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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Ex-QPR Mike Flanagan Profiled and Interviewed

Yet another fine profile and interview on the QPR Official Site. This time, Mike Flanagan: One of Terry Venables' signings from Crystal Palace and half of the "Flanagan and Allen" pairing. (Although perhaps his success at Charlton might have been mentioned.)

QPR Official Site BLAST FROM THE PAST: Mike Flanagan

In our latest instalment of exclusive past player interviews on www.qpr.co.uk, R's legend Mike Flanagan comes under the spotlight.
Mike Flanagan (1980-1984)
Mike Flanagan made an incredible impact on his debut for Rangers by scoring the winner from 50-yards!
It came in a 2-1 victory at Bolton Wanderers in December 1980. Flanagan had just completed a £150,000 move from Crystal Palace and got off to an audacious start with
He recalls: "The move began with a clearance by their goalkeeper Terry Poole from the edge of his penalty area. Poole then fell over after colliding with QPR striker Simon Stainrod and he was a little bit slow in getting back on to his feet.
"I saw that the keeper and two Bolton defenders were running back towards their own goal. So I chested the ball down on the halfway line and I thought 'I'll go for it!'
"I hit it with my left foot and the shot flew in just under the crossbar, which was nice to see. I scored a few special goals in my time and that's one I will always remember."
Flanagan was a versatile striker who made a total of 93 appearances for the R's and scored 22 goals. He was part of our side that reached the FA Cup Final in 1982 and won promotion to Division One a year later.
"I had a spell with Crystal Palace under Manager Terry Venables and when he moved to QPR I was one of the players he brought with him," said Flanagan.
"Terry put a decent squad together at Loftus Road. He had a lot of belief in our ability and so that filtered through to the players.
"It all came to the fore in our FA Cup run. The further we went in the competition, we got more confidence that we could go on and win it.
"The semi-final against West Brom at Highbury was fantastic. It could have gone either way. It was decided late on when a clearance from one of the Albion defenders was blocked by Clive Allen and the ball ricocheted into the net. So we were through to Wembley to face Spurs!
"Not too many players get to appear in an FA Cup Final. We saw it as a lovely bonus at the end of a great season for us - and it was such an amazing occasion. I spoke to a few former professionals beforehand and they said 'Just go out and enjoy the day. Everything is over before you know it.' And that was certainly true!
"We held Spurs to a 1-1 draw. Then we had goalscoring opportunities to win the replay, although you have to put them away in those sort of games.
"Glenn Hoddle was the difference for Tottenham and he scored the penalty that won the Cup. But had we taken our chances, then who knows what might have happened.
"We were a good team without any real outstanding stars. We all played for one another and I think that is what brought us the fine results we had as we went on to win promotion in 1983.
"Personally, it was a nice spell in my career. I joined Rangers as a centre-forward and I always thought that was my best position. But Terry Venables put me out on the left wing. He realised that I could still get 14-15 goals a season playing wide. I had a successful time at QPR and I loved every moment of it."
Now aged 55, Flanagan lives in Essex and is no longer involved in football. But like all past players, he looks out for the results of his former Clubs.
"I have a varied lifestyle at the moment. I worked for a swimming pool company for the past eight years. They install pools and do all sorts.
"More recently, I've moved into the City. I undertake maintenance up there for the Corporation of London. In fact, I am doing this programme interview from the top of a ladder!
"Meanwhile, I keep an interest in all the teams I played for. Looking at QPR, I know a great deal of new investment has arrived this year and they are a Club who are big enough to be able to compete in the Premier League. I wish everyone at Rangers well."QPR

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