On the 6th April 1968, our opponents at Loftus Road were Carlisle United and in the match programme that day were the results of a census taken of the QPR fan base. How extensive this sample was I don’t know but it would have certainly been very different if there had been one taken ten years earlier before many more families were to leave West London. The exodus was to be mainly up the Western Avenue and beyond Gypsy Corner. Around this time my family moved from W12 to Perivale and later on to Greenford.
A subsequent factor would have been that from the 1965-66 Season, our fame and reputation was being heralded further afield than the pages of the ‘Bush Gazette’ and the ‘Willesden Chronicle’. In fact, apart from promotion the previous year we also won ‘you know what’ at Wembley and the following month in May of ’68, we were to achieve promotion again and this time to the top flight and our fan base increased and widened yet again.
Interesting to note that the Programme Editorial remarked that the Sports Writers were “sitting back in amazement as we broke down all their fancy theories about being too open at the back, too pretty at the front and too naïve to really appreciate what football was all about, but we are still top of the table…..” !!!!!!
Roger Morgan was due to play his 150th league game and Gerry Francis had just started for the Juniors. I have been fascinated by just how far and wide our support covers and the results of that census 40 years ago are as follows:-
Local e.g. West, NW, SW and Central London….39.30%
North and East London…5.20%
Bedfordshire and Bucks…2.50%
Kent and Sussex…1.70%
Hampshire and Wiltshire 0.90%
Rest of the Country and Overseas…12.50%
This last figure seems a bit high and with no proper breakdown, just examples given as Blackpool, Northern Counties, Western Counties and Countries such as USA and Ghana !!!