QPR is the only professional football club founded in Chelsea. Chelsea FC, a tripple mistake, has an origin which is associated with the Stamford Bridge ground situated in Fulham. QPR is from Queen's Park in North Western London. This part of the city was in the 19:th century an enclave between Willesden and Paddington, belonging to the Borough of Chelsea.Fig 1. Queens Park can be reached by the tube and the Bakerloo Line to the north. Many trains have the sign Queens Park. Fig 2.
During the second half of the 1870's the fields between Kensal Green and Kilburn were built
by the Artizans, Labourers and General Dwellings Company, a cooperative
company with a vision of decent residents for the working class at affordable
prices.This was all during a time when overcrowded and pore living conditions
were wildly spread amongst the poor people in London. The company was
lead by William Austin, a former working-class man himself. Three larger
areas were built: Shaftesbury Park in Battersea, Noel Park in Haringey
and Queens Park. The name Queen's Park was most likely referring to Queen
Victoria, but was chosen years before her visit to The Royal Agricultural Society's convention in 1879. The park Queens Park was built 1886 on the convention site. The park is owned by
City of London.
Early football teams
The field by Queen's Park was one of two where sports were played in western London in the 19:th century. The other were the fields north of Shepherds Bush. Both closely related to QPR.
Football teams which had played in the fields around Queen's Park: NN (No Names), Kilburn whom contributed to the founding of the FA. Kildare, Kensal Rangers, West Kilburn, Kilburn Invicta, Harlesden United, Brondesbury, Hampstead Crescent, Queen's Park Albion, Queen's Park Rovers, Queen's Park Athletic, Beethoven, Droop Street Boys, St Judes, Christchurch Rangers. Paddington, North Paddington, Paddington Thirsday, Kensal Rise United, United London Scottish and Queens Park Gardens.
Football teams which had played in the fields north of Shepherds Bush: Shepherds Bush FC (Old St Stephens), Darfield, West London Old Boys, Acton, Silver Star, Hammersmith Athletic, Hammersmith Exiles, St John Hammersmith, St Pauls Hammersmith.
D Street School
QPR’s origin can be traced back to D Street Board School, later known as Droop Street founded in 1877. The school still stands, but was renamed in 1951 to Queens Park Primary School. Fig 5. The boys wanted to continue playing football after they finished school and formed a football club. It's likely the team was founded in 1882 under the name Droop Street Boys FC. Since the name Droop Street first existed 1884 it is possible that the absolutely first name was D Street Boys FC. In June 1, 1882 at the School Drill Hour on the playground was disrupted by outsiders. It may have been about football when the team was formed by a group of pupils and other young people.
History repeated itself 2010 when a modern Droop Street Boys (a gang of troublemakers) joined QPR's football academy in Queens Park and Kilburn. The Church's evolvement in the 1800's was just to get young men into football instead of a life of crime.
St Jude's Institute
The team was a mix between students and others. In order to become better organized they contaced the St Judes Church that at the time organized a boys brigade (a youth organization) through the recently founded (1884) annex church St Judes Institute. The club became a part of St Judes youth program and changed their name to St Judes Institute (ca 1885). Nowdaysf 2010 it is known as St Judes Hall. The youth club has in later years become a organisation for the elderly. Fig 6
The mother church to St Judes was St Lukes in Chelsea. St Jude is the patron saint of all whom have lost the hope. Something that well-tried QPR fans could use. The church itself was torn down in 1961 and on its grounds residential housings were built. From St Judes Institute Queens Park Harriers (red and white hoops shirts), a running club was also cut out. In Queen's Park today, you can find the Jubilee Sports Centre and the Queen's Park Hall which is housing the fameus All Star Boxing Club. Frank Bruno used to train there. Although it's 90 years since QPR played their last game in the victincy of Queens Park, support is still strong and major fixtures sees a blossoming of blue and white in the Avenues. Fig 7.
Christ Church Rangers
The angriest rival to St Judes was Christchurch Rangers. Like St Judes
it was also founded in 1882. The Christchurch Rangers Boys Club had their base in Christchurch Mission Room that was situated in Coallge Park. Christchurch was an annex church to St John the Evangelist in Kensal Green. Christchurch Mission later around 1886, moved to Hazel Street Kensal Green. Nowdays you can find a youth
hostile called Kensal Green Youth Club, on the same place.
The first known match was played at a field near Willesden Junction on november 25th 1883 between Christ Church Rangers and St Andrews FC. The match ended with the Rangers winning by 4-0. Today these clubs are known as QPR and Fullham. Fig 7. First known game for St Judes was an away game against Vulcan FC in Willesden the 20th february 1886.
The merge or takeoverThe year was 1886, and some of players felt that they could form a stronger team if they merge Chrithchurch and St Judes. It is unclear if the clubs got together equally and formed a new club or the Christchurch's best players simply joined St Judes. Christchurch Rangers was a founder team of Middlesex County Senior Cup 1887 over a year after the merger in 1886. It is a strong indication that there was no complete merger of the two clubs in 1886. Some Christchurch players also thought it was a takeover of St. Judes and the name was changed to Paddington FC. 1911 there still was a team called North Paddington. The merged club during the first year called themselves St Judes. But they needed a new name. They decided to call themselves Queens Park, since many of the players lived in that district, an area also with a high status. "Rangers" is from Christchurch Rangers. Fig 9.
St Judes played 1885 in light blue and dark blue colors. It's likely that Christchurch also played in blue, since they wore dark/light blue quarters after their merger. The descendants of Christchurch, Paddington most likely also played in blue sine QPR changed their colors to avoid confusion between the clubs. Instead they wore the Irish green and white hoops.
The founders of Droop Street/St Judes were Jack McDonald and Frank Weller with support from the teacher Arthur (Johnny) Wrightson. MacDonald had learned how to play football in Govan, Glasgow where he was raised. The Football in Scotland was more advanced than in England. During the 1880s the Glasgow team, Queens Park FC were also the Scotish national team was considered as the worlds best football team. John Wrightson was appointed as teacher in February 1881, at D Street School and may be the real founder of the club.
A legendary played in Christchurch was George Woodhouse, who later on became the director of QPR. A unifying force after the merger was reverend Gordon Young, who belonged to the club management and was the largest single contributor to the club. On the field he was captain and has been mentioned as a heavy center forward.Fig 10.Some of them should be in the picture in Fig9.
Links with Chelsea and Paddington appear to have been strong in the 1890s, as several of the team's Patrons were MP's for the districts. The patrons for QPR in the 1890s were Lord Randolph Churchill (Winston's father), famous sports campaigner and MP for Paddington South, John Aird MP for Paddington North, Sir Charles Dilke MP for Chelsea, Mr. CA Whitmore MP for Chelsea and businessman Mr. William Whiteley creator of Britains biggest department store in Bayswater at the time.
The fields /grounds
Their first field was the Welford Fields, owned by Wellford’s Dairy. The players used the pub The Case is Altered as their changing room. Fig 11. QPR has trough out the years played at least eleven different grounds, of which 10 of them are between Paddington and Wembley. Fig 12. Queen's Park Rangers also played half a year in Barnes south of Themes, an early groundsharing with Fulham.
The nearby national stadium Wembley where built 1923 and there was a plan to base an amateur team called Argonauts in the stadium, to play in the League as Queen's Park of England. QPR is the club closest to Wembley and it’s a tradition for the fans for fans to march to Wembley during cup finals . During the Cup Finals against Oxford in 1986 10,000 supporters marched together. Fig 13. QPR have played at Wembley 5 times (one replay) and have seen 2 wins 1 draw and 2 losses. The largest Triumph is the League Cup victory 1967.Fig 14.
In the playoff finals 2014 had QPR 45,000 fans, which is a club record at the New Wembley Fig 14.
Limited Company1898 at St Judes institute the decision was made that the club was to become a professional one. A good decision since many amateur clubs came to disappear within the next twenty years.The capital stock was £ 5,000 which was distributed to 10,000 shares with a value of 10 shillings per share. A prominent figure after the club became professional was Arthur Lythaby that combined being a director with the captain of the reserve team, it was to say the least unusual. From 1907 the Fielding family lead the club, which last until the mid-1940s. Then came Albert Hittinger who was chairman during much of the time until Jim Gregory and the modern era in the early 1960s.
QPR became a part of the Southern League, organizer of professional football in southern England. Of the southern clubs only Woolwich A was a continuous member of the Football League. Fig 15. The main reason the club turned pro was because allot of players were going pro at the time. QPR decided to do the same in order to avoid loosing players to other clubs. But also because they had previously been penalized by London FA for having a player that had previously been professional. Problems with the football association has followed the club throughout its entire history.
Outshoots and Fake clubs formed
The first outshoot of the club as mentioned earlier was Paddington FC.
More worse attempt happend in 1893 QPR had become one of the strongest teams in West London. Before the season in 1893 left the best players QPR and formed a new team called the West London FC. At the same time there were rumors that a Professional club should be formed in West London. There may be a connection. Some matches are documented of the WestLondoners but in 1894 they seem to be dissolved. It took a few years before QPR had recovered.
Next outshoott was the formation of Kensal Rise United. When QPR left Kensal Rise 1904 the arena owner started a new team to play at the ground, with a lot of former player from Rangers. The team was blocked by the other London clubs and was not admitted in any league and after some years it vanished. The next year 1905, a different venue owner attempted to do the same. The London clubs again went against the new club and blocked them to play in any league around London. But The Fototball League was expanding south and the club wich was given the name Chelsea FC was admittet to that League. Had this expansion been a year earlier Kensal Rise United had been in the Football League instead.Fig 16.
Early success and setbackWhen Rangers moved to Park Royal Ground in 1907, everybody thought they had found a permanent home for the club. The ground was built by the Great Western Railway and could hold up to 60,000 people. GWR’s main station was Paddington and many of its workers were QPR fans. The trains going to important matches were filled with white and green stripes. Park Royal Ground had its owned Railway station. Fig 17. A perfect solution. In fact too perfect that the British army confiscated it for use of its own during the First World War. And thus QPR was homeless again. Beside the ground one could find the Guinness brewery, who’s workers mostly consisted by QPR fans. The company was also the team’s first sponsor.
One of the earliest successes for the team was two Charity Shield Finals. One in 1908 and one in 1912. The finals were played between the champions of Football League division I and the Southern league. The two strongest Leagues. Fig18
The same year (1908), Stoke pulled out of Football League, and were to be replaced. QPR applied for membership, something the fans thought of as purely a formality. to their surprise Tottenham was picked, even though they finished in 7th in the Southern League. This was a heavy blow for the club. They had been denied play in the Southern League, and weren't allowed to play until through an act of mercy were allowed to play in the middle of the week. Because of this fewer supporters attended the games, and revenue was lost. This lead to among other things, selling Evelyn Lintott, QPR's first England International. Fig 19. From that point on QPR was seen as a mid class team. This event is regarded as the greatest backlash in the clubs history.
The classic Olympic stadium was built in 1908 as part of the exhibition area north of Shepherd's Bush. There it held a number of exhibitions. The first was Franco-British in 1808 and later, among others it held the Imperial International from 1909 which later influenced the names of the streets in the area. The arena was also the site for the Olympics in 1908 and 1948 but also for a World Cup match in 1966. Between 1929 and 1978 it housed the Speedway Club White City Rebels who had the American Confederate flag as a symbol.
QPR were tenants 2 times on a permanent basis from 1931 to 1933 and from 1962 to 1963 and 2 matches 1912 when a cole-strike made it impossible to reach the Park Royal Arena. Before the rebuild of Loftus Road in the 1970s, it was discussed that move again and to build a brand new arena at White City. That was considered too expensive. The stadium was demolished in 1985 and now is the BBC's White City department there. Fig 20.
Loftus Road and Shepherds Bush
In the beginning of the last century Loftus Road was an empty field in the outskirts of Shepherds Bush. It had been used to dump large amounts of mud from the digging of the Central Railway, the world’s largest and deepest underground railway. The muddy field made Loftus Road a very water drenched field. Shepherds Bush FC, the red and white stripes, originally from Westminster with the previous name Old St Stephens built the ground. They had moved from the nearby Wormholt Farm. The Bushmen, as they were called back then, was one of the better amateur teams in Lodon in the end of the 19:th century, and during that time arch rivals to QPR. They beat QPR with as much as 6-1 in 1886. However during the First World War the club was disbanded. The last match they played was in 1915. Fig 21. A few years later QPR moved in. What first started as a temporary solution has now lasted for as long as 84 years.
Shepherds Bush is a part of London associated with entertainment. There are theatres, music clubs and so on. Fig 22. Shepherds Bush FC had a tight connection with the theatre, some of the players were even actors. Today you can find BBC Centre in the Shepherds Bush area. Many pop and rock bands have also performed there. Its possible that that might be the reason for there being so many QPR fans in this particular profession. Some of the groups associated with the area are groups like The Clash, Deep Purple, The Who etc. A present day (2006) double-acting player, Gareth Ainsworth is both a wind-speed winger and a cruel singer in his own band.
Loftus Road Ground - the names
Loftus Road Ground and The Loft is named after the original road to the field prior to the arena. The road can been seen in maps from 1841 and from 1886 the name Loftus Road is given. The street is probably named after a person, perhaps the person who owned a property at the street. Another possibility is any significant Loftus, for example, Adam Loftus, at that time ambassador in New South Wales. The name Loftus comes from the village of Lofthouse in Yorkshire. The origin of the word of Loft is Scandinavian and means a loft - a upper room under the roof, which The Loft is in reality. Fig 23.
Ellerslie Road and the houses on the street and Loftus Road seems to be built simultaneously. The name can derived from a property owners. The name Ellerslie is probably from Elderlie a town in Scotland where the Scottske national hero William Wallece came from..
School End Stand is named after the nearby school. The school existed before the football field. Nearby cross street Blomfontain Road, is probably named after the South African city Blomfontain. The name is younger than the Loftus name but the street is the oldest cross street and has an older name Oldoaks Road. South Africa Road is named after the South African pavilion in the exhibition area White City.
The club has been able to expand when it previously owned houses around the stadium and also had the opportunity to buy up the school. Nowadays there is no expansion possible
First in 1920 QPR became a Fotbooll League football club. It should have been 20 years before. After the war, QPR had a pretty good team, and looked with confidence to climb the league. They reached the quarter-finals in the FA Cup in 1923 but as time went by QPR went down to the table. The club had worse economy than its competitors. Fig 24.
Blue and white hoops
In 1927 Queens Park Rangers switched their colours from Green and White hoops to Blue and White. The reason behind this was that there had been to much bad luck. They had already applied two times for membership in the Football league and failed. Not until 1921 was membership admitted in division 3. Two of the team’s better grounds were closed: Apart from Park Royal also Kensal Rise Ground. Two times in the early twenties the team came in last place in the third division. This was a new low for the team.
The blue and white color produced results and the club climbed up in the table. QPR became champions in the difficult old division 3 south in 1948 and played in the Football League divison 2 until 1953. Best placement was a 13th place in 1949.
The Supporter Cub is formed and Daphne Biggs
The official supporters club was formed in 1935. Prior to the club itself the supporter club created its own symbol, which also came to be used in the program header.Fig25.
Players, managers and owners have been replaced over the years at QPR. What always remains is the fans - the club's soul. One that stood stool is Daphne Biggs which worked with the supporter club from the early 1950s and 50 years forward. It¨s her favorite song that played at victories. Fig26.
Between 1953 and 1959, QPR played without hoops in white shirts and blue shorts. An outfit that is actually returned in three away games in 1976-77. The club has been relegated from division two and QPR listed some low attendances, the lowest since the recession in the early 1930s.
Alec Stock inspires new optimism
Re shake-up occurred when Alec Stock took over as manager in 1959. Hoops came back and a a move to White City Stadium, foreshadowing the future. He also built up a team of promising young players with a lot of own products, who took the club to Wembley and League cup victory in 1967 and in two seasons from Division 3 to the top league. The premiere game 1968 was against Leicester City and ended 1-1. Fig27.
Jim Gregory era
During the 60’s, when the car dealer and garage
magnet Jim Gregory took over the club. He was a local boy from the Bush
and invested a lot of money in the club. He even had a way with the politicians,
and was given building permits for a total reconstruction of Loftus Road. A New stadium was built 1968-1981. In 1981 a plastic
pitch was layed, the first in England. The original idea was to build
a roof over the arena, so that Loftus Road could be used to other events
beside football. And during his time as chairman the club reached its
Best football and Gordon Jago
QPR was the
first club in England that played continental style of football. The legendary
manager Gordon Jago realized after Englands defeat against West Germany
in 1972 that football is a game best played with a good passing game on
the ground. QPR would for 20 years play the most technical football in
England. After Gordon Jago came captain Terry Venables and successors,
following in his footsteps.
Besides its excellent football the club has many firsts in English football history. They were the first? to wear shiny silk shirts. The first and only club to march to Wembley. The first third level English club to win a major trophy. The first with their own TV commercial. They were early adopters of shirt advertisement, and they were the first to make use of plastic grass (1982-1990).Fig 30.
The club has also been characterized by a lot of skilled players who do not always wanted to be subordinate to the system and in different ways expressed their own will. There are players like Stan Bowles, Mark Dennis, Simon Stainrod, Rodney Marsh and in recent years Adel Taarabt and Joey Barton. Fig 31.
The season 1975-1976 and Dave Sexton
The most successful season was 75-76. The Rangers skilled team where the foundation was laid by Gordon Jago and perfected by Dave Sexton. QPR led the League in the last six rounds in the spring (total was the team at top position at 12 rounds) but a shameful loss against Norwich and a strong finish of Liverpool made the League title slipped out of their hands. Fig 31.
After this season, it became less and less variation of team winning the League. New sources of income that TV revenues skewed resources between the clubs and it became fewer clubs who could fight for the top position. It became even more signifikant with the introduction of the Premier League. Fig 32.
The club also has a worse track record, as failing to rrecruit promising young future stars. Players that QPR have had as a youth player / trialist and not gone ahead with include Tony Currie, Stuart Pearce and John Barnes also Rahem Sterling and Zlatan Ibramovic. Sterling was offered contract but had to be sold in 17-years of age. Ibra trained with the club for a week as 16-year-old but interrupted his stay after an argument with the manager Gerry Francis.
The fans have always stood behind their heoroes with chants. The first time it rang around all over the arena - a Rangers Roar was in 1966. Since then chanting has evolve from Rodney chants to advanced songs. Recurrence nowadays is Kevin Gallen's Magic Hat. The chant is sung still (2014) even though it was 7 years ago, he quit and since then has been a few games against Chelsea.
The music has become increasingly important. Numerous Rangers songs have passed Loftus Road speakers or people's lips. In recent years, notably three songs become permanent. London Calling by The Clash at the start of the match, Pigbag at goal and the Silver Lining by Jeff Back at victory.
A club rituals are emerging from below, from the fans. Pigbag-song came about that way. It started with only 3-4 fans started singing the song on a train to away games. The improved riff now with a hoops sung at the end began to get more and more followers. After a half a years it was sung of fans around the stadium and now the club began playing the song. The first time the song was heard from the speakers was 1998. Middlesbrough has also played the song. It has also been heard on Fake-Hoops - Readings arena and has been played before the match at Sweden National Stadium. Fig 33.
1982 and Terry Venables
An interesting teambuilding was created by Terry Venables with young technical players who took advantage of the plastic pitch. And like Alec Stock 15 years earlier reached QPR Wembley now in an FA Cup final. Had it been another time Rangers had fought in the very top. Now they had to sell their best players and Terry himself disappeared south to Barcelona.Fig 34.
Fulham Park Rangers
During the late 20:th century there have been several discussions regarding a merging between QPR and other clubs. Brentford in 1967, Fulham in 1987 (with suggested names as Fulham Park Rangers, West London Rangers and Hammersmith Flyovers!). Wimbledon 2001 (QPR Dons) and the move to Milton Keynes also in 2001 (MK QPR). However due to a strong group of supporters and a strong brand name QPR has even though their bad financial status avoided a merging with other teams. Fig 35.
Fonder club of Premier League
QPR is the founder member of the Premier League 1992. Despite a good start with a 5th place first season was the club's financial situation unstable. There was no long-term approach which ultimately meant relegation and even down to the third division. It would take 15 years before it again played Premier League football at Loftus Road. Fig 36.
Queens Park Rangers Ladies FC
Queens Park Rangers Ladies FC was formed in 2001 by the merger of two established women's teams Wembley Mill Hill and QPR Women FC. The newly formed team has since played at 2nd and 3d levels of the English women leagues . Best placement was 2011/12 with a 7th place in the Premier League South. QPR Woman FC won the Woman's Cup in 1977 and reached two finals years thereabouts. The mother club could invest more in the ladies football. Besides the football provides a strong women's team added value in the form of stronger identity and greater support. QPR have a fairly high percentage of female support, but there could be more. Fig37.
Divsion 3 and Ian Holloway
Ian Holliway became manager when the Rangers was relegated from the second level. It took him only two seasons to secure promotion despite poor economy and limited resources. The charismatic manager created a team with strong personalities who are still (2014) is many people's favorite. The team consisted of a lot of their own products. Fig 38.
Towards bankruptcy, and the world's richest club
At the turn of the century and thereafter the economy for QPR worsened. The club was set in Administration during a one year period, and a huge loan from an unknown ABC Corporation became a stranglehold that jeopardized their very existence. Fans feared that the season of 2008 would be played in Hyde Park in the Sunday league, with the fans themselves as players. In the last moment the club was saved by the F1 billionaires Flavio Briatore and Bernie Ecclestone, whom bought QPR with their goals set on the top. They were later joined by the Indian steel tycoon billionaire family Mithal. Fig39.
Briatore and Ecclestone set up a strategy called "the Four Year Plan" for promotion to the Premier League , which also became a prize-winning documentary film. The plan was a success and Rangers returned to Premier League football after 15 years in the lower divisions followed by Briatore and Ecclestone immediately selling their majority stake to the airline magnate Tony Fernandes for a heavy profit.
Tony Fernandes era
Tony Fernandes proved to be the most serious owner for a long time and he immediately made major investment in the club and gave the club and its fans again visions of a great future. Fig 40.
But the attempt to once again establish Rangers as a major team in the Premier League was however unsuccessful and short lived, only two seasons. The tactic of using established and well-paid big stars backfired. One would be hard pressed to find the likes of the reluctant players found in the QPR, and the team almost became hated in football-England having evolved into a kind of mini-Chelsea, which was a remarkable development since the return was greeted with respect and positive expectation. QPR's proud history had again been acknowledged. The team, a once founding member of the Premier League. This was a real blow.
The first half of the 2010s was like a yoyo: up and downs between Premier League and Championship. The best moment was Bobby Zamora's magical goal in the final minute in the play-off final at Wembley in 2014. Fig 14. On trains, pubs and nightclubs around West London was sung "Oh Bobby Zamora" all night.
The Season 2016-17 QPR have embraced a new strategy partly due to rules on Financial Fair Play. The Club is investing in the long term and on promising players from the lower divisions.After some manager swaps, the club has also returned to the roots of managers and appointed Ian Holloway.
Warren Farm and new stadium
The new Training Centre Warren Farm is provides the opportunity for more own grown players in the club - the promising youth is staying. The more people who come in contact with the club also means that fans base widens. Unfortunately, a large Nimby-resistance in the area has led to questions about the plan can become a reality. Building permit was granted in September 2015 and the club will go ahead after the proceedings have been approved by a High Court judge in spring 2017. It is still unclear when construction starts. Fig 41
QPR, together with the Genesis Housing Association in the autumn of 2016, had been granted permission to continue planning for a future residential area and football stadium in Old Oak Common. However, during the spring of 2017, the misson to complete a Master Plan over the area was awarded to another orgaisation AECOM. As QPR is not a major landowner in the area, it becomes harder to plan for a football arena. QPR has therefore begun looking for alternative places and the only possible is the area around Linford Christie Stadium. The Old Oak option is probably not yet written off, but becomes considerably more difficult to implement.
In comparison, the Old Oak option is also much better than LCS:
When teams were formed in the 19:th century it was common practice to take the name of the city or borough where the team came from. QPR however took their name from the highly regarded Queen's Park. If they would have taken the name of the borough they came from, they would today be known as Chelsea.