There’s a fixture (a double-header) toward the end of the 57/58 season that I’ve never heard any talk of but possibly had a big bearing on the Rs future (or not, I dunno). Maybe this is one for the sliding doors thread.
57/58 was the last season of the regional Division 3’s - North and South. To finish in Division 3 the following season you had to be in the top half of the league. Finishing in the bottom half of the league (13th or below) meant relegation to the new 4th Division. With 4 games to go we were bobbing just below the bottom half and Crystal Palace were just above us in the top half. In the space of 4 days in April we won 3-2 at Selhurst Park and 4-2 at home. These 2 results secured our safety. Palace would be relegated to the 4th Division and we stayed in the 3rd. By the way I wasn’t there. I’m getting all this info from old programmes.
In the long run maybe these two fixtures were not so important but at the time they must have had a bit of an edge. Especially in an austere decade where it seems not much else happened. And we didn’t even play in hoops! Which feels like rationing taken to extremes.
My first QPR game. Away in SW6. Stan was the first R’s player I noticed. His performance that day mesmerised me. He had style, swagger, and the skills to pay the (bookmaker’s) bills. Every time he got the ball (I was in the Shed) the home crowd booed and called him every cuss under the sun - he didn’t give a fk. He was part footballer. Part rock star. Even before the first half finished he was my idol. The anti-hero. There were 11 (12?) QPR players on the pitch that day and I love ‘em and could (probably) name ‘em all but if there was no Stan there may have been no QPR for me. Stan was, is, and will always be the man 🙏🏼
Does anyway have any memories of the game? There’s no footage of it. I remember it being a proper humdinger ding-dong London derby. 3-3. Stan definitely scored. My (unreliable) memory tells me in spectacular fashion from outside the box.
Fifty years later and just another uneventful QPR day. Here’s to the next 50.
If they’re in ‘collection buckets’ mode Torquay supporters of a certain age should look through their old programmes and see if they’ve got a Southend at home knocking around from December 1976. Ive seen them sell for £250 on eBay and heard they’ve gone for even more at auction. After searching for many years I picked one up for £4 recently online. The seller obviously didn’t realise what he had. When it arrived and I opened it up it was like getting a golden Wonka ticket. God Save The Torquay!