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Monday, September 17, 2007

Updated: "Potted History of QPR"

QPR official Site's updated "Potted History of QPR." It's interesting to read and remember (and to noted what's not included). Some might find this "potted history" a little "skewed" towards recent history and a little skimpy on QPR's greatest era the 1966-1976 decade! One sentence is enough to cover both QPR's 1975/76 'Championship' season and the following season's march through Europe!

QPR Official Site A POTTED HISTORY OF QPR (1882-2007) Posted on: Mon 10 Sep 2007. "Potted History of QPR"

The Early Days.......

1900-1920... ....

1921-1940... ....



In 1961/62 QPR scored 129 goals in 52 matches, including a record 111 in the Third Division. In 1963 Tony Ingham retirned after played 548 matches for QPR's first team.
In March 1965 Jim Gregory became Chairman of QPR. In 1965/66 QPR finished third in Division Three. Rodney Marsh signed from Fulham in 1966 for £15,000 and went on to score 134 goals in 242 appearances.
In 1966/67 QPR won Division Three with 67 points. In the same year they also became the first Third Division side to win the League Cup, beating West Bromwich Albion 3-2 at Wembley after being 2-0 down at half-time.
In 1967/68 QPR were promoted to the First Division for the first time by finished second in the table. In 1968/69 the South Africa Road Stand was completed. QPR were relegated after only one season in Division One with only 18 points. Alex Stock left the club, Tommy Docherty came and went in 28 days, and Les Allen took over.
On 7th February 1969 Roger Morgan became the first QPR player to be sold for a six-figure fee. Gordon Jago became the manager in January 1971 and on 8th March 1972 Rodney Marsh was sold to Manchester City for £200,000. On 8th September 1972 Stan Bowles became the first six-figure signing for QPR.
In 1972 the new Ellerslie Road Stand was built. In 1972/73 QPR finished second in Division Two and were promoted to the First Division once again. In 1973/74 QPR reached the Sixth Round of the Cup again, before losing to Leicester City before a record crowd for a Cup match at Loftus Road of 34,989.
On 27th April 35,353 people saw the League match against Leeds, which was a new record for Loftus Road. Dave Sexton became managed on 17th October 1974. In 1975/76 QPR were Division One Runners-up - one point behind Liverpool and the following season reached the UEFA Cup Quarter Finals at their first attempt.
In July 1977 Frank Sibley became manager resigning a year later when rangers avoided relegation by a point. Alec Stock became manager until Steve Burtenshaw took over in August. Phil Parkes was sold to West Ham for £565,000 - a world record for a goalkeeper at the time - having played 406 games for the club. QPR ended the season in 20th place, and were relegated to the Second Division.
Steve Burtenshaw left the club after only one season, and was replaced by Tommy Docherty from Derby County in May 1979. Tony Currie was bought from Leeds United for a record club fee of £390,000. 19 year old Clive Allen was sold to Arsenal for a fee of £1,000,000 - the first teenager to merit the million pound price.

In the 1980/81 season the new School End double-decker stand was built, and Terry Venables was appointed manager on 14th October 1980. In 1981/82 QPR became the first League club to replace grass with an artificial playing surface and Rangers reached the FA Cup Final against Tottenham Hotspur. The game went to a replay after a 1-1 draw, with Terry Fenwick's headed equaliser cancelling out Glenn Hoddle's opener. It was Hoddle again who scored the only goal, from the penalty spot, in the replay.
In 1982/83 Terry Venables took QPR back in to the First Division again, and Rangers lost only two of their home League matches. In 1983/84 QPR completed building their fourth and last stand and thus had seating on all four sides of the ground.
QPR finished fifth in their first season back in Division One and in 1984/85 Terry Venables left to join Barcelona. Alan Mullery had a brief spell in charge with Frank Sibley becoming caretaker manager for the remainder of the season.
QPR again qualified for the UEFA Cup and went through to the Second Round where they lost on aggregate to Partizan Belgrade. All seemed well after a 6-2 first leg victory. Yet Rangers conspired to lose the second legt 4-0 and go out on the away goals rule.
In July 1985 Jim Smith became QPR's new manager and the following season QPR were defeated finalists in the Milk Cup competition at Wembley, losing 3-0 to Oxford United.
In May 1987, Jim Gregory ended his record 22-year Chairmanship of QPR and became Life President. David Bulstrode became Chairman of the club. In 1987/88 QPR finished fifth in the First Division, having for some months been top of the table. In April the artificial playing surface was removed after seven seasons, and was replaced by natural grass.
In September 1988 David Bulstrode tragically died and later that month Richard Thompson was appointed Chairman of QPR, becoming the youngest in the Football League. Following in his predecessor's footsteps, over £2.5 million was spent on new players. In December 1988 Jim Smith left to join Newcastle United and Peter Shreeve was appointed caretaker manager with Trevor Francis subsequently being appointed player/manager on 14th December.
In November 1989 Trevor Francis left to be replaced by Don Howe as Head Coach. The club reached the Quarter Finals of the FA Cup, losing to Liverpool. It was a hectic season in the transfer market, with many players leaving Loftus Road. The major signings were Kenny Sansom, David Bardsley and Roy Wegerle (the club's first £1 million player).
In October 1990 Jan Stejskal, the Czechoslovakian international goalkeeper, was signed from Sparta Prague for £625,000 to replace David Seaman, who had been sold to Arsenal for £1.3 million during the close season. Club Captain Paul Parker returned from the World Cup Finals as an England regular.
Bobby Gould joined the club for a brief period between December 1990 and February 1991 before leaving to become manager of West Bromwich Albion. Don Howe left the club in May 1991 to be replaced by former player Gerry Francis.
Prior to the 1991/92 season kicking off, QPR received £1.75 million from Manchester United for England defender Paul Parker. Later that season a further £1 million saw Ray Wegerle depart for Blackburn Rovers.
The most outstanding performance of the season came on New Year's Day 1992 when, in front of 38,554 spectators at Old Trafford, and a live television audience, QPR thrashed Manchester United 4-1, with Dennis Bailey hitting a hat-trick.
QPR finished 11th in the League, thus ensuring their place in the new FA Premier League for the next season. In 1992/93 Rangers finished fifth in their first season in the new Premier League. Les Ferdinand hit 20 League goals and was called up to the England squad along with David Bardsley.
England International Andy Sinton left for Sheffield Wednesday on the eve of the 1993/94 season for £2.75 million. Rangers quickly spent £750,000 on winger Trevor Sinclair and £650,000 on defender Steve Yates. After four and a half years with the club, Ray Wilkins joined Crystal Palace on a free transfer. However, he returned to Loftus Road in November 1994 when Gerry Francis left, later to become manager of Tottenham Hotspur.
Ray proved to be a very popular choice as Player/Manager and a series of good all-round displays revived QPR's season, including two memorable 3-1 victories over Arsenal. They finished in the top ten for the fourth consecutive season.
During the close season striker Les Ferdinand was sold to Newcastle United for a club record £6,000,000 with £570,000 of the fee going to his former club, Hayes. The loss of England striker Les Ferdinand provied crucial in 1995/96 as Rangers always struggled at the wrong end of the Premiership table.
Despite paying over £1million each for Simon Osborn, Australian International Ned Zelic, and Mark Hateley, Rangers lost their fight to stay in the Premier League.
In May 1996 the Thompson family announced their intention to sell the club and three months later media tycoon Chris Wright, a Rangers fan for some twenty years, bought the club and also announced his plans for Wasps Rugby Union Club to share the Loftus Road ground.
Chris Wright later floated the newly formed Loftus Road plc, incorporating both QPR and Wasps, on the Alternative Investment Market. In September 1996 Ray Wilkins left the club by mutual consent and was replaced shortly afterwards by ex-Arsenal Caretaker/Manager Stewart Houston. Former Arsenal Manager Bruce Rioch was installed as Assistant Manager.
Stewart Houston's first purchase for Rangers smashed the club's previous transfer record - Scottish International striker John Spencer joined the club from Chelsea for £2.35M in November 1996. He was joined in December by his ex-Chelsea team mate and former Rangers player Gavin Peacock.
Northern Ireland International Steve Morrow also joined from Arsenal. Rangers poor home form during the 1996/97 season cost them dearly at the end and they finished ninth, five points outside the play-off places.
1997/98 was even more of a disappointment despite the arrival of £2.1 million striker Mike Sheron, with the club only avoiding relegation on the final day of the season. Houston and Rioch were sacked mid-campaign to be replaced by Ray Harford, but he was unable to halt a slide that so nearly ended in relegation to Division Two.
1998/99 also ended with Rangers needing a result on the last day and once again they stayed up, this time courtesy of a final day victory over Crystal Palace, albeit by the overwhelming margin of six goals to nil.
Six months previously Harford had resigned to be replaced by Rangers legend Gerry Francis as Director of Football and once Francis had ensured Rangers' survival in Division One, he marched them back up the table in 1999/2000, with Stuart Wardley top scoring in an impressive campaign.

The New Millennium...
Rangers finished 9th and looked set for a promotion challenge in 2000/01. Sadly though, it wasn't to be. A dreadful season ended in relegation, despite the introduction of Ian Holloway as first team manager, and coincided with the club entering financial administration as harsh financial realities began to bite.
The following season began with no fewer than 16 players released, and a scratch squad built up from practically nothing by Holloway. It is to his enormous credit therefore that Rangers enjoyed a top half finish when many predicted another relegation.
Rangers came out of administration and Chris Wright left the club to be replaced as Chairman by Nick Blackburn. The club embarked on the 2002/03 season with optimism. Once again Holloway wheeled and dealed and led the Superhoops to the play-offs thanks to an impressive team ethic and the goals of Kevin Gallen and Paul Furlong.
It was Furlong who scored the winning goal on a dramatic night at Loftus Road to take the Rs to Cardiff for the Play-Off final courtesy of a two-legged victory over Oldham in the semi-final.
But the fairy tale ended at the Millennium Stadium when Andy Campbell's goal late in extra time took Cardiff City up to Division One and condemned Rangers to another in year in the third tier of English football.
Nevertheless, 12 months later the agonies would be forgotten when Rangers secured automatic promotion.
Martin Rowlands, Gareth Ainsworth, Jamie Cureton, Tony Thorpe, Richard Edghill, Arthur Gnohere and Richard Johnson all joined the club and each contributed to the team's success.
The Superhoops lost only seven games all season, the lowest in the Football League - but too many draws took Rangers' fate to the final day.
They needed to win at Hillsborough and did so - triumphing 3-1 to secure second place in Division Two behind champions Plymouth.
With that triumph fresh in their minds, consolidation was the key in the Hoops' first season back in the Championship.
Four free contract signings coupled with the same number of departures ensured the squad remained fresh, but Rangers found the going tough early on, failing to win any of their opening four matches, until they eventually broke their duck courtesy of Marcus Bean's winner at Gillingham.
Thereafter, seven wins on the bounce, including a morale boosting 1-0 victory against West Ham, saw Holloway's rejuvenated side gatecrash the top half and that's where they remained for the rest of the season, eventually finishing in a creditable 11th place.
Paul Furlong again impressed, scoring 18 goals in all competitions, as well as bagging the Player's Player and Supporters' Player of the Year, plus the coveted Goal of the Season crown.
Hope sprang eternal at the start of 2005/06 and with the addition of a number of new players, including Rangers old--boy Richard Langley and the highly rated Stefan Moore from Aston Villa, the R's looked well equipped to mount a charge for the play-offs.
But after a positive start - which saw the Hoops top the table after three games - the season soon turned sour and Holloway was placed on gardening leave at the end of January.
Gary Waddock took the reigns as Caretaker Manager and immediately stamped his own unique style on proceedings.
But a spate of injuries and poor fortune, coupled with a few questionable refereeing decisions, saw all Waddock's best laid plans backfire and the Hoops finished the season just one place and eight points above the drop-zone.
As a result, Waddock was forced to make some tough decisions at the start of May and duly released half a dozen players, while also placing nine others - including established first team regulars Marcus Bignot, Steve Lomas and Marc Bircham - on the transfer list.
Unfortunately, the changes in personnel, coupled with the arrival of six new signings, failed to have the desired effect, as Rangers registered just six points from a possible 24 at the start of the 2006/07 Coca Cola Championship campaign.
An embarassing Carling Cup exit at the hands of League One outfit Port Vale proved to be the final straw for the Rangers board, as Waddock was demoted to assistant manager, with R's cult hero John Gregory replacing him in the Loftus Road hot-seat.
Gregory wasted little time in stamping his authority on proceedings, making further changes to the first team personnel, and introducing coach Richard Hill and Sports Performance Coach Joe Dunbar to the Club.
Gregory's impact was immediate, as the R's eased to a 2-0 home victory against Hull City in his first match in charge, before grinding out a memorable 2-1 victory versus Southampton seven days later.
Waddock made way as his assistant manager soon after, as the R's - buoyed by the double loan capture of Chelsea starlets Jimmy Smith and Michael Mancienne - moved five points clear of the relegation zone with victory against London rivals Crystal Palace at the start of November.
Further additions followed in January 2007, when Gregory swooped to add experienced duo Adam Bolder and Danny Cullip to his squad.
Derby County goalkeeper Lee Camp came back on loan too and his arrival, coupled with the fine goalscoring form of top-scorer Dexter Blackstock, saw Rangers secure their Championship status with a 1-0 home victory against Cardiff City two weeks before the final day of the season.
Gregory wielded the axe soon after though, letting eight players go, including fans favourites' Marc Bircham, Kevin Gallen and Paul Furlong.

A new era

On Saturday 1st September 2007, Queens Park Rangers Football Club announced that Formula 1 magnates Flavio Briatore and Bernie Ecclestone had made a recommended offer for the Club.
Mr Gianni Paladini remains as Chairman of QPR and Mr Flavio Briatore, Mr Bruno Michel and Mr Alejandro Agag were invited to join the Board.
Briatore said: "Bernie and I were delighted to receive a recommendation from the Board of QPR for our bid for the Club and we look forward to working alongside Gianni Paladini and his team.
"We are fully aware of the history of QPR and the loyal fan base that it has; we are therefore totally committed to bringing future success back to the Club.
"Gianni, Bernie and I are all determined to see the Club return to the Premiership as soon as possible." QPR

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