Family Links To Loftus Road

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A copy of my book, Loftus Road Legacy – The History Of Shepherd’s Bush Football Club, came up for auction recently at Graham Budd Auctions in association with Sotheby’s. The price guide was £300-400. But if you do have a copy, don’t turn your house upside down to find it. The book accompanied a 1914 advertising poster in that sale. The match was the West London Junior Charity Cup Final, featuring Simmaries against Star United at the Loftus Road Ground, 27th April 1914. Bidding closed at £200.

I clearly remember the night I had discovered my family’s contribution to the home of QPR. I had been working in Hammersmith Archives and the family was at the match. It was a Tuesday evening in late September 2001. Driving home, I picked up Iain Dowie’s half time comments on the radio. (He was there as a summariser for the BBC.) The future of Loftus Road was up for discussion and Iain commented on what a great little ground it was and his hopes that QPR would be able to remain there. So far, so good – and in October 2004 Loftus Road chalked up its century.

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Back in the summer of 1904, the ground was little more than a dump – literally. Contractors building the ‘new’ Underground railway from Shepherd’s Bush to the City had left Loftus Road four feet deep in heavy London clay. Shepherd’s Bush Football Club was looking for a new home because its Wormholt Farm ground was being developed for housing. The Loftus Road site was ideal but massive piles of clay had to be removed before a professional contractor could come in to lay the pitch. Fencing, entrances, pavilion, stand and press box were installed. This was all achieved within a four-month deadline (and ahead of final planning approval given on 15th October by Hammersmith Borough Council !). At 3.00pm on Saturday, 22nd October 1904, the local MP kicked the ball into play to start the first of many matches at Loftus Road – Shepherd’s Bush against Old Malvernians. And such was the calibre of the ground that it was selected later in the Season to host the 1905 FA Amateur Cup Final when West Hartlepool defeated Clapton by three goals to two.

Despite early successes, the club committee repeatedly rejected professionalism. Of course, they regularly lost some of their better players to QPR and other professional teams and by the end of 1914, many others had joined up to fight in the Great War.

While the family were established supporters, my first visit to Loftus Road was on 7th May 1983 when QPR beat Wolves and went on to win the Second Division title. Of course, we had no idea of any ‘family connection’ then. Since that time, we have held Season tickets in the Loft with many of the same ‘matchday friends’. Driving through Shepherd’s Bush, we pass the pubs that once hosted club meetings and after match ‘smokers’ and provided hot baths and changing rooms for players. The houses in Ellerslie Road and Loftus Road are the same ones where people hung out of windows or sat on the roof to watch Shepherd’s Bush games free of charge. Some things may change but I am sure that the atmosphere and the hope of ‘a win today’ is much the same as it ever was.

My piece of the QPR plastic pitch is now almost 20 years old. What are its chances at auction in a hundred years time ? (with a copy of the book of course)

Frances Trinder

The first print run of ‘Loftus Road Legacy’ sold out. Further copies have been printed and are available from Yore Publications, 12 The Furrows, Harefield, Middlesex UB9 6AT.

Tel/Fax No. 01895 823404, website: www.yore.demon.co.uk and the price remains at £9.95 plus postage and packing.



14 Responses to Family Links To Loftus Road

  1. "Kerrins" says:

    A very interesting article. Thanks Frances

    Shepherds Bush FC v QPR FC?…Now THAT would have been a REAL local Derby!

    Come on The Bush! lol

  2. "Kerrins" says:

    Thanks for the extra info Frances.

    What a great 1-0 triumph for the Bush over QPR FC.. Hooray! …I wonder if Queen Victoria was amused?

    Rangers.. Rangers… whats the score!! LOL

  3. Ken Neth says:

    Dear Frances,

    I bought you book a couple of years ago and found it very interesting reading, as it touches so close to our QPR.
    I bow with respect to anyone who has the energy and interest to produce books like yours because it tells me about the commitment and interest in the subjectmatter, not to mention the almost endless hours of hard work that goes into something like this.

    My sincerest thanks for your contribution to increasing my knowledge of the local football history.

  4. Frances Trinder says:

    Dear Ken
    Thank you for your kind comments and I am pleased you found it interesting. I have to admit I thoroughly enjoyed the whole project and missed it when it was finished.

  5. Moreno Ferrari says:

    Dear Frances

    I too must fully congratulate you on the book as I found it most interesting.
    There are too few books out there available on QPR let alone the ground itself so this was a very welcome addition to my collection.
    One thing I would like to ask you is if it were possible to have my copy autographed by your good self? I like to get my books if possible autographed by the authors themselves, as Gordon Macey is only too well aware!
    Is this something I could have done???

    Once again many thanks
    Moreno

  6. Frances Trinder says:

    Dear Moreno

    I would be delighted to autograph your book.Do you live local to Shepherd’s Bush, and can we meet up before a match?

    If this is not possible, I am sure we can make some other arrangement.

    Best wishes
    Frances

  7. Moreno Ferrari says:

    Dear Frances

    Thank you very much with the regards to my request.
    I live in Wembley but I’m a season ticket holder at QPR and therfore will be down there on Saturday.
    I tend to congregate around the front/player entrance on match days but I can meet-up with you anywhere else so you wish.
    Just name a place and time!
    Many thanks once again.
    Moreno

  8. Frances Trinder says:

    Dear Moreno
    I suggest 2.45 on Saturday, player entrance. I will wear a dark orange jacket with a name badge.
    Frances.

  9. Moreno Ferrari says:

    Dear Frances

    I’ll be there!
    I will be wearing a long black jacket, black trousers and a black cap with a silver motif.
    Suddenly it’s all looking like brief encounter….!

    Thanks Moreno

  10. Mark Doyle says:

    As the historian at Woking FC, I found your article very interesting. I’ve been researching our early days in the Isthmian League and it appears that WFC play Shepherd’s Bush seven times between 1911 and 1914 – three times at Loftus Road in fact. I shall look out for your book. Are there any pictures of Shepherd’s Bush FC team/players in it? Woking FC is of course also where QPR’s first England International Evelyn Henry Lintott started his career – I have some early pictures of him at Woking if any QPR historian types are interested.

    Many thanks

    Mark

  11. Frances Trinder says:

    Mark
    I am sure you will agree that the job of a football historian never ends. There is always something new creeping out of the woodwork. Amongst the illustrations there is a team photograph 1904/05, a match photograph and pictures of Lionel Louch (also played for Southend), John Oliver (who played a pivotal part in the development of Spurs) and Clement Denington, plus 23 other illustrations. I do hope you enjoy reading my book.
    Frances

  12. Anna says:

    Hi,
    I’m Jane Powell’s daughter,
    So you’re my great aunt :)
    The whole family seems to support QPR, including my dad’s side!

    We also have a copy of the book :D

    -Anna Cole

  13. Colin Lumsden says:

    Hello – I have a copy of 1904/5 team photo.I think my grandfather W J Lumsden was a member. Names at top of my copy damaged but I think he’s back row on the left.Is it possible to confirm. Thanks

  14. Steve Russell says:

    Hello Colin, thanks for you comment.Your grandfather is indeed pictured in that team photo,he’s shown third from the left in the back row. I noticed in the book that he left England for South Africa at the end of that season.
    Regards – Steve


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