A journey through the life and times of Queen’s Park Rangers FC from 1988 to 1996, as seen through the pages of ‘In The Loft’ fanzine.
Just why do QPR get such bad gates ? There are many reasons why, all of them could be put right by the Club, but we all know they seem more interested in looking after their ‘richer’ fans. A lot of you will be in agreement with those words but they’re not mine. They are from issue number 7 of ‘In The Loft’ way back in April 1989. You may also think that nothing changes and you’ll probably be right.
On reading this book in order to review it for this website, I have a confession to make. I have bought every copy of ‘A Kick Up The R’s’ and still have them stored in a huge cardboard box at home. I also have every copy of Pete Doherty’s fanzine, ‘All Quiet On The Western Avenue’ as well but I don’t have a single copy of ITL, maybe because the two fanzines I do have printed my articles and Howard never did. The fact that I never submitted an article shouldn’t be taken into account either, it’s just splitting hairs !!!
So I got to read the book with a blank canvas so to speak. The book is dedicated to Howard’s older brother Carl, who sadly passed away at a ridiculously young age. Carl edited the Millwall fanzine, ‘The Lion Roars’ which obviously inspired Howard to start his own QPR fanzine and having met Carl a couple of times, I think he would’ve been proud of his younger siblings efforts. As it says above, it is the story of our club between 1988 and 1996 which are the last eight seasons we spent in the upper tier of English football.
Howard has done a great job on this and it is obviously a real labour of love on his part. At 400 pages as well, he must have spent many a month on his PC compiling the book. It is in a easy to read format as it is in chronological order. Each chapter covers a particular season and at the end of each chapter, the season’s results are shown. I found things I’d long forgotten and some that I don’t remember at all, maybe that’s the age factor creeping in ! It’s a great record of our club’s recent history and would be a great stocking filler for anyone who collects QPR books or just wants a good read, or in our case a ‘bad read’. I haven’t read every page (only had it for three days ffs !) but took about 10 pages from each chapter to get the general gist of what was happening at the time.
It does get surreal at times, especially the joke/spoof pictures and the letters pages but if I could summarise on what I read it is: Kevin Brock wasn’t very good/Peter Reid and Ray Wilkins were brilliant together in midfield, a shame they only played together once/what a great signing Darren Peacock was/Dennis Bailey was the love child of Diana Ross and the Reverend Jesse Jackson/Justin Channing was found on the Moon/on 26th August QPR were top of the inaugural Premier League and Rolf Harris was going to be our new striker ! The last chapter is hard reading as it was our last in the top flight but younger fans will be shocked to hear that between 1988 and 1995, we were capable of fielding teams to beat the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham. How things have changed ??? We were also the team that fielded Brian Laws and Gus Caesar in the same side, so nothing’s really changed on some fronts. Now if you don’t mind, I’m going to read the rest of it.