It was a very proud moment for R’s fans when no less than five QPR players were called up for the England squad by Manager Don Revie in 1975.The Press photo below shows the five players and the details on the reverse side reads as follows:
‘On Friday (7-11-75), Don Revie named a 22-strong squad for the European Championship game in Portugal on November 19. One name stood out. That of Stan Bowles – providing that skill and genuine class are assets that cannot be ignored. The call to Bowles – he is one of five QPR men in the squad – can only act as a spur to Stoke’s Alan Hudson and to Charlie George. As the game in England goes through one of its periodic sessions of self-examination, it is not without significance that Revie relies on QPR stars. Few, if any, clubs work harder than Rangers at developing the skill factor.
PS: The Fabulous Five…Queen’s Park Rangers England stars who will be gunning for a place in the Portugal match (left to right), Dave Thomas, Stan Bowles, Gerry Francis, Phil Parkes and Ian Gillard.’
A reminder of these players full International England careers were as follows:
Stan Bowles – He made his debut in April 1974 against Portugal in Lisbon, which was also Sir Alf Ramsey’s final match as England Manager. In his next full International, he scored a goal in Cardiff against Wales. There were to be only three further caps for Stan, Northern Ireland at Wembley, Italy in Rome and finally Holland at Wembley in 1977.
Gerry Francis – Gerry Francis soon became the England captain. In only his fifth full International, he was made captain for the trip to Basle against the Swiss in September 1975. Previously his first full International was in October 1974 against Czechoslovakia at Wembley. There were of course those two memorable goals in that 5-1 victory over the Scots at Wembley in May 1975. He scored one more goal a year later against Northern Ireland and dogged by injury, Gerry’s final game was against Finland in Helsinki in June 1976. He also captained a representative side against Team America in Philadelphia and scored one of the goals in a 3-1 victory.
Ian Gillard – In March 1975, Ian Gillard played against West Germany at Wembley which was followed by an appearance against Wales also at Wembley. His final cap was later that year against Czechoslovakia in Bratislava.
Phil Parkes – Phil Parkes was the best QPR goalkeeper that I’ve ever seen and was very unlucky that he had to contend with the likes of Peter Shilton and Ray Clemence during his prime. Phil Parkes only received one England cap which was his appearance against Portugal in a 0-0 draw in Lisbon.
Dave Thomas – He came on as a sub in the match against Czechoslovakia in October 1974 at Wembley. The following month he was in the starting line-up for the 0-0 draw against Portugal. In 1975, he made a further six appearances. Coming off the bench in April for the match against Cyprus and then started in May against them in Limassol. Later that month, he started against Wales at Wembley and was then a sub in the 5-1 defeat of Scotland. His last two caps were against Czechoslovakia in Bratislava and finally in November against Portugal in Lisbon.