Tommy the Strangler and other Bristol City connections - History
Friday, 31st Jan 2020 15:45 by Clive Whittingham
Ahead of tomorrow's home game witrh Bristol City, we look back at the recent meetings between the sides and look back at the gratuitously violent QPR career of Tommy Doherty.
Bristol City 2 QPR 0, Saturday August 17, 2019, Championship
QPR set their stall out as a team capable of looking pretty and dangerous going forwards in games they subsequently lose comfortably to a couple of shambolic defensive goals with an August trip to Bristol City. For the most part QPR gave the hosts a good going over, with bright Osayi-Samuel annihilating Jack Hunt at full back in particular. But a failure to turn that into goals saw them punished when the excellent Nagy scored off a weak defensive header away and Benick Afobe made it two after half time amidst an absolute shambles caused by an errant QPR throw.
Bristol City: Bentley 6; Kalas 6, Baker 6, Moore 6; Hunt 4 (Pereira 58, 6), Brownhill 6, Nagy 7 (Massengo 46, 7) Rowe 6; Palmer 5 (Eliasson 71, 6), Weimann 6; Afobe 6
Subs not used: Diedhiou, Gilmartin, Szmodics, Semenyo
Goals: Nagy 35 (unassisted), Afobe 59 (assisted Weimann)
Bookings: Hunt 55 (foul), Weimann 79 (deliberate handball)
QPR: Lumley 5; Rangel 5 (Kane 65, 6), Hall 6, Barbet 6, Manning 6; Cameron 6, Amos 6; Osayi-Samuel 7, Smith 5 (Chair 59, 6), Eze 6 (Wells 65, 5); Hugill 5
Subs not used: Pugh, Ball, Kelly, Leistner
Cards: Rangel 34 (kicking ball away), Osayi Samuel 45+3 (retaliation)
QPR 3 Bristol City 3, Tuesday August 13, 2019, League Cup first round
QPR and Bristol City went all the way to a penalty shoot out in the first round of the League Cup earlier that week. In a thrilling encounter littered with brilliant goals and slick, passing football City took an early lead when Diedhiou broke through the offside trap and rounded Kelly for 1-0. Rangers swiftly turned that around thanks to an explosive leveller from Nahki Wells and beautifully worked second from Ilias Chair but it was all square again by half time when full back Jack Hunt found the top corner in spectacular fashion. Laim Walsh got the goal of the night from a direct free kick midway through the second half to seemingly seal City’s progress but a harsh late penalty award against Walsh for an alleged trip on Wells gave Ryan Manning a chance to equalise from the penalty spot. That put us through to a shoot-out and although Matt Smith and Yoann Barbet missed for Rangers, City wasted three and were eliminated in sudden death with Luke Amos scoring the decisive kick.
QPR: Kelly 6; Ball 5, Leistner 6, Barbet 7; Kane 7 (Mlakar 60, 7), Smith 7, Scowen 5 (Owens 74, 6), Pugh 7 (Amos 60, 6), Manning 8; Chair 8, Wells 7
Subs not used: Lumley, Oteh, Osayi-Samuel, Masterson
Goals: Wells 15 (assisted Smith), Chair 26 (assisted Pugh), Manning 85 (penalty, won Wells)
Bookings: Ball 90+2 (delaying the restart)
Bristol City: Bentley 6; Hunt 7 (Baker 64, 6), Wright 6, Moore 6, Walsh 8; Eliasson 7, Massengo 8, Szmodics 7 (Nagy 72, 6), Rowe 6; Semenyo 6 (O’Dowda 63, 7), Diedhiou 5
Subs not used: Brownhill, Gilmartin, Afobe, Palmer
Goals: Diedhiou 13 (assisted Semenyo), Hunt 41 (assisted Walsh), Walsh 59 (direct free kick, won Diedhiou)
Bristol City 2 QPR 1, Tuesday February 12, 2019, Championship
When these sides last met at Ashton Gate it was the clash of the teams in the best and worst form in the league. City had won eight straight in all competitions, and would eventually make it nine with victory over Steve McClaren’s Rangers who were in the midst of a run that would eventually cost the manager his job. Things had gone against the grain for much of the game though, with QPR rewarded for an enterprising first half performance with a half time lead supplied from close range by Matt Smith after Nahki Wells had angled a header against the post. A failure to quell the influence of Eliasson after half time eventually cost the London side an equaliser but they looked all set to escape with a creditable point until, deep into injury time, referee Tony Harrington wrongly judged that Darnell Furlong had fouled Diedhiou at the back post. A ridiculous penalty, a slew of bookings for dissent, and a Diedhiou conversion later and another match had slipped away.
City: Fielding 6; Pisano 6, Kalas 6, Webster 6, Kelly 5 (Dasilva 45, 7); Pack 6 (Taylor 66, 6), Brownhill 7; Paterson 7, Weimann – (Eliasson 18, 8), O’Dowda 6; Diedhiou 6
Subs not used: Wright, Baker, O’Leary, Palmer
Goals: Eliasson 73 (assisted Paterson), Diedhiou 90 (penalty, won Diedhiou)
Bookings: Pack 62 (foul), Pisano 69 (foul)
QPR: Lumley 5; Furlong 6 (Osayi-Samuel 90+4, -), Leistner 6, Hall 6; Wszolek 6, Bidwell 5; Luongo 6, Cousins 7, Freeman 6; Smith 7 (Hemed 72, 4), Wells 5 (Eze 78, 5)
Subs not used: Ingram, Scowen, Manning, Kakay
Goals: Smith 45 (assisted Bidwell/Wells)
Bookings: Furlong 90+2 (alleged foul), Leistner 90+2 (dissent), Hall 90+2 (dissent), Bidwell 90+7 (foul), Wszolek after final whistle (dissent), Lumley after final whistle (dissent)
QPR 0 Bristol City 3, Tuesday August 21, 2018, Championship
QPR were enduring a club-record setting start to the season of four defeats and 13 goals conceded in their first four games when these sides met at Loftus Road last August. The Rs were reasonably competitive in the first half but trailed at the break when Matt Taylor forced an opener under Matt Ingram that the keeper really should have saved. Weimann made it two straight after half time with an unmarked back post header and the rout was complete in the final moment when Josh Scowen’s slip in possession set up a counter and a second for Weimann.
QPR: Ingram 3; Rangel 4 (Sylla 76, 5), Leistner 4, Baptiste 5, Bidwell 3; Scowen 4, Luongo 3 (Cousins 60, 4); Eze 4, Freeman 3, Wszolek 4 (Smith 60, 4); Washington 3
Subs not used: Lumley, Chair, Kakay, Smyth
Bookings: Scowen 56 (foul)
Bristol City: Maenpaa 6; Hunt 7, Pisano 7, Webster 7, Kelly 6; Watkins 6 (O’Dowda 76, 6), Brownhill 7, Pack 7, Eliasson 7; Taylor 8 (Eisa 90+1, -), Weimann 8
Subs not used: Dasilva, Walsh, Paterson, Moore, O’Leary
Goals: Taylor 41 (assisted Brownhill), Weimann 50 (assisted Eliasson), 90 (assisted Brownhill)
Bookings: Pisano 26 (foul), Brownhill 48 (foul), Pack 70 (foul)
Scores and Scorers
Head to Head >>> QPR wins 33 >>> Draws 27 >>> Bristol City wins 30
2019/20 Bristol City 2 QPR 0
Tommy Doherty >>> QPR 2005-2008 >>> Bristol City 1996-2005
A big part of the 2001-2004 rivalry between these sides was the intriguing saga of Tommy Doherty.
The Bristol-born Northern Irishman, who’d started his career at Ashton Gate, clocked up 225 appearances for the Robins between 1996 and 2005. He grew into the beating heart of the City team that Rangers had their tussles with in the Second Division, a hard nut but classy footballer rolled into one, easily one of the outstanding players at that level and a regular scourge of QPR.
When Rangers pipped Danny Wilson’s side to promotion in 2004 and subsequently consolidated in the Championship the following season, Ian Holloway cheekily returned to his home city to secure Doherty’s signature on a free transfer. A huge coup at the time for Rangers, a controversial move among the City faithful, and another flashpoint to reignite the weird rivalry between the two sides.
Doherty looked tailor made for Holloway’s QPR team at the time – nuggety and nasty, but could also play a bit. The 2005/06 season actually started well, with a 0-0 draw at Hull on day one remembered more for the dodgy chanting in the stands than the game and then a quickfire pair of home wins against Ipswich and Sheff Utd at Loftus Road. Doherty looked a class act, if a little prone to gratuitous acts of violence – referee Barry Knight had to physically intervene between him and Hermann Hreidarsson in a pre-season friendly with Charlton when Doherty tried to stick the nut on the Icelandic defender.
Speaking of which, it was during and after that Sheff Utd game that the infamous ‘guns in the boardroom’ incident occurred behind the scenes at Loftus Road, with director Gianni Paladini accusing another investor Dave Morris of hiring a gang of heavies to rough him up and force a resignation from the club at gunpoint after a summer of wrangling. The incident led to a farcical court case and raft of not guilty verdicts down the track, but in the meantime saw Paladini able to oust Bill Power and Mark Devlin from W12 and seize control of the club himself. It was all downhill on and off the pitch from there, and Doherty’s QPR career trajectory went the same way. He was sent off in a home win against Luton for, not for the first team, throttling an opponent and although he returned to the side for October and November he then picked up a bad injury.
It was during that lay off that not only was Ian Holloway sacked, but also stories started circulating about Doherty’s off-the-pitch activities, which seemed to consist mainly of smoking and playing 6-a-side football with his mates back in Bristol while he was supposed to be recovering to play for us. Or so the story went anyway. Gary Waddock had little time for him after taking over and having been sent to train with the reserves for the summer of 2006 he promptly got himself sent off again in a second string pre-season friendly at Lewes for, again, grabbing an opponent round the throat, and then later abusing the referee. He stormed onto the pitch again at full time to confront the match officials.
His time at QPR was pretty obviously done, so he spent a remarkable 2006/07 on loan at Wycombe, guiding them to a cup semi-final with Chelsea, winning their player of the year award, and maiing the division’s team of the season. Naturally. QPR released him to join the Chairboys permanently in January 2008 and he won promotion with them from League Two the season after, making the team of the year for the league for the second time.
A nomadic career since then has included brief spells with Ferencvárosi TC, Bradford, Newport, Bath and Exeter. He won nine caps for Northern Ireland.
Others >>> Nahki Wells, Bristol City 2020-present, QPR (loan) 2018-2020 >>> Luke Freeman, QPR 2017-2019, Bristol City 2014-2017 >>> Matt Smith, QPR 2017-2019, Bristol City (loan) 2014-2015 >>> Steve McClaren, QPR (manager) 2018-2019, Bristol City 1988-1989 >>> Gary O’Neil, Bristol City 2016-2018, QPR 2013-2014 >>> Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, QPR 2015-2018, Bristol City 2013-2015 >>> Steven Caulker, QPR 2014-2017, Bristol City (loan) 2010-2011 >>> Ben Gladwin, QPR 2015-2017, Bristol City (loan) 2016 >>> Hogan Ephraim, QPR 2007-2014, Bristol City (loan) 2012 >>> Tom Heaton, Bristol City 2012-2013, QPR (loan) 2009 >>> Damion Stewart, Bristol City 2010-2012, QPR 2006-2010 >>> Bradley Orr, QPR 2010-2012, Bristol City 2004-2010 >>> Matt Hill, QPR (loan) 2010, Bristol City 1998-2005 >>> Patrick Agyemang, QPR 2008-2012, Bristol City (loan) 2010 >>> Tommy Doherty, QPR 2005-2008, Bristol City 1996-2005 >>> Aaron Brown, QPR 2004-2006, Bristol City 1998-2004 >>> Tony Thorpe, QPR 2003-2005, Bristol City 1998-2002 >>> Gregory Goodridge, Bristol City 1996-2001, QPR 1995-1996 >>> Sieb Dijkstra, Bristol City (loan) 1994, QPR 1994-1996 >>> Leroy Rosenior, Bristol City 1992-1994, QPR 1985-1987 >>> Brian Williams, Bristol City 1985-1987, QPR 1977-1978
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