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Blackburn's 1982 Loftus Road controversy - History
Friday, 4th Oct 2019 15:21 by Clive Whittingham

With Blackburn visiting Loftus Road on Saturday, a paucity of recent good games between the team sends us all the way back to a controversial meeting in 1982 for this week's memorable match.

Memorable Match

QPR 2 Blackburn 2, Saturday November 13, 1982, Second Division

When Blackburn came calling for a routine mid-November Second Division clash in 1982, an extraordinary piece of refereeing meant the game would live long in the memory.

QPR had reached the FA Cup final as a second tier team the season before and would go onto win promotion in the 1982/83 season under the guidance of manager Terry Venables. Blackburn were a steady midtable side playing in a ramshackle old ground at this stage before Jack Walker moved in with his millions and made them English champions.

So far so standard, and that was how the match panned out for the first 80 minutes with the score tied at 1-1 thanks to a goal from Miller for the visitors and one from Clive Allen for Rangers. Then, the controversy. A cross into the QPR penalty area by David Hamilton from the Blackburn left down at the School End went out of play for a goal kick but in doing so caught the back stanchion holding up the net and rebounded back into play. Norman Bell swept the ball into the net and looked to the referee who awarded the goal.

Pandemonium ensued with all 9,000 people in the ground well aware the ball had gone off and QPR players Bob Hazell and Peter Hucker incandescent with rage. The story goes that John Gregory kicked the ball into the Ellerslie Road stand and told QPR fans to keep hold of it while they argued with the referee and Venables also made his way onto the field to speak with the officials.

Afterwards Venables said: “It was a bad mistake. The ball clearly went out of play before it was bundled into the net. I saw it hit the stanchion and as it happened I turned to my coach George Graham and said straight away that centre has gone out.”

Bell said: “I thought the ball hit the bar and when the Rangers players started shouting I just assumed they thought I was offside.”

There was more to come though. In the spirit of evening things up Rangers were awarded a highly questionable late penalty when Clive Allen theatrically tumbled under meagre contact from Derek Fazackerley. Captain Terry Fenwick stepped forward to ram the penalty home, but it barely relieved the frustration of the home crowd after an extraordinary end to the game

QPR immediately changed the design of the goals at Loftus Road, removing the full length back stanchions and replacing them with the smaller curved ones at the top of the post – although as the ball struck the stanchion at the top in this case it probably wouldn’t have made any difference.

QPR: Hucker, Neill, Dawes, Sealy, Hazell, Fenwick, Mickelwhite (O’Connor), Stewart, Gregory, Currie, Allen.

Blackburn: O’Keefe, Branagan, Randell, Mail, Fazackerley, Miller, Hamilton, Bell, Garner (Arnott), Rathbone, Brotherstone.

Highlights >>>Blackburn 1 QPR 0, FA Cup 2011 >>> QPR 0 Blackburn 3, 1993 >>> QPR 2 Blackburn 0, 1981

Recent Meetings

QPR 1 Blackburn 2, Friday April 18, 2019, Championship

QPR suffered their annual home defeat to Blackburn on Good Friday last season, as their campaign limped to a close under the caretaker stewardship of John Eustace. Danny Graham and Bradley Dack had already both gone close when Scowen chopped the latter down in the area on 20 minutes and the former scraped a weak penalty under Joe Lumley for the opening goal. Graham headed wide as Rovers continued to dominate and any hopes of a second half rally were quickly extinguished when QPR gave the ball away from their own kick off and Dack bundled in a second within a minute of the restart. Matt Smith’s late header from a Luke Freeman cross which Raya came for and missed was scant consolation in a woeful performance.

QPR: Lumley 5; Wszolek 5 (Eze 74, 5), Furlong 5, Lynch 4, Manning 5; Luongo 5, Scowen 5, Cousins 5 (Wells 52, 4); Osayi-Samuel 6, Hemed 5 (Smith 64, 6), Freeman 5

Subs not used: Ingram, Cameron, Walker, Tilt

Goals: Smith (assisted Freeman)

Bookings; Luongo 59 (foul), Osayi-Samuel 83 (being a dick), Wells 90+3 (being a dick)

Blackburn: Leutwiler 6; Bennett 7, Lenihan 7, Williams 7, Bell 7; Armstrong 8 (Brereton 86, -), Evans 6 (Rodwell 65, 6), Travis 7, Rothwell 6; Dack 7, Graham 7 (Nuttall 68, 6)

Subs not used: Raya, Nyambe, Smallwood, Mulgrew

Goals: Graham 20 (penalty, won Travis), Dack 46 (assisted Armstrong)

Bookings; Rodwell 83 (foul), Leutwiler 90+7 (time wasting, joke)

Blackburn 1 QPR 0, Saturday November 3, 2018, Championship

A foolish late tackle on Blackburn sub Ben Brereton by Josh Scowen in his own penalty area turned a drab 0-0 draw into a dire 1-0 defeat for QPR at Ewood Park in November. There’d been little to commend the game to a neutral spectator all the way through with Blackburn only playing in fits and starts and QPR having one of those days where they seemed happy with 0-0 from the first minute. They’d have got it too, but for Scowen’s daft tackle and Bradley Dack’s resulting penalty kick past Joe Lumley.

Blackburn: Leutwiler N/A, Bennett 6, Lenihan 7, Williams 7, Bell 6, Smallwood 6 (Palmer 63 5), Evans 7, Reed 6, Dack 7, Armstong 5 (Brereton 80), Graham 5 (Rothwell 74 5)

Unused subs: Nyambe, Rodwell, Conway, Fisher

Goals: Dack 86 (penalty won Brereton)

Bookings: Reed 19 (foul), Smallwood 33 (foul), Evans 56 (foul), Brereton 90+4 (foul)

QPR: Lumley 5; Rangel 6 (Furlong 87, -), Leistner 7, Lynch 6, Bidwell 6; Scowen 6 (Chair 88, -)
Luongo 5; Wszolek 5, Eze 5 (Smith 76, 4), Freeman 5; Wells 5

Unused subs: Ingram, Hall, Cousins, Osayi-Samuels

Bookings: Luongo 4 (foul), Eze 51 (foul), Leistner 66 (foul), Freeman 90+5 (foul)

Blackburn 1 QPR 0, Saturday February 4, 2017, Championship

QPR continued their poor recent record at Ewood Park with a 1-0 defeat in February 2017, but they were left cursing the poor decision making of the assistant referee in the process. After dominating the first half and forcing saves from Luke Steele to deny Pawel Wszolek twice, the R’s took the lead early in the second half when Conor Washington headed home a long throw off the underside of the bar. Sadly, inexplicably, the linesman said it hadn’t crossed the line. To add insult to injury, Marvin Emnes cut a ball back for Sam Gallagher to scramble in a winner on 86 minutes for the relegation haunted hosts.

Blackburn: Steele 6; Nyambe 6, Greer 6 (Akpan 70, 6), Lenihan 6, Lowe 6; Feeney 7, Mulgrew 6, Conway 6 (Mahoney 65, 6), Bennett 6; Gallagher 7, Graham 5 (Emnes 65, 7)

Subs not used: Joao, Guthrie, Brown, Raya

Goals: Gallagher 90+1 (assisted Emnes)

QPR: Smithies 6; Furlong 6 (Lua Lua 90+4, -), Onuoha 6, Lynch 6, Bidwell 7; Luongo 6 (Morrison 78, 5), Perch 6, Manning 7; Mackie 6 (Smith 62, 6), Washington 6, Wszolek 6

Subs not used: Freeman, Hall, Goss, Ingram

Bookings: Perch 59 (foul), Manning 80 (foul), Furlong 90+1 (foul)

QPR 1 Blackburn Rovers 2, Saturday January 8, 2017, FA Cup Third Round

Blackburn knocked QPR out of the FA Cup at the third round stage for the third time in little more than ten years when these sides met at Loftus Road the previous month. Continuing an abysmal cup record which stretches all the way back to 1997 since the last win without the aid of a replay, Rangers fell behind in front of a half empty Loftus Road to a disastrous own goal from Joel Lynch after five minutes. Feeney doubled the Blackburn lead after half time and although Jake Bidwell stuck in a penalty after a dive by Yeni Ngbakoto the performance didn’t warrant anything other than a defeat.

QPR: Ingram 5; Perch 5, Onuoha 6, Lynch 4, Bidwell 5; Luongo 4 (Cousins 82, -), Hall 6, Eze 7 (Ngbakoto 18, 5); Gladwin 4 (Shodipo 56, 6), Wszolek 6, Mackie 6

Subs not used: El Khayati, Lumley, Manning, Hamalainen

Goals: Bidwell 61 (penalty, won Ngbakoto)

Blackburn: Raya 6; Marshall 6, Greer 6, Williams 6, Mulgrew 6; Feeney 7, Akpan 6 (Nyambe 74, 6), Lowe 6, Bennett 7; Gallagher 7 (Brown 90+3, -), Graham (Stokes 87, -)

Subs not used: Steele, Tomlinson, Mahoney, Travis

Goals: Lynch og 7 (assisted Bennett/Gallagher); Feeney 58 (assisted Gallagher)

Bookings: Marshall 90 (foul)

QPR 1 Blackburn Rovers 1, Saturday September 10, 2017, Championship

These sides fought out a dire 1-1 draw at Loftus Road in the first meeting in the league that season, with Tjaronn Chery’s spectacular second half free kick the only bright spot. Rangers thought the Dutchman’s precision effort from 25 yards was enough to win them three points but Sam Gallagher quickly equalised for the visitors who perhaps deserved to win the game. Three days later Newcastle won 6-0 on this ground and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s time in charge started to head towards its conclusion.

QPR: Smithies 6; Perch 6, Onuoha 6, Hall 6, Bidwell 6; Henry 5, Cousins 6; Shodipo 7, Chery 6, El Khayati 5 (Sylla 80, -); Polter 5 (Washington 46, 6)

Subs not used: Borysiuk, Kakay, Ingram, Paul, Caulker

Goals: Chery 65 (free kick, won Washington)

Bookings: Shodipo 50 (foul), Perch 61 (foul)

Blackburn: Steele 7; Lowe 6, Hoban 6, Greer 6, Wiliams 6; Mulgrew 5 (Evans 34, 6); Conway 7, Akpan 6, Marshall 6, Gallagher 6 (Emnes 77, 5); Graham 5 (Samuelsen 83, -)

Subs not used: Feeney, Byrne, Guthrie, Raya

Goals: Gallagher (assisted Evans)

Bookings: Williams 42 (foul), Akpan 47 (kicking ball away), Lowe 65 (foul)

Blackburn 1 QPR 1, Tuesday January 12, 2016, Championship

QPR made it eight matches without a victory at the start of the Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink reign, and conceded their 18th and 19th points of the season from winning positions, when these sides met at Ewood Park in January. With Seb Polter leading the line strongly things initially looked promising for the R’s who took a first half lead when Leroy Fer converted a low cross from Junior Hoilett. But with rookie goalkeeper Joe Lumley between the sticks, the home side peppered the visitors’ penalty area with high balls and long throws all night and finally got their reward with a scrambled injury time equaliser from Hope Akpan.

Blackburn: Steele 6; Marshall 6, Duffy 7 (Williamson 77, 6), Hanley 7, Spurr 6; Bennett 6, Akpan 6, Evans 6 (Brown 66, 5), Conway 6; Rhodes 6, Lawrence 6 (Lenihan 66, 5)

Subs not used: Henley, Olsson, Raya Martin, Taylor

Goals: Akpan 85 (assisted Rhodes)

QPR: Lumley 6; Perch 6, Hall 7, Onuoha 6, Konchesky 6; Henry 6, Faurlin 5; Phillips 5 (Petrasso 86, -), Hoilett 7, Fer 6 (Chery 88, -); Polter 7

Subs not used: Angella, Hudnott, Tozser, Mackie

Goals: Fer 24 (assisted Hoilett)

QPR 2 Blackburn Rovers 2, Tuesday September 16, 2015, Championship

A run-of-the-mill midweek Championship fixture between these two midtable teams was turned into an entertaining, infuriating farce by the maverick refereeing stylings of Darren Deadman when these sides last met, at Loftus Road back in September. Blackburn took the lead early, Grant Hanley bundling the ball and goalkeeper Alex Smithies into the back of the net for the opener. Charlie Austin made the most of defensive uncertainty to slam in an equaliser after half time, but a fabulous take, turn and finish from Jordan Rhodes restored Blackburn’s lead. Nedum Onuoha headed a second equaliser before the end, but with Deadman losing complete control of himself and the match it was something of a miracle to get to the end without anybody being killed.

QPR: Smithies 6; Perch 6, Onuoha 5, Angella 6, Konchesky 5; Henry 4, Toszer 5; Phillips 6, Chery 5 (Mackie 68, 6), Luongo 6; Austin 7

Subs not used: Hall, Hill, Gladwin, Lumley, Doughty, Faurlin

Goals: Austin 46 (assisted Luongo), Onuoha 79 (assisted Tozser)

Yellow Cards: Smithies 13 (dissent), Austin 27 (dodgy boots)

Blackburn: Steele 6; Henley 5, Duffy 7, Hanley 7, Spurr – (Olsson 8, 5); Marshall 6 (lawrence 89, -), Guthrie 6, Evans 6, Conway 7; Koita 8 (Delfouneso 82, -), Rhodes 7

Subs not used: Kilgallon, O’Sullivan, Akpan, Raya

Goals: Duffy 13 (assisted Conway), Rhodes 60 (assisted Steele/Koita)

Yellow Cards: Henley 40 (foul), Guthrie 51 (foul)

Blackburn 2 QPR 0, Tuesday April 8, 2014, Championship

Harry Redknapp’s attitude to the young players at QPR shone through brighter than ever when these sides last met at Ewood Park for a midweek game in April 2014. Despite not playing any senior football at all for the thick end of two years, Luke Young was selected from the start out of position at centre half. It took Rudy Gestede just eight minutes to take advantage and give Rovers the lead. Tommy Spurr, once a transfer target for Rangers, made it 2-0 after half time and QPR offered next to nothing by way of response.

Blackburn Rovers: Robinson 7, Keane 6, Hanley (c) 7, Kilgallon 7, Spurr 7, Cairney 6, Lowe 7, Williamson 6 (Etuhu 85’), Conway 7, Gestede 8, Rhodes 7.

Goals: Gestede, Spurr

QPR: Green 4, Simpson 6, Dunne 5, Young 5, Assou Ekotto 6 (Yun 77’), Hoillet 5, Henry 5, Benayoun 5, Carroll 5 (Maiga 68’), Morrison 7, Keane 5 (Austin 68’)7

Booked: Simpson

QPR 0 Blackburn 0, Saturday December 7, 2013, Championship

There was almost nothing whatsoever to report from the first meeting between these two sides that season as they fought out a dire goalless draw at Loftus Road back in December. QPR went closer to winning the game than their visitors – Rovers keeper Simon Eastwood pulled off an improbable save from point blank range to deny Matt Phillips and then got lucky when Charlie Austin’s flashing header bounced back into his arms off the foot of the post – but Clint Hill cleared a first half header from Scott Dann off the line and ultimately a scoreless draw was a fair reflection of a dreadful game.

QPR: Green 6; Simpson 6 Dunne 6, Hill 7, Assou-Ekotto 6 (Traore 87, -); Phillips 5 (O’Neil 59, 6), Carroll 6, Barton 6, Hoilett 5 (Kranjcar 59, 6); Johnson 6, Austin 6

Subs not used: Onuoha, Jenas, Henry, Murphy

Blackburn: Eastwood 7; Henley 6, Dann 6, Hanley 6, Spurr 6; Marshall 6, Williamson 6, Lowe 6, Cairney 6 (King 63, 5 (Dunn 85, -)); Taylor 6; Rhodes 6 (Campbell 76, 5)

Subs not used: Kilgallon, Judge, Rochina, Kean

Bookings: Henley 33 (foul), Dann 48 (foul), Spurr 64 (foul), Taylor 69 (repetitive fouling)

Blackburn 3 QPR 2, Saturday February 11, 2012, Premier League

Perhaps the first indication that Mark Hughes wasn’t to be the great saviour of QPR that he made himself out to be came in a meeting between these two clubs back in February 2012. Rangers had been 2-0 up at Villa and drawn, then lost at home to fellow strugglers Wolves after Djibril Cisse’s sending off, in the previous games so needed a result at relegation haunted Blackburn to keep the wolf from the door. The R’s were 3-0 down by half time. Anton Ferdinand, Fitz Hall and Paddy Kenny were in abysmal form, and Blackburn’s in form Nigerian striker Yakubu ran amok, scoring the first after a quarter of an hour and feeding Hoilett to force a third from Nedum Onuoha on the stroke of half time. Steven Nzonzi scored in between. Rangers rallied in the second half and Jamie Mackie scored twice late on to give the scoreline a respectability the R’s scarcely deserved. Ultimately Blackburn were relegated, and QPR survived, but you’d never have believed that outcome on this evidence.

Blackburn: Robinson 7, Orr 5, Hanley 6, Dann 6, Martin Olsson 7, Nzonzi 7, Lowe 6, Hoilett 7 (Henley 50, 5), Formica 7 (Modeste 66, 5), Pedersen 6, Yakubu 7 (Goodwillie 90, -)

Subs Not Used: Bunn, Petrovic, Rochina, Vukcevic

Booked: Lowe (foul)

Goals: Yakubu 15 (assisted Nzonzi), Nzonzi 23 (assisted Hoilett), Onuoha 45 og (assisted Hoilett)

QPR: Kenny 3, Onuoha 4, Ferdinand 3, Hall 3 (Gabbidon 90, -), Taiwo 4, Traore 4, Wright-Phillips 4, Barton 5, Buzsaky 3 (Mackie 66, 8), Taarabt 6, Zamora 6

Subs Not Used: Cerny, Hill, Derry, Bothroyd, Smith

Booked: Mackie (dissent)

Goals: Mackie 71 (assisted Taiwo), 90 (unassisted)

QPR 1 Blackburn 1, Saturday October 15, 2011, Premier League

Fresh from a 6-0 trouncing at Fulham QPR played it steady and cautious against fellow strugglers Blackburn Rovers at Loftus Road in their first season back in the Premier League. Heidar Helguson was restored to the starting line up and rewarded manager Neil Warnock with a goal, although his chipped effort after a quarter of an hour that dipped into the far corner looked suspiciously like a cross. But Rangers failed to cope with the aerial threat posed by Chris Samba all afternoon and barely ten minutes after falling behind Rovers were level when he towered over Fitz Hall to head home a well flighted free kick. Both sides seemed satisfied with their draw.

QPR: Kenny 7, Young 7, Ferdinand 6, Hall 5, Traore 6, Derry 5, Faurlin 6, Wright-Phillips 6 (Smith 83, -), Barton 6, Mackie 6 (Taarabt 64, 5), Helguson 7

Subs Not Used: Murphy, Orr, Bothroyd, Buzsaky, Puncheon

Booked: Hall (foul), Wright-Phillips (foul), Traore (foul)

Goals: Helguson 16 (unassisted)

Blackburn: Robinson 6, Salgado 6, Samba 8, Dann 6, Givet 6, Lowe 7, Petrovic 6, Nzonzi 7, Olsson 7, Hoilett 7, Roberts 5 (Goodwillie 67, 4)

Subs Not Used: Bunn, Formica, Rochina, Yakubu, Vukcevic, Hanley

Booked: Nzonzi (foul), Lowe (foul)

Goals: Samba 24 (assisted Lowe)

Blackburn 1 QPR 0, FA Cup Third Round, Saturday January 8, 2011

The magic of the FA Cup was in short supply at Ewood Park in January 2011. In front of a sparse crowd both teams turned out largely second string outfits in what proved to be a drab encounter. Blackburn won the game through a fine late goal from the impressive Junior Hoilett. QPR went close to forcing a replay with near misses either side of that from long range by Petter Vaagan Moen and a headed effort from a corner by Kaspars Gorkss. The whole event was completely overshadowed though by a broken leg suffered by Rangers’ Jamie Mackie. Mackie flung himself into a fool’s mission against Gael Givet and came off much the worse. The mood soured further when El Hadji Diouf stood over the stricken QPR player and accused him of faking injury among other allegations. This sparked angry scenes at the time, and again at the final whistle, and Neil Warnock branded the Senegal striker a “sewer rat” in his after match interviews – before later signing him while manager at Leeds. The defeat extended QPR’s run of games in the FA Cup without a win to 11 years, the worst record of any team at any level in the entire country.

Blackburn Bunn 6, Salgado 8 (Linganzi 81, -), Hanley 6, Nelsen 7, Givet 6 (Morris 30, 6), Hoilett 8, Lowe 6, Pedersen 6, El-Hadji Diouf 7, Mame Diouf 7, Mwaruwari 6 (Roberts 46, 6)

Subs Not Used: Fielding, Goulon, Doran, Cotton

Goals: Hoilett 77 (assisted E H Diouf)

QPR: Kenny 8, Orr 7, Gorkss 6, Hill 6, Borrowdale 5, Derry 7, Faurlin 7 (Cook 81, -), Clarke 5, Mackie 6 (Andrade 31, 6), Moen 7, Hulse 6 (Doughty 88, -)

Subs Not Used: Cerny, Tofas, Harriman

Booked: Borrowdale (foul), Derry (foul)

Previous Results

Head to Head >>> QPR wins 14 >>> Draws 12 >>> Blackburn wins 23

2018/19 QPR 1 Blackburn 2 (Smith)

2018/19 Blackburn 1 QPR 0

2016/17 Blackburn 1 QPR 0

2016/17 QPR 1 Blackburn 2* (Bidwell)

2016/17 QPR 1 Blackburn 1 (Chery)

2015/16 Blackburn 1 QPR 1 (Fer)

2015/16 QPR 2 Blackburn 2 (Austin, Onuoha)

2013/14 Blackburn 2 QPR 0

2013/14 QPR 0 Blackburn 0

2011/12 Blackburn 3 QPR 2 (Mackie 2)

2011/12 QPR 1 Blackburn 1 (Helguson)

2010/11 Blackburn 1 QPR 0*

2005/06 Blackburn 3 QPR 0*

2000/01 QPR 1 Blackburn 3 (Plummer)

2000/01 Blackburn 0 QPR 0

1999/00 Blackburn 0 QPR 2 (Wardley, Gallen)

1999/00 QPR 0 Blackburn 0

1995/96 QPR 0 Blackburn 1

1995/96 Blackburn 1 QPR 0

1994/95 QPR 0 Blackburn 1

1994/95 Blackburn 4 QPR 0

1993/94 Blackburn 1 QPR 1 (Ready)

1993/94 QPR 1 Blackburn 0 (Ferdinand)

1992/93 Blackburn 1 QPR 0

1992/93 QPR 0 Blackburn 3

1990/91 QPR 2 Blackburn 1** (Falco, Barker)

1986/87 Blackburn 2 QPR 2** (Bannister, Walker)

1986/87 QPR 2 Blackburn 1** (Byrne, Brazil)

1982/83 Blackburn 1 QPR 3 (Stainrod 2, Flanagan)

1982/83 QPR 2 Blackburn 2 (Allen, Fenwick)

1981/82 Blackburn 2 QPR 1 (Allen)

1981/82 QPR 2 Blackburn 0 (Gregory, Allen)

1980/81 QPR 1 Blackburn 1 (Francis)

1980/81 Blackburn 2 QPR 1 (Neal)

1970/71 QPR 2 Blackburn 0 (Marsh, Francis)

1970/71 Blackburn 0 QPR 2 (Leach, Saul)

1969/70 QPR 2 Blackburn 3 (Venables pen, Hazell)

1969/70 Blackburn 0 QPR 1 (Leach)

1967/68 Blackburn 0 QPR 1 (F Clarke)

1967/68 QPR 3 Blackburn 1 (Marsh, Wilks, Sanderson)

1951/52 Blackburn 4 QPR 2 (Nicholas, Addinall)

1951/52 QPR 2 Blackburn 1 (Addinall 2)

1950/51 Blackburn 2 QPR 1 (Hatton)

1950/51 QPR 3 Blackburn 1 (Addinall 2, Hatton pen)

1949/50 QPR 2 Blackburn 3 (Addinall, Hatton)

1949/50 Blackburn 0 QPR 0

1948/49 QPR 4 Blackburn 2 (Parkinson 2, Hatton, Hartburn)

1948/49 Blackburn 0 QPR 0

1911/12 Blackburn 2 QPR 1 (Revill)***

* - FA Cup

** - League Cup

*** - Charity Shield, played at White Hart Lane


Roy Wegerle >>> QPR 1990-1992 >>> Blackburn 1992

American international striker Roy Wegerle was one of those players who just seemed to really suit QPR. He followed in a long and illustrious history of maverick number 10s at Loftus Road and led the line superbly through the Don Howe and early Gerry Francis days at Loftus Road. One of his predecessors in that role and shirt number, Rodney Marsh, spotted the South African born striker playing for Tampa Bay Rowdies in the MLS and recommended him to Rangers for a trial.

Jim Smith, QPR manager in 1986, passed on him as Manchester United had done in 1980 but he was picked up by our near neighbours Chelsea and received a grounding in English football during a loan spell at Swindon. He never played regularly at Stamford Bridge and was eventually offloaded to Luton for £75,000. He starred at Kenilworth Road and 18 months after arriving went back to QPR to sign permanently and become QPR’s first million pound player in the process.

There he became a Loft hero, specialising in spectacular tricks and goals, and cooly taken penalties. He scored 31 goals in 89 league and four cup appearances. In 1990/91 he top scored with 18. That included an incredible run of six goals from his first six games and in fact by the time QPR played their fifth game of that season, at home to Luton on September 15, he was the only player to have scored for Rangers at all. Of course that day, after Wegerle had given the R’s the lead, the team went crazy and bagged six including Paul Parker’s only ever goal for the club.

He continued to score prolifically and the highlight of his time with the club came in October 1990 at Elland Road where Rangers came from two goals down to win 3-2 on goalkeeper Jan Stejskal’s debut. One of Wegerle’s two goals that day saw him ghost past five Leeds players before smashing the ball in from 20 yards and it was later named the Match of the Day Goal of the Season, only the second time a QPR player had won the award at that point and only Trevor Sinclair has won it since.

QPR were famed through the 1990s for immediately selling their best players as soon as a half decent offer came along and in March 1992 they did so again, offloading Wegerle to Jack Walker’s Blackburn Rovers revolution for £1.2m – a record fee paid by a Second Division club at the time. The money was rarely all invested back into the playing squad and indeed it wasn’t on this occasion, the spiral staircases at the back of the South Africa Road stand are still known as the “Wegerle stairs” to this day as that’s apparently where a chunk of the money went. To be fair Gerry Francis had taken over as manager and Les Ferdinand had finally developed into a world class striker by that stage so Wegerle’s star was on the wane slightly in W12.

Wegerle was part of a Blackburn team that won the play offs in 1992 to earn a place in the inaugural Premier League but they then then signed Alan Shearer from Southampton and, as happened to him at Loftus Road after Ferdinand’s emergence, he was sidelined and offloaded – this time to Coventry City. He played just 22 times for Blackburn, and only clocked up 53 appearances for the Sky Blues due to injury but scored nine goals and eventually won 41 USA caps scoring seven times.

When his contract expired at Highfield Road in 1995 he left and went onto play for Colarado, DC United and Tampa Bay Mutiny in the US. After retirement he tried his hand at professional golf and television pundit in the US.

Others >>> Ben Gladwin, Blackburn 2017-2019, QPR 2015-2017 >>> Junior Hoilett, QPR 2012-2016, Blackburn 2007-2012 >>> Chris Samba, QPR 2013, Blackburn 2007-2012 >>> Mark Hughes, QPR (manager) 2012, Blackburn (manager) 2004-2008, (player) 2000-2002 >>>> Bradley Orr, QPR 2010-2012, Blackburn 2012-present >>> Jay Bothroyd, QPR 2011-present, Blackburn (loan) 2004-2005 >>> Pascal Chimbonda, QPR 2011, Blackburn 2009-2011 >>> Marcus Bent, Blackburn 2000-2001, QPR (loan) 2010 >>> Steven Reid, Blackburn 2003-2010, QPR (loan) 2009 >>> Tim Flowers, Blackburn 1993-1999, QPR (coach) 2008 >>> Gareth Ainsworth, Blackburn (trainee) 1989-1991, QPR 2003-2010 >>> John Curtis, Blackburn 2000-2003, QPR 2007 >>> Andy Taylor, Blackburn 2004-2008, QPR (loan) 2006 >>> Marlon Broomes, Blackburn 1994-2001, QPR (loan) 2000 >>> Darren Peacock, QPR 1990-1994, Blackburn 1998-2000 >>> Ray Harford, Blackburn (manager) 1995-1996, QPR (manager) 1997-1998 >>> Simon Barker, Blackburn 1982-1988, QPR 1988-1998 >>> Ossie Ardiles, Blackburn 1988, QPR 1988-1989 >>> Jim Smith, Blackburn (manager) 1975-1978, QPR (manager) 1985-1988 >>> Mike Ferguson, QPR 1969-1973, Blackburn 1962-1968

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