulumbu 90 (time wasting)
QPR: Cesar 6, Bosingwa 3, Nelsen 6, Ferdinand 3, Hill 3 (Traore 46, 5), Mbia 5 (Hoilett 70, 5), Wright-Phillips 4 (Mackie 58, 5), Park 5, Granero 6, Taarabt 7, Zamora 5
Subs: Green, Onuoha, Faurlin, Cisse
Goals: Taarabt 25 (assisted Granero), Granero 90 (unassisted)
Bookings: Park 45 (foul), Mackie 87 (foul)
West Brom 1 QPR 0, Saturday April 14, 2012, Premier League
An impressive run of five straight home wins at the end of last season put QPR in with a chance of survival in the Premier League after a disastrous winter had threatened to sink them. But with three games of the campaign left, and two of them on the road, it seemed as though the R’s would need to find a way to win an away game for the first time since November to make doubly sure of safety. With Man City away looming large on the final day of the campaign the earlier trip to West Brom looked to be their best chance but despite a big travelling support from West London, and the hosts having nothing to play for, they slipped to a meek 1-0 defeat. This was a tale of two goalkeepers with Paddy Kenny culpable for Graeme Dorrans’ long range opener at one end while Ben Foster denied Bobby Zamora on three separate occasions with fine saves at the other. Ultimately Rangers survived anyway, winning a crucial game at home to Stoke a week later, but it was no thanks to their lousy away form which persists to this day.
West Brom: Foster 8, Jones 7, McAuley 6, Dawson 6, Ridgewell 6, Brunt 7, Mulumbu 7, Dorrans 7 (Andrews 71, 6), Thomas 7 (Scharner 80, -), Fortune 6 (Long 59, 6), Odemwingie 7
Subs Not Used: Daniels, Shorey, Hurst, Cox
Booked: Mulumbu (foul), Ridgewell (time wasting), Dorrans (foul)
Goals: Dorrans 22 (unassisted)
QPR: Kenny 5, Onuoha 5, Ferdinand 6, Hill 7, Taiwo 7 (Traore 77, 6), Barton 6, Diakite 6, Derry 5 (Wright-Phillips 56, 6), Mackie 6, Zamora 6, Taarabt 6 (Helguson 75, 6)
Subs Not Used: Cerny, Gabbidon, Buzsaky, Young
QPR 1 West Brom 1, Saturday December 3, 2011, Premier League
QPR were left to count the cost of a series of missed chances as West Brom escaped from Loftus Road with a point last December. Heidar Helguson gave the home side a first half lead and Shaun Wright-Phillips thought he’d doubled it shortly afterwards only to be incorrectly flagged offside. Rangers had only themselves to blame thereafter though, with Joey Barton’s open goal howler at the Loft End the pick of a series of sitters. The inevitable equalising goal, from Shane Long, came nine minutes from time after Chris Brunt had been allowed to run unchecked through the heart of the R’s midfield.
QPR: Cerny 7, Young 6, Gabbidon 6, Ferdinand 6, Traore 7, Mackie 7, Barton 7, Faurlin 8, Wright-Phillips 7, Bothroyd 6 (Buzsaky 74, 5), Helguson 8
Subs Not Used: Putnins, Orr, Hill, Derry, Taarabt, Smith
Goals: Helguson 20 (assisted Barton)
West Brom: Foster 7, Reid 6, Olsson 6, McAuley 6, Shorey 6, Thomas 6 (Odemwingie 65, 7), Dorrans 7 (Tchoyi 78, 6), Mulumbu 8 (Scharner 83, -), Morrison 7, Brunt 7, Long 7
Subs Not Used: Fulop, Dawson, Jones, Cox
Booked: Long, Thomas, Reid
Goals: Long 81
QPR 3 West Brom 1, Saturday March 6, 2010, Championship
Neil Warnock’s successful reign as QPR manager started with an unlikely win in his first match in charge against West Brom. The Baggies were top of the league and heading back to the Premiership under Roberto De Matteo and were heavy favourites to win at Loftus Road against a QPR side with just one win from their previous 11 matches and about to start life under their fourth permanent manger of the season. Relegation was starting to look like a serious possibility for the Super Hoops but Warnock’s impact was instant. Jay Simpson made the most of a poor piece of goalkeeping from Scott Carson to tap in from close range after 13 minutes and that lead was doubled five minutes later when a glorious through ball from Alejandro Faurlin set up Matt Connolly for a rare goal. When Brunt halved the deficit before half time a nervous second half seemed likely but Rangers re-established their advantage when Carson again treated them to a soft goal, Akos Buzsaky the beneficiary directly from a free kick on this occasion.
QPR: Ikeme 8, Connolly 7, Gorkss 7, Stewart 7, Hill 6, Taarabt 7 (Ramage 69, 6), Leigertwood 7, Faurlin 8, Ephraim 6 (Buzsaky 59, 7), Priskin 6 (Vine 77, 6), Simpson 7
Subs Not Used: Cerny, Balanta, Borrowdale, German
Booked: Priskin (dissent), Faurlin (foul)
Goals: Simpson 13 (assisted Taarabt), Connolly 18 (assisted Faurlin), Buzsaky 67 (free kick)
West Brom: Carson 3, Reid 6, Tamas 6, Olsson 7, Cech 6 (Miller 64, 5), Morrison 6 (Dorrans 68, 6), Mulumbu 7, Watson 6, Brunt 7, Thomas 7, Cox 6
Subs Not Used: Kiely, Mattock, Koren, Moore, Meite
Booked: Cech (foul), Brunt (foul)
Goals: Brunt 36 (assisted Thomas)
West Brom 2 QPR 2, Monday December 14, 2009, Championship
Before Christmas that season Rangers travelled to the Hawthorns once more under the guidance of a brand new managerial team. In the wake of Jim Magilton's suspension youth team coaches Steve Gallen and Marc Bircham took the reins for a match televised live by Sky. The R's stunned their hosts by surging into a two goal lead just after half time with Kaspars Gorkss first forcing an own goal from Olsson from a Ben Watson corner, then heading another set piece from the ginger midfielder in himself. Sadly Rangers couldn't hold on, getting nervous and dropping deep when Jerome Thomas fired home after a defensive scramble and then collapsing in injury time when Alejandro Faurlin and Alessandro Pellicori contrived to give the ball away in the Baggies’ half and Simon Cox stole in to bury an equaliser with the last kick of the game.
West Brom: D Kiely 8, G Zuiverloon 7 (R Bednar 85, -), A Meite 5, J Olsson 6, J Mattock 5, C Brunt 6, G Jara 6, G Dorrans 7, J Thomas 8, L Moore 5 (C Wood 64, 6), S Cox 7
Subs not used: R Allsop, M Cech, F Teixeira, Y Mulumbu, S Martis
Booked: Brunt (foul), Cox (dissent)
Goals: Thomas 67 (assisted), Cox 90+3 (assisted Bednar)
QPR: R Cerny 6, P Ramage 5, D Stewart 7, K Gorkss 8, T Williams 6, Routledge 6, M Leigertwood 7, B Watson 6, J Simpson 5 (F Hall 90, -) A Taarabt 7 (A Faurlin 81, -), P Agyemang 6 (A Pellicori 84, -)
Subs not used: R Taylor, R Vine, M Alberti, J Parker
Goals: Olsson own goal 56 (assisted Watson), Gorkss 62 (assisted Watson)
Previous ResultsHead to Head >>> West Brom wins 18 >>> Draws 10 >>> QPR wins 16
2014/15 West Brom 1 QPR 4 (Vargas, Austin, Zamora, Barton)
2014/15 QPR 3 West Brom 2 (Austin 3)
2012/13 West Brom 0 QPR 1* (Bothroyd)
2012/13 QPR 1 West Brom 1* (Dyer)
2012/13 QPR 1 West Brom 2 (Cisse)
2012/13 West Brom 3 QPR 2 (Taarabt, Granero)
2011/12 West Brom 1 QPR 0
2011/12 QPR 1 West Brom 1 (Helguson)
2009/10 QPR 3 West Brom 1 (Simpson, Connolly, Buzsaky)
2009/10 West Brom 2 QPR 2 (Olsson og, Gorkss)
2007/08 QPR 0 West Brom 2
2007/08 West Brom 5 QPR 1 (Ainsworth)
2006/07 QPR 1 West Brom 2 (Blackstock)
2006/07 West Brom 3 QPR 3 (Stewart, Gallen, Nygaard)
2000/01 QPR 2 West Brom 0 (Plummer, Koejoe)
2000/01 West Brom 2 QPR 1 (Kiwomya)
1999/00 QPR 0 West Brom 0
1999/00 West Brom 0 QPR 1 (Wardley)
1998/99 QPR 2 West Brom 1 (Ready, Peacock)
1998/99 West Brom 2 QPR 0
1997/98 West Brom 1 QPR 1 (Dowie)
1997/98 QPR 2 West Brom 0 (Sheron, Peacock)
1996/97 West Brom 4 QPR 1 (Spencer)
1996/97 QPR 0 West Brom 2
1985/86 QPR 1 West Brom 0 (Bannister)
1985/86 West Brom 0 QPR 1 (Robinson)
1984/85 West Brom 0 QPR 0
1984/85 QPR 3 West Brom 1 (Stainrod 2, Fenwick)
1983/84 QPR 1 West Brom 1 (Fereday)
1983/84 West Brom 1 QPR 2 (Stainrod, Fenwick)
1982/83 West Brom 3 QPR 2* (Fenwick, Micklewhite)
1981/82 QPR 1 West Brom 0* (C Allen)
1978/79 West Brom 2 QPR 1 (McGee)
1978/79 QPR 0 West Brom 1
1977/78 West Brom 2 QPR 0
1977/78 QPR 2 West Brom 1 (Bowles, Eastoe)
1976/77 West Brom 1 QPR 1 (G Francis)
1976/77 QPR 1 West Brom 0 (Gillard)
1972/73 West Brom 2 QPR 1** (Givens)
1968/69 QPR 0 West Brom 4
1968/69 West Brom 3 QPR 1 (Clarke)
1966/67 QPR 3 West Brom 2** (R Morgan, Marsh, Lazarus)
1948/49 West Brom 1 QPR 1 (Pointon)
1948/49 QPR 0 West Brom 2
* - FA Cup
** - League Cup
ConnectionsGeorges Santos >>> West Brom 2000 >>> QPR 2004-2006
Georges Santos was born in Marseille but played international football for the Cape Verde Islands. He first arrived on these shores in 1998 when he signed for Tranmere Rovers, then a First Division team, from his first club Toulon.
QPR’s first encounter with Georges came shortly after his arrival. Rangers, in their third season outside the Premier League, headed to Merseyside to face Rovers in February 1999 and were beaten 3-2. Santos was booked, but it was a miracle that he stayed on the field after rampaging around the place for the entire match doing pretty much as he pleased. I remember my aunt turning to me at one point that day and asking whether Santos was playing to a different set of rules to everybody else.
That rather set the tone for a lot of his time in England. He was booked 14 times in the 1998/99 season, and in total picked up 68 yellows and six reds in nine seasons in English football. And yet off the field he was the most affable person you could ever meet – almost studious in his thin-rimmed spectacles.
On the old transfer deadline day in 2000 Gary Megson moved to bring Santos to the Hawthorns to add steel to a team fighting against relegation. The Baggies looked all set for the Second Division but with Santos added to the team they survived at the last at the expense of near neighbours Walsall – thanks in no small part to a 0-0 draw at Loftus Road on the penultimate day of the campaign.
Having been seriously injured by Baggies’ midfielder Andy Johnson the season before – Johnson’s elbow fractured Santos’ eye socket – Santos sought retribution after being brought on as a second half substitute at Bramall Lane in March 2002. United were already 2-0 down and had been reduced to ten men earlier in the game when Santos deliberately flew into a knee-high two-footed lunge on Johnson that brought an immediate red card within 90 seconds of his introduction. In the ensuing melee Patrick Suffo, himself a substitute sent on at the same time as Santos, headbutted Darren Moore and was also sent off. Soon 3-0 down and reduced to eight men Warnock started instructing players to feign injury and come off, soon reducing his team to six men and forcing the abandonment of the game. To be fair to Warnock Santos never played for the Blades again.
Santos was rehabilitated on the east coast at Grimsby Town where he played at centre back in a struggling First Division team and impressed, winning the club’s Player of the Year award as they were relegated in 2002/03. His classy, ball playing displays in a poor side attracted Joe Royle and Ipswich Town and he made 36 appearances for the Tractor Boys in 2003/04 but having been something of a folk hero at Tranmere and Grimsby, he found the Ipswich fans harder to please and Royle decided to cut his losses at the end of the season and sell him on.
Step forward newly promoted QPR who needed some Championship experience on the cheap after winning promotion from the Second Division the year before. Santos ticked both boxes, but Ipswich fans besieged the QPR message boards to mock the signing, turning many Rangers fans against the player before he’d even set foot on the field. Santos began to win people over with his role in an unprecedented seven straight wins that saved Ian Holloway’s job and propelled the R’s into the promotion race – he scored the first of six QPR goals in a midweek win at Crewe.
The rest of his time in W12 was a bit of a curate’s egg really. There were moments of rashness such as a Boxing Day sending off at Plymouth that Samba Diakite would have been proud of and an own goal in a home match with Watford the likes of which I can scarcely recall ever seeing before. I always had a soft spot for him, because I’d seen a lot of him at Grimsby and knew he could be a good player on his day, but sticking up for him was hard work at times.
Santos was hamstrung rather by Ian Holloway’s mistaken belief that he could play up front when required – this was seemingly based on one match with Sheffield United at Loftus Road where he had played in attack and scored twice, but that was against the dreadful QPR team of 2000/01 and was, in any case, several years before he arrived at Rangers. It was a foolish idea that Holloway persisted with for far too long and Santos was predictably awful there, and wildly erratic in the centre of midfield, but did ok at centre half all in all, although it’s fair to say nobody in Hoops ever felt fully safe and confident with him around. The next disaster or sending off never felt like it was too far away. Off the field he was intelligent and articulate, on the field he was a bit of a law unto himself at times.
He spent time with Brighton, Oxford, Farsley and Alfreton among others after leaving Loftus Road in 2006. I suspect he’ll be remembered by QPR fans, rather unfairly, as not being particularly good, and rather more reasonably, as being a bit mad.
Others >>> Danny Gabbidon, West Brom 1998-2000, QPR 2011-2012 >>> Rob Hulse, West Brom 2003-2005, QPR 2010-2015 >>> Ishmael Miller, West Brom 2007-2011, QPR (loan) 2011 >>> Ben Watson, QPR (loan) 2009, West Brom (loan) 2010 >>> Jay Simpson, West Brom (loan) 2009, QPR (loan) 2009-2010 >>> Steven Reid QPR (loan) 2009, West Brom 2009-present >>> Lloyd Dyer, West Brom 2000-2006, QPR (loan) 2005 >>> Georges Santos, West Brom 2000, QPR 2004-2006 >>> Brett Angell, West Brom (loan) 1996, QPR 2002-2003 >>> Jerome Thomas, QPR (loan) 2002, West Brom 2009-present >>> Paul Peschisolido, West Brom 1996-1997, QPR (loan) 2000 >>> Ray Harford, West Brom (manager) 1997 >>> QPR (manager) 1997-1998 >>> Andy McDermott, QPR 1995-1996, West Brom 1996-2000 >>> Danny Dichio, QPR 1993-1997, West Brom 2001-2004 >>> Nigel Quashie, QPR 1995-1998, 2010, West Brom 2006-2007 >>> Ossie Ardiles, QPR 1988-1989, West Brom (manager) 1992-1993 >>> Wayne Fereday, QPR 1980-1989, West Brom 1991-1994 >>> Gary Bannister, QPR 1984-1988, West Brom 1990-1992 >>> Paul Barron, West Brom 1982-1985, QPR 1985-1988 >>> Peter Eastoe, QPR 1976-1979, West Brom 1982-1985 >>> Andy King, QPR 1980-1981, West Brom 1981-1982 >>> Clive Clark, QPR 1958-1960, 1969-1970, West Brom 1960-1969
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