Wilson’s injury time penalty – History
Thursday, 16th Jul 2020 15:21 by Clive Whittingham
We’re back to 1995 for this week’s Memorable Match as Clive Wilson keeps his cool with an injury time penalty to put QPR through to the sixth round of the FA Cup at the expense of Millwall.
QPR 1 Millwall 0, FA Cup Fifth Round, Saturday February 18, 1995
The 1994/95 season had started badly for Queens Park Rangers with just one league win from the first 11 matches. To make matters worse, an attempt by controversial chairman Richard Thompson to bring in club legend Rodney Marsh as a director of football over the head of manager Gerry Francis had upset Rangers’ inspirational manager and so although form did take a sudden turn for the better with two wins in three days at home to Aston Villa ad Liverpool at the end of October it wasn’t enough to keep the boss from resigning and heading to Spurs.
In his place came Ray Wilkins, who’d brought a fine Indian summer at Loftus Road to an end before the start of the campaign with a move to newly promoted Crystal Palace. The Eagles were to be the division’s whipping boys, and Wilkins was injured long term in the very first game of the season against Liverpool. At Loftus Road, there was only ever one candidate for the job.
Wilkins won his first match, 3-2 at home to Leeds, and followed that up with a home success against West Ham before chalking up the club’s first away win of the season at Sheff Wed and another, memorably, on New Year’s Eve at Highbury where Arsenal were vanquished by three goals to one.
The R’s also started progressing nicely in the FA Cup, with an easy 4-0 win in the Third Round against Aylesbury – the original away draw switched to Loftus Road because the non-league side’s ground was deemed unfit to host the fixture – and a 1-0 win against Premier League rivals West Ham thanks to a goal from Andy Impey.
In theory, another home tie in round five, against First Division Millwall, was ideal for Rangers – beat the Lions, as they had done 3-0 in the League Cup the previous season in W12, and they’d be in the quarter finals and with the likes of Les Ferdinand rampaging around, who knows what might happen after that?
But Millwall were a fearsome side for any Premier League side to draw at this time. They’d already knocked Nottingham Forest out of the League Cup earlier in the season before dispatching first Arsenal and then Chelsea, both after replays and the latter on penalties, from the FA Cup. Rangers could have faced a packed house and their bitter neighbours from Stamford Bridge if it wasn’t for the exploits of Mick McCarthy’s men, led from the back by inspirational American international goalkeeper Kasey Keller.
Predictably, that win at the Bridge had been followed by running battles between supporters of both sides and the police. With Chelsea facing a free weekend and keen for revenge off the field, and Millwall’s visits to Loftus Road never noted for the friendly atmosphere, hundreds of police swarmed around Shepherds Bush trying to keep order. Access was gained to the Goldhawk only by a secret knock at the back door, and if Tony the Barman knew your face. For the most part it seemed as though the law enforcement officers would get their way as Keller’s heroics kept the game scoreless – although a midweek replay down at The Den ten days later would have suited nobody, apart from Wilkins it seemed who said he was always confident his side would have won at the second attempt regardless.
Keller saved early at the near post from Gallen and then, brilliantly, when a Simon Barker shot deflected in the opposite direction giving the keeper a split second to react. At the other end Tony Roberts smartly palmed away Mark Kennedy’s free kick. Les Ferdinand thought he’d finally got the better of his man marker – former R Tony Witter – just after half time but Keller was again equal to the powerful header and tipped it away from the bottom corner.
Keller saved one on one from Kevin Gallen with time running down, and all hell would have broken loose had Andy Roberts’ shot from 20 yards hit the back of the net rather than the base of Roberts’ post with just eight minutes to go, but a replay looked a likely outcome at that stage.
The game hinged on a remarkable moment deep into stoppage time. Andy Impey attacked down the left for a final time and slung over a final cross where, bizarrely, centre half Alan McDonald stood awaiting its arrival to try and head home. Despite the presence of the Northern Irish skipper there seemed little danger to the visitors until Damien Webber leapt into the late afternoon air, thrust up a hand and inexplicably punched the ball clear. The Loft, McDonald and the QPR team appealed noisily as one and a penalty was duly awarded.
The script now seemed written for more Keller heroics but Clive Wilson, with a trademark left footed strike, slammed the ball home for the winning goal.
The draw followed a day later. Wolves, Everton, Crystal Palace, Liverpool and Tottenham all went into the hat – Wolves were a division lower, and Rangers hadn’t lost to any of the other teams in the Premier League to that point of the season. They drew Manchester United. Away. And lost 2-0.
That quarter final will be remembered for Wilkins dropping Trevor Sinclair in order to pick both Wilson and Rufus Brevett to try, and fail, to keep Andrei Kanchelskis quiet, and 7,000 travelling QPR fans driving “The Guv’nor” to distraction with a hour-long chorus of “Paul Ince is a wanker” that actually carried on right through half time. But goals from Lee Sharpe and Dennis Irwin were the important stat of the game and the Wembley dream was over for another season.
Everton won the trophy that year, beating Manchester United 1-0 in the final with a goal from Paul Rideout.
QPR: Roberts; Bardsley, McDonald, Maddix, Wilson; Impey, Barker, Holloway, Meaker; Gallen, Ferdinand
Millwall 1 QPR 2, Saturday September 21, 2019, Championship
QPR won, and won well, at Millwall back in September pushing home hero Neil Harris closer to The Den exit door. Toni Leistner stood tall against the Lions’ Matt Smith-led bombardment and the resilience paid dividends when Nahki Wells whipped a half chance into the far corner ten minutes after half time. The standard shambolic concession from a corner looked to have earned Wawll a point but almost immediately home keeper Bialkowski committed a howler on the edge of his own area and Wells was able to slot into the empty net.
Millwall: Bialkowski 4; Hutchinson 6, Pearce 6 (Mahoney 76, 5), Cooper 6; McCarthy 6 (O’Brien 88, -), Ferguson 6; Wallace 6, Molumby 5, Thompson 7; Smith 5, Bodvarsson 5 (Bradshaw 69, 6)
Subs not used: Wallace, Williams, Steele, Leonard
Goals: Hutchinson 71 (assisted Smith)
Bookings: Thompson 47 (foul), Hutchinson 85 (foul)
QPR: Lumley 6; Cameron 7, Leistner 8, Barbet 7; Kane 7, Manning 7; Chair 6 (Pugh 83, -), Ball 8, Eze 7; Wells 7 (Scowen 77, 6), Hugill 6
Subs not used: Smith, Mlakar, Masterson, Kelly, Alfa
Goals: Wells 56 (assisted Kane), 72 (unassisted)
Bookings: Cameron 33 (foul), Hugill 51 (foul), Wells 73 (overcelebrating)
Millwall 0 QPR 0, Wednesday April 10, 2019, Championship
Better finishing by Matt Smith with his head before half time, and Bright Osayi-Samuel when sent screaming through on goal after it, could have seen QPR claim a first win away to Millwall since 1990 when these sides met at The Den in April. That said, Rangers, under the caretaker stewardship of John Eustace, were just glad to arrest the slide after a 4-0 weekend humping at Norwich. They showed better spirit here, led by the recalled Toni Leistner and Josh Scowen, and eased what relegation fears remained by posting another point.
Millwall: Martin 6; Romero 6, Cooper 5, Pearce 6, Meredith 6; Wallace 6, Tunnicliffe 5 (Morrison 83 5), Leonard 5, Marshall 6 (O'Brien 78 5); Thompson 6, Gregory 6
Subs not used: Amos, Mcauglin, Williams, Elliot, Skalak
Bookings: Marshall 14 (foul), Tunnicliffe 30 (foul)
QPR: Lumley 6; Furlong 6, Leistner 6, Lynch 6, Manning 7; Scowen 8, Luongo 7, Cameron 6, Freeman 7 (Wszolek 90); Wells 6 (Osayi-Samuel 62, 8), Smith 7
Subs not used: Ingram, Cousins, Eze, Walker, Hemed
Bookings: Lynch 24 (dissent), Manning 33 (foul), Luongo 49 (foul)
QPR 2 Millwall 0, Wednesday September 19, 2018, Championship
QPR won comfortably 2-0 when these sides met at Loftus Road in September in what has turned out to be one of the high points of the season at Rangers. The R’s had already gone close with a Nahki Wells free kick and Jordan Cousins one on one chance from a tight angle when they took the lead as Mass Luongo flicked home from a clever corner routine. Ebere Eze got his inevitable goal against the club that released him as a teenager moments later, turning in from close range off a Jake Bidwell assist. Rangers were lucky to survive one off the bar from Cooper at the start of the second half but could have scored a third on multiple occasions during prolonged second half pressure, with a late Massimo Luongo one on one chance with Amos particularly gilt edged.
QPR: Lumley 6; Rangel 6, Leistner 7, Lynch 7, Bidwell 6; Cameron 6, Luongo 6; Cousins 6, Eze 8 (Smith 88, -), Freeman 7 (Scowen 81, -); Wells 8 (Hemed 72, 5)
Subs not used: Ingram, Baptiste, Osayi-Samuel, Wszolek
Goals: Luongo 30 (assisted Wells), Eze 32 (assisted Bidwell)
Bookings: Leistner 63 (foul), Freeman 70 (foul), Eze 84 (diving)
Millwall: Amos 4; McLaughlin 5, Wallace 6, Cooper 6, Meredith 5 (Elliott 79, 5); Wallace 5, Williams 4, Leonard 6, O’Brien 5 (Skalak 74, 5); Gregory 5, Bradshaw 5 (Morison 46, 4)
Subs not used: Romeo, Martin, Webster, Karacan
Bookings: Williams 16 (repetitive fouling), Skalak 82 (foul)
Millwall 1 QPR 0, Friday December 29, 2017, Championship
QPR turned in one of their worst performances 2017/18 in the New Year game at The Den. Only a string of typically brilliant saves by Alex Smithies had kept the Lions at bay until Jed Wallace cut the keeper out of the game with a deep cross and Steve Morison bundled in his first goal of the season in his 25th appearance from close range. Rangers went long and narrow for the final half an hour in search of an equaliser which against Millwall was nearly as stupid as the arrangements for QPR fans after the match which saw many of us still within 500 feet of the ground at approaching 23.00. Manager Ian Holloway spent the night goading and winding up the home fans, who loathe him for his part in their previous relegation, behaviour and performance that went a long way towards costing him his job at the end of the season.
Millwall: Archer 6; Romeo 7, Hutchinson 7, Cooper 7, Meredith 7; Wallace 8, Tunnicliffe 6, Saville 7, O’Brien 6 (Williams 69, 6); Morison 7, Gregory 7 (Onyedinma 81, -)
Subs not used: Craig, Thompson, Martin, Twardek, Mbulu
Goals: Morison 55 (assisted Wallace)
Bookings: Cooper 90 (foul)
QPR: Smithies 6; Baptiste 6, Onuoha 6, Hall 6; Wszolek 5 (Smith 56, 5), Bidwell 6; Luongo 5, Cousins 5, Freeman 6; Osayi-Samuel 6 (Oteh 69, 6), Sylla 5 (Wheeler 81, -)
Subs not used: Furlong, Washington, Manning, Lumley
Bookings: Wszolek 51 (foul)
QPR 2 Millwall 2, Tuesday September 12, 2017, Championship
A harsh red card for Millwall forward Lee Gregory just before half time swung the first meeting last season back in QPR’s favour after a strong start from Neil Harris’ men. The Lions had already taken a spectacular lead through McLaughlin after six minutes and physically dominated Rangers from the off – Steve Morison almost lobbed in an outlandish second from long range. When Jed Wallace made it 2-0 from an acute angle at the start of the second half the game looked to be up but Rangers laid siege to the Millwall goal thereafter and in the end Massimo Luongo and Matt Smith forced two of the thirty shots the R’s had across the 90 minutes into the net for a draw.
QPR: Smithies 7; Baptiste 6, Onuoha 6 (Smith 46, 7), Robinson 5; Wszolek 6, Bidwell 6; Scowen 6, Luongo 6, Freeman 6; Washington 5 (Sylla 52, 7), Mackie 5 (Lua Lua 62, 6)
Subs not used: Furlong, Manning, Lumley, Wheeler
Goals: Luongo 73 (assisted Freeman), Smith 85 (assisted Lua Lua)
Yellows: Onuoha 11 (foul), Freeman 39 (foul)
Millwall: Archer 7; McLaughlin 6, Webster 7, Hutchinson 7, Meredith 6; Wallace 7 (Tunnicliffe 58, 5), Williams 6, Saville 6, Ferguson 6 (Cooper 58, 5); Morison 7, Gregory 6
Subs not used: Craig, Onyedinma, Romeo, Martin, Twardek
Goals: McLaughlin 6 (assisted Wallace), Wallace 50 (assisted Williams)
Reds: Gregory 39 (dangerous play)
Yellows: Williams 26 (foul), Morison 51 (dissent), Archer 70 (time wasting), Tunnicliffe 80 (foul), McLaughlin 83 (foul)
QPR 1 Millwall 1, Saturday April 26, 2014, Championship
QPR’s long, slow, uninspiring grind through the second half of the 2013/14 season continued with a 1-1 draw at home to relegation-haunted Millwall when these sides last met at Loftus Road. Assured of a play-off spot but too far away to threaten the automatic promotion places, Rangers plodded through the latter months of the campaign before somehow winning the play-off final at Wembley in the last minute with ten men. One of many instantly forgettable encounters in that period saw Charlie Austin give QPR a lead from the penalty spot 14 minutes from time only for Joey Barton to bottle out of a tackle and Rob Green to make an absolute mess of a spooned shott from Scott Malone for an injury-time equaliser.
QPR: Green 5; Simpson 6, Dunne 5, Onuoha 7, Hill 6; Barton 6, Carroll 6; Benayoun 6 (Hoilett 63, 6), Morrison 6, Kranjcar 5 (Zamora 74, 6); Austin 6 (Doyle 84, -)
Subs not used: Suk-Young, Hughes, Henry, Murphy
Goals: Austin 76 (penalty, Jackson handball)
Bookings: Onuoha 84 (foul)
Millwall: Forde 4; Edwards 6, Dunne 5, Beevers 6, Malone 6; Bailey 6, Williams 6; Martin 6 (Morison 16, 6), Garvan 6 (McDonald 65, 6), Woolford 6; Maierhoffer 6 (Jackson 53, 3)
Subs not used: Robinson, Easter, Abdou, Bywater
Goals: Malone 90+1 (unassisted)
Bookings: Beevers 59 (foul), Forde 76 (dissent)
Millwall 2 QPR 2, Saturday October 19, 2013, Championship
QPR were also caught cold by a stoppage time equaliser from Jermaine Easter when these sides met at The Den earlier that season. Rangers, unbeaten at the top of the league at this stage, looked to be on course for a comfortable win against their lowly hosts when the excellent Niko Kranjcar fired in an unstoppable first goal from long range and hit the bar with another effort from even further out. But Richard Dunne’s complacency in possession allowed Charlie McDonald in for the first equaliser and although Charlie Austin subsequently restored the visitors’ advantage they were undone with almost the last kick of the game after Millwall took a quick throw in with the R’s distracted by an incident on the touchline where manager Harry Redknapp had been hit in the face with the football.
Millwall: Forde 6; Connolly 6, Robinson 5, Shittu 6, Malone 6; Waghorn 6, Bailey 6, Trotter 7 (Morison 70, 6), Abdou 6, Woolford 6 (Easter 79, 7); McDonald 6 (Keogh 63, 6)
Subs not used: Bywater, Smith, Lowry, Wright
Goals: McDonald 51 (assisted Trotter), Easter 90 (unassisted)
QPR: Green 6; Simpson 6, Dunne 6, Hill 6, Assou-Ekotto 6; Barton 6, Henry 6; O’Neil 7 (Phillips 82, 5), Kranjcar 8 (Faurlin 72, 6), Hoilett 7 (Jenas 86, -); Austin 7
Subs not used: Traore, Chevanton, Murphy, Ehmer
Goals: Kranjcar 26 (assisted Barton), Austin 69 (assisted Kranjcar)
Millwall 2 QPR 0, Tuesday March 8, 2011, Championship
QPR didn’t lose often in the Championship in 2010/11 – just five times in fact on their way to winning the league – but they didn’t beat lowly Millwall, or score a goal in fact, in either meeting that season. The midweek trip to The Den in March came at a niggly time for Rangers. The full extent of the charges relating to the Ale Faurlin transfer were starting to become apparent and a 4-1 defeat at eventually relegated Scunthorpe was just around the corner. Millwall, in front of a typically boisterous home crowd, gave Neil Warnock’s team a good going over with future Loftus Road loan darling Andros Townsend impressing down the wing and striker Steve Morison giving former Millwall man Danny Shittu a torrid time. In the end the only surprise was it took the home side an hour to score – Morison outpacing and outmuscling Shittu (not seen often) before lashing home. When Shittu then chopped the striker down in the box a penalty was awarded, converted by Liam Trotter, and a red card issued which effectively killed the game as a contest. Rangers won the league anyway.
Millwall: Forde 6, Dunne 7, Robinson 7, Ward 7, Craig 7, Henry 8, Trotter 7, Mkandawire 7, Townsend 8, Morison 8, Harri 7 (Lisbie 66, 6)
Subs Not Used: Mildenhall, Eastmond, Schofield, Hackett, Barron, McQuoid
Goals: Morison 63, Trotter 73 (penalty won Morrison)
QPR: Kenny 7, Orr 6, Shittu 4, Gorkss 5, Hill 6, Routledge 6, Derry 6, Faurlin 7, Buzsaky 5 (Miller 71, 6), Taarabt 6 (Smith 70, 6), Helguson 5 (Chimbonda 79)
Subs Not Used: Cerny, Hulse, Moen, Ephraim
Sent Off: Shittu 72 (professional foul)
QPR 0 Millwall 0, Tuesday September 28, 2010, Championship
Tensions were running high at Loftus Road for the first meeting between the sides that season. Amid violent disturbances on South Africa Road and Shepherd’s Bush Green, unbeaten QPR put their league leadership on the line against Kenny Jackett’s Millwall side. Ultimately the match was a damp squib, with few chances for either side, but given what went on around it that was probably for the best.
QPR: Kenny 7, Walker 8, Hill 7, Gorkks 7, Connolly 7, Derry 7, Buzsaky 7, (Leigertwood 6), Mackie 7, Taarabt 6, Ephraim 6, (Agyemang 6), Helguson 7
Subs Not Used: Cerny, Rowlands, Smith, Borrowdale, Parker
Booked: Helguson (foul)
Millwall: Forde 7, Dunne 7, Robinson 7, Ward 6, Craig 6, Hackett 6, Mkandawire 7, Ward 6, Barron 6, (Harris 6), Morison 6, Abdou 6
Subs Not Used: Mildenhall, Smith, Henry, Grimes, Laird, Robinson
Booked: Dunne (foul)
Head to Head >>> QPR wins 21 >>> Draws 23 >>> Millwall wins 31
2019/20 Millwall 1 QPR 2 (Wells 2)
2018/19 Millwall 0 QPR 0
2018/19 QPR 2 Millwall 0 (Luongo, Eze)
2017/18 Millwall 1 QPR 0
2017/18 QPR 2 Millwall 2 (Luongo, Smith)
2013/14 QPR 1 Millwall 1 (Austin)
2013/14 Millwall 2 QPR 2 (Austin, Kranjcar)
2010/11 Millwall 2 QPR 0
2010/11 QPR 0 Millwall 0
2005/06 QPR 1 Millwall 0 (Nygaard)
2005/06 Millwall 1 QPR 1 (Nygaard)
2004/05 Millwall 0 QPR 0
2004/05 QPR 1 Millwall 1 (Furlong)
1994/95 QPR 1 Millwall 0* (Wilson)
1993/94 QPR 3 Millwall 0** (Barker, Ferdinand, Sinclair)
1989/90 Millwall 1 QPR 2 (Barker, Wegerle)
1989/90 QPR 0 Millwall 0
1988/89 QPR 1 Millwall 2 (Falco, pen)
1988/89 Millwall 3 QPR 2 (Francis, Allen)
1987/88 Millwall 0 QPR 0
1987/88 QPR 2 Millwall 1 (Bannister, McDonald)
1972/73 Millwall 0 QPR 1 (Givens)
1972/73 QPR 1 Millwall 3 (Bowles)
1971/72 Millwall 0 QPR 0
1971/72 QPR 1 Millwall 1 (Marsh)
1970/71 QPR 2 Millwall 0 (Marsh, Francis)
1970/71 Millwall 3 QPR 0
1969/70 Millwall 2 QPR 0
1969/70 QPR 3 Millwall 2 (Bridges 2, Clement)
1967/68 Millwall 1 QPR 1 (Marsh)
1967/68 QPR 3 Millwall 1 (R Morgan, Keen, L Allen)
1965/66 QPR 6 Millwall 1 (Marsh 2, R Morgan, Collins, L Allen, Lazarus)
1965/66 Millwall 2 QPR 1 (Leach)
1963/64 Millwall 2 QPR 2 (McLeod, Leary)
1963/64 QPR 2 Millwall 0 (Bedford, McQuade)
1962/63 QPR 2 Millwall 3 (Leary, McCelland)
1962/63 Millwall 0 QPR 0
1957/58 Millwall 5 QPR 0
1957/58 QPR 3 Millwall 0 (Locke 3)
1956/57 Millwall 2 QPR 0
1956/57 QPR 0 Millwall 0
1955/56 QPR 4 Millwall 0 (Clark, Shepherd, Ingham, Smith)
1955/56 Millwall 2 QPR 0
1954/55 QPR 1 Millwall 2 (Shepherd)
1954/55 Millwall 0 QPR 1 (Clark)
1953/54 QPR 4 Millwall 0 (Kerrins, Clark, Pounder, Smith)
1953/54 Millwall 4 QPR 0
1952/53 QPR 1 Millwall 3 (Smith)
1952/53 Millwall 2 QPR 1 (Smith)
1950/51 QPR 3 Millwall 4* (Parkinson 2, Addinall)
1937/38 QPR 0 Millwall 2
1937/38 Millwall 1 QPR 4 (Lowe, Cape, Cheetham, Fitzgerald)
1936/37 QPR 0 Millwall 1
1936/37 Millwall 2 QPR 0
1935/36 Millwall 2 QPR 0
1935/36 QPR 2 Millwall 3 (Blackman, Lowe)
1934/35 QPR 1 Millwall 0 (Farmer)
1934/35 Millwall 2 QPR 0
1927/28 Millwall 6 QPR 1 (Beats)
1927/28 QPR 0 Millwall 1
1926/27 QPR 1 Millwall 1 (Goddard)
1926/27 Millwall 2 QPR 1 (Middleton)
1925/26 Millwall 3 QPR 0
1925/26 QPR 3 Millwall 0 (Cable 2, Whitehead)
1924/25 Millwall 3 QPR 0
1924/25 QPR 0 Millwall 0
1923/24 QPR 1 Millwall 1 (Parker)
1923/24 Millwall 3 QPR 0
1922/23 Millwall 0 QPR 0
1922/23 QPR 2 Millwall 3 (Parker, Davis)
1921/22 Millwall 0 QPR 0
1921/22 QPR 6 Millwall 1 (Chandler 2, Birch, Grant, Smith, Edgley)
1920/21 Millwall 0 QPR 0
1920/21 QPR 0 Millwall 0
1899/90 QPR 0 Millwall 2*
* - FA Cup
** - League Cup
Danny Shittu >>> QPR 2011-2012, 2001-2006 >>> Charlton 1999-2002
Lagos-born Danny Shittu kick-started his own professional football career by constantly writing to managers, coaches and scouts, badgering teams across the South East of England for a trial. Norwich had a look at him but it was Charlton who offered him pro terms. Shittu has rarely had a good word to say about the long-serving and well-regarded Addicks boss of the time Alan Curbishley however, saying he rarely spoke to the younger players at the club.
During 2000/01 Charlton loaned Shittu first to Blackpool, then the following season to Ian Holloway’s Queens Park Rangers side in League One. Rangers were in administration, but putting a decent side together under Holloway’s supervision. Shittu was signed right on the deadline for a Tuesday night league game at Peterborough where he started at centre half, not knowing half of his team mates, and was sent off for two clumsy tackles in a 4-1 defeat.
An inauspicious start then, but Shittu’s enormous frame, deceptive pace and physical approach to marking opposition strikers quickly made him a fans’ favourite at Loftus Road. He was also a very lucrative first goalscorer bet – always listed at 33/1 and a prodigious threat when going up for attacking corners. He opened his QPR account with a typical header from one such set piece in a 3-2 win at Chesterfield.
Despite the administrators overseeing things at Loftus Road, Rangers were able to buy Shittu for £250,000 from Charlton thanks to generous funding from the Winton family – who also financed the acquisitions of DouDou and Marc Bircham around this time. The moves provoked anger among rivals clubs, with Brentford chairman Ron Noades – who’d made a cash offer for Shittu himself – a particularly outspoken critic. Clubs in administration have been placed under transfer embargoes by the league ever since.
But Shittu was signed and sealed at Loftus Road and formed a formidable centre half partnership with Clarke Carlisle in the third tier. He became a cult hero, and although his ruptured knee ligaments in a match at Bournemouth midway through the 2003/04 season threatened to derail QPR’s promotion push, the fact that he played on for 70 minutes of that match with a knee injury that reduces most players to a crumpled, screaming heap on the floor only added to his attraction. Surgeons grafted part of his hamstring into his knee to repair the damage – Holloway remarked that this was no problem as Shittu had more hamstring than the rest of the team put together – and by the time he returned to action the R’s were a division higher.
Shittu continued to impress in the new division. A whole new league of strikers, not used to his unconventional shape, underestimated him to their pain and suffering – Cardiff’s Alan Lee made the mistake of elbowing Shittu in his gentleman’s area as he climbed for a header and after 30 seconds on the floor to gather his breath Shittu left the field, pointing at his assailant, and shouting that he was coming back for him. The following hour was as brutal as you’ll ever see within the rules of the game and Lee was removed with 25 minutes still to play for his own safety.
As Rangers struggled for cash with Gary Waddock in charge and Gianni Paladini as chairman, Shittu was sold to Watford for £1.6m in August 2006. Aidy Boothroyd’s Hornets had just been promoted to the top flight but the Premier League proved beyond both Shittu and the rest of the team and they were relegated comfortably before the end of the season. Shittu remained, and Watford initially looked a good bet to return, before falling away into more financial trouble.
Shittu spent an unhappy two years back in the Premier League at Bolton where he made just 11 appearances, but reignited his career with a spell under his former QPR coach Kenny Jackett at Millwall in 2010/11. His form there on a short term contract brought QPR calling again in January 2011, looking for extra bodies to solidify their own push for the Premier League.
Shittu’s form was fairly wild during his second spell at Loftus Road – excellent in wins against Ipswich at home, Middlesbrough away and Watford away, absolutely dreadful in away defeats at Scunthorpe and Millwall. Bizarrely, he finished the season playing as an auxiliary striker on the final day of the season as the R’s lifted the Championship trophy with a home game against Leeds.
Panic set in that summer when Tony Fernandes’ perspective takeover of the club dragged on into August, and existing owner Falvio Briatore refused to finance new signings knowing he was leaving the club. The signatures of Wayne Routledge and others were missed as a result and Warnock renewed contracts for players like Peter Ramage and Shittu while knowing they weren’t good enough for the top flight – in fact, Warnock had decided Shittu wasn’t for him after his catastrophic performance and red card in that return to Millwall the previous season. Takeover complete and 25 man squad named without him involved, Shittu found himself out in the cold for a year.
He returned to Millwall as captain, and took part in their run to an FA Cup semi-final, before retiring. A real character, and somebody who will always be remembered fondly at QPR.
Others >>> Matt Smith, Millwall 2019-present, QPR 2016-2019 >>> Ian Holloway, QPR (manager) 2016-2018, (manager) 2001-2005, 1991-1996, Millwall (manager) 2014-2015 >>> Shaun Derry, Millwall (loan) 2013, QPR 2010-2014>>> Rob Hulse, Millwall (loan) 2013, QPR 2010-2013 >>> Patrick Agyemang, QPR 2008-2012, Millwall (loan) 2011 >>> Jason Puncheon QPR (loan) 2011, Millwall (loan) 2010-2011 >>> Adam Bolder, Millwall (loan) 2007-2008, 2009-2010, QPR 2007-2009 >>> Stefan Moore QPR 2005-2008, Millwall (loan) 2004 >>> Steve Lomas, Millwall (manager) 2013-2014, QPR 2005-2007 >>> Andros Townsend, QPR (loan) 2013, Millwall (loan) 2011 >>> Marc Bircham QPR 2002-2007, Millwall 1996-2002 >>> Rhys Evans, Millwall 2008, QPR (loan) 2001-2002 >>> Marcus Bignot Millwall (loan) 2007-2008, 2008-2009, QPR 2004-2007, 2001-2002 >>> Chris Day, Millwall 2006-2008, QPR 2001-2005 >>> Kenny Jackett Millwall (manager) 2007-2013, QPR (coach) 2001-2004 >>> Justin Cochrane, Millwall 2008, QPR 2001-2002 >>> Darren Ward, Millwall 2010-2013, 2001-2005, QPR (loan) 1999-2000 >>> Danny Dichio, Millwall 2004-2005, QPR 1993-1997 >>> Andy Impey, Millwall (loan) 2005, QPR 1990-1997 >>> Ray Wilkins, Millwall (coach) 2003-2006, 1997, QPR (player manager) 1994-1996, 1989-1994 >>> Tony Witter, Millwall 1991-1998, QPR 1991 >>> Mark Falco, Millwall 1991-1992, QPR 1988-1991 >>> Ian Dawes, Millwall 1988-1995, QPR 1982-1988 >>> Ian Stewart, Millwall (loan) 1982-1983, QPR 1980-1985 >>> Jimmy Carter, Millwall 1998/99, 1987-1981, QPR 1985-1987 >>> Clive Allen, Millwall 1994-1995, QPR 1981-1984, 1978-1980 >>> Gary Waddock, QPR (manager) 2006, 1991-1992, 1979-1987, Millwall 1989-1991 >>> John Byrne, Millwall 1992-1993, QPR 1984-1988 >>> Gavin Maguire, Millwall 1993-1994, QPR 1984-1989 >>> Frank Saul, Millwall 1972-1976, QPR 1970-1972 >>> Tony Hazell, Millwall 1974-1978, QPR 1964-1974 >>> Frank Neary, Millwall 1950-1954, QPR 1945-1947
Pictures – Action Images
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