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The view from the Pu - March
Thursday, 2nd Apr 2020 12:53 by Steve Hardy

With the football on indefinite hiatus, Steve Hardy's monthly round up takes on a nostalgic theme with a look back at some of the good and bad classic QPR matches from the month of March down the years.

So strange and unprecedented times for us all with the world basically frozen in time for the foreseeable future. Firstly, I hope you are all well and keeping safe which is the most important thing at the current time, secondly we actually end the month of March with a 100% record. Obviously there isn’t a great deal to write about from one game, other than our players quest to again run a goal of the season competition, so to give us a little bit of blue and white content and to hopefully distract some bored minds I have decided to look back at some of our finer and not so finer March moments. I have tried to pick games that I was actually at to give a better perspective, however there is one obvious choice in the good section that I wasn’t even alive for so I only can only go off my old man’s recollection.

Good

Queens Park Rangers 3 – 2 West Bromwich Albion – Sunday March 3, 1967
Only one place I can start really isn’t there? Our finest moment and to date our only piece of silverware (cue copious amounts of Ibiza cup comments). Obviously I have no memory of this day as I wasn’t even a glint in my father’s eye back then, however he does tell the greatest story of all time whenever he talks about it. Ultimately it revolves around him drunkenly stumbling out of Wembley in 1966 following England’s world cup win letting anyone within earshot know that the next time he would be back there would be to watch QPR – who let’s not forget where the equivalent of a League 1 team back then – and who did the first people to respond to him support? West Brom. It’s a lot better story in person I promise, but what was the next football match to be played at Wembley? The league cup final of course and to date still the last league cup final where a team has won despite trailing 2 nil at the break. Our finest hour and something that we won’t have the chance of repeating for a long, long time, irrelevant of any coronavirus outbreaks.

Blackpool 1 – 3 Queens Park Rangers – Saturday March 29, 2003

A random game to the majority of you, but a game I always remember fondly from one of my favourite seasons. Two of the rarest Rangers events occurred this day – an away win and a hat trick. On the face of it a relatively routine performance from what was the form team at the time and all enjoyed by around 1,200 Rangers fans around 4 miles back from the pitch due to Bloomfield Road being reconstructed at the time. Bit of a side note, but for anyone who was there that day can you remember Langley punching the ball into the net for the third goal? I remember thinking it at the time and even watching the season review DVD it still looks pretty dodgy. A great day out though and despite the comfortable victory and Richard Langley masterclass my lasting memory of the day will always be a bunch of pissed up Rangers fans walking to the game in their brand new Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussain masks, as you do.

Queens Park Rangers 1 – 0 Leicester City – Saturday March 5, 2011

One of my favourite ever games at Loftus Road, I can still picture the scenes when Ishmael Miller scored when I close my eyes. Looking back at the 2004 promotion season we actually had a pretty pony March and there wasn’t any results that screamed off the page when I looked at them, but this game gave me the eyes as soon as I clicked the results tab for the 2010/11 season. The best thing about this was that it was actually a really good game, Leicester were on a decent run under Sven Goran Eriksson at the time and we were top of the league. I would probably say that Leicester had the better of the chances that day and were well in the game but the sign of a decent side is that they can grind out results even when they’re not bang on their game. We did that in style that day with Ishmael Miller scoring with 9 minutes left with his only chance of the game. The noise. That feeling. It’s why we go, I remember feeling like we’d done it that day, it was a huge result and then the Alejandro Faurlin charges came to light.

Queens Park Rangers 3 – 2 Liverpool – Wednesday March 21, 2012

A game that the club recently re-run online and I would probably say in around 75% of hoops fans favourite games at Loftus Road. A fourteen minute period that ultimately saved our season and lead us on a run of 5 home wins that kept us in the division, the less said of the next season the better though. I think my lasting memory of this game will always be that Sean Derry scored his only goal for the club, a real cult hero for us, and also that I got so very drunk that night. A real example of the magic atmosphere that we can create on certain nights down the Bush and ultimately a massive turning point in that season. I can remember all the plastic Spurs and Arsenal fans the next day at work saying how good a result it was, the cynic that I am dismissed it at the time telling them that we would just go and throw it all away at Sunderland that following weekend which we duly did. Most importantly though let’s not forget the reaction when Joey Barton got subbed off that night.

Bad

Aston Villa 3 – 2 Queens Park Rangers – Saturday March 16, 2013

This game holds way too much significance to me than it ever should. We had won our previous two games and headed to a fourth bottom (I believe) Aston Villa on the crest of a wave. I have never seen a first half like that, comfortably one nil up from about 15 minutes we absolutely battered Villa but somehow went in 1-1 at the break and our chance had slipped way. We ultimately ended up losing the game as we were nowhere near as good in the second half. For me this game relegated us especially when you saw the player’s reactions at the end of the game. My lasting memory of this game will always be Jose Bosingwa’s free kick hitting the bar, rebounding out, hitting the back of the keeper and going behind for a corner when the score was nil 1. My life fell apart for a bit after this, my lovely girlfriend broke up with me and I ultimately ended up leaving London never to move back. So, I guess what I am trying to say is that Jose Bosingwa ruined my life - wanker. At least once a week I will find myself daydreaming about what would have happened if that free kick had gone in. Like I say a mere drop in the ocean for most Rangers fans but a game I find myself thinking about far too much than I should.

Queens Park Rangers 1 – 1 Manchester United - Saturday March 16, 1996

Coincidentally the Villa game fell on the same day as this, one of the worst results in our recent history. On paper this would generally be considered a good result, especially against that United team, but the circumstances around their equalising goal always make this most people’s worst game. One nil up and trying to hold on to – what would have been - a massive three points in our battle against relegation, Eric Cantona scores an equaliser during the second reading of the classified results. An absolute heartbreaker and one of the key results that sealed our fate that season, to have a load of Man Utd fans in the home end as well was a killer. Tossers. Relegation came that summer and to be honest the club has never been the same since, relegated just before the explosion of TV money and a sixteen year stint trying to get back including a time in administration. No one knew this at the time though and we all had Euro 96 to look forward to, that couldn’t end in tears as well could it?

Elsewhere

So I hope you’ve enjoyed this little jaunt down memory lane, hopefully the two bad games haven’t brought back too many sad memories and the good memories make up for it. I will be looking to do similar article for April, just to give us all something to read so if anyone has any big April games they can remember from the 70’s or 80’s please leave them in the comments section and I will do some research. Stay safe R’s.

Links >>> Follow Steve’s match-by-match reviews on Instagram >>> August 18 >>> September 18 >>> October 18 >>> November 18 >>> December 18 >>> January 19 >>> February 19 >>> March 19 >>> April 19 >>> 18/19 Season Review >>> August 19 >>> September 19 >>> October 19 >>> November 19 >>> December 19 >>> January 20 >>> February 20

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BucksRanger added 15:31 - Apr 2
Normally I'd let it slide but I was there and it is still the greatest game of football for me.

The date of the 1967 League Cup Final was Saturday 4th March 1967.
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joolsyp added 17:18 - Apr 5
I was at that Leicester game in our promotion season. Leicester were a really good side (Yakubu, Waghorn, King, Mee) but in typical Warnock-style we ground out a result. The nature of Miller's winning goal and the crowd noise when he scored reminded me of Furlong v Oldham. Good memories, thanks Steve!
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