In Memory Of Daphne Biggs

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Daphne died eight years ago today and, on hearing the sad news, I wrote the following short tribute to her:-

‘It was with great sadness when we heard that Daphne had died in hospital on Sunday morning. A great servant of the club for longer than anyone can remember. She, and her husband before her, had been on the old Supporters Club Committee and more recently, she could always be seen in the Box Office lending a hand. On a personal note, I will always remember as a kid travelling away on the coaches in the 60’s, her kindness and her dedication. She lived for the club and must of had blue and white blood flowing through her veins. Daphne is a true legend of our club, Queen’s Park Rangers Football Club.’ God Bless You Daff.

Steve Russell

My first memories of supporting QPR are the mesmeric skills of Stan Bowles. However, Daphne was the person whom left the biggest impression on me. In my youthful days, following Rangers away from home, it was always Daphne who would stamp my away travel card. Her passion for the club, and the warmth she would show in dealing with us supporters was genuine and what made our club special. When I was lucky enough to work for the club, I had the pleasure of working alongside Daphne, and although she had a good few years on her clock, she retained the passion for the club and a great sense of humour right up until we sadly lost her. She was, and always will be, a true QPR legend.

Mark Devlin

My first recollections of Daphne Biggs were in the late 1950’s in the Supporters Club Office underneath the centre of the old wooden Ellerslie Road Stand. She was often there, either enrolling Supporters Club membership or selling the extremely limited range of club merchandise such as bobble hats, scarves and black and white photos of players such as Leslie Locke, George Petchey and Arthur Longbottom etc. Even during that long ago era, Daphne always had the persona of the kindly matronly figure. She was forever tolerant of us young excitable schoolboys who swarmed into that cramped and confined premises on match days to see (though not always to buy) what was on offer.

During the period from 1967 to 1970, as I progressed from late teenage years to early adulthood, I sometimes travelled on the Supporters Club coaches to away games. Daphne was the chief steward and usually had everything well organised. Often she used to turn a blind eye to some boisterous behaviour, but out of sheer respect we knew not to take liberties. Once, at an away game at Huddersfield Town in November, 1967 (R’s lost 0-1), one of the coaches broke down and it was Daphne who persuaded her driver to squeeze on board the stranded supporters for the remainder of the short journey to the ground.

Following my change of residence to the Manchester area in the 1970’s, I did not have any further personal contact with Daphne, but I was always aware right up to the end of her life, of the continued devoted work and loyal support for Queen’s Park Rangers Football Club, whatever regime was at the  helm in the Loftus Road Boardroom.

Bernard Lambert (Kerrins)



20 Responses to In Memory Of Daphne Biggs

  1. Mike Jackson says:

    A wonderful woman…My first recollections were in the late 1940′s in the Supporters Club Hut. As you say QPR through and through but she did have a”day time job” at LDC (Lancashire Dynamo Crypto)in Acton Lane.My Dad (Charles Jackson)worked there from the War until his death in 1960..Whenever I went to LDC Daphne wsa always there to give me a sweet and talk about the Rangers.Some great photos of her in the old handbooks

  2. Paul Finney says:

    What can anyone say about Daphne Biggs that has not been said by others and the stories about her.
    When i came over here from Ireland i was a wee skinny Belfast kid with no idea about London at all.
    I turned up got on the coaches and she would come and talk to me as i went to a lot of games on my own,she would also make sure that i never felt alone.
    God bless her even once on a trip when as i say i was young we had West Ham away coming up and she came down the coach and gave me a tube map and a page from the A-Z As weeks before i said i was a little unsure on how to get there.

    She also gave me a right ear bashing once away to Forrest on the famous league cup game when i had words with some of their fans on the way out,she was not happy and god did i know it i thought she was going to make me go back to them and say sorry with hand on ear.

    The day i got married twenty years ago it was the standard kind of one with this and that going on and then the cards came round to be read she had only got the whole Queen’s Park Rangers squad to sign a card on the video you can see my face just glow with pride and a wee note from the wonderful Mrs Daphne Biggs .

    Even when i joined the LSA committee i was just standing at the box office and i seen her and over she calls me and said how proud she was of me even now i feel so much pride in her saying that and without her i do not know what would of become of me she took me into the QPR family and made me so welcome.

    When i got a call from David Davies to do her flowers it was the hardest thing i have ever done in my time i hope when she was looking down on us she felt we done her proud.

    Her service was a credit to her and to me she will always be missed.
    She was a one off and a wonderful person and god bless you Daphne Biggs R.I.P.

    Come on You R’s.

  3. Kenneth Westerberg says:

    Living in Finland, I only had the pleasure of meeting Daphne a few times. The first time was in 1976 when me and my brother went on the Supporters club coach to Ipswich.
    The second time was in 2001 when I went to LR for a game and at the Box Office she handed me a previous match program that was lost in the mail. Always helpful and very friendly. I remember thinking she looked so small and fragile but her QPR heart was as big as one can have. A real lady and a true QPR legend.

  4. Pat Harrison says:

    Dear Daphne, such a lovely lady and a good friend. It was amazing how she remembered so many peoples names.
    I miss her still and often think of her. Yes, she was a true QPR legend.

  5. Neil Roberts says:

    I have many fond memories of Daphne, and had the pleasure with working with her at Loftus Road for a few years.
    I recall how she was in a terrible car crash whilst working with me in the Supporters Club, but she still tried to get in to work everyday by bus!
    A remarkable lady who will live on in our memories always.
    Like the old Supporters Club motto, Daphne was “Always There”.

  6. Captain Jack says:

    When “olduns” like me still call the club a “Family Club” a major part of the reason is due to people like Daphne. Her true dedication to our great club was clearly boundless and she will be remembered fondly as a legend of QPR. RIP Daphne.

  7. Mike Gettens says:

    Seeing all the tribute letters to ‘Dear Daphne’ Brought back all the memmories of all those years ago Under the old ellerslie road stand, I was a member of the supporters club committee with the likes of ‘Bill Clow’ etc etc. As for Daphne running our supporters coaches. I tell the story of one away trip to Tranmere with the coach leaving Ellerslie road at 8.15am with me living around the corner on the White City Estate you would have thought I would have been on time. not so the coach had left!! I did nothing more than walk through to wood lane caught a bus to Harlesden and from ther on I HITCHIKED as the day wore on having been in various Lorrys and cars I realised I was running out of time to get to the ground before the coach left to return to our ground. I was in luck as my last lift was a motorbike (no helmets in those days) The motor cyclist dropped me at a bus stop outside the ground. I asked someone coming out of the ground Who Won? the rply was Bl—y Q.P.R won 3-0 I then had to find Daphne who said on seeing me ‘where have you been? Needless to say I was happy on the way back although I Never saw the game. Good on yer daphne for keeping my seat on the Coach. The article in last saturdays programme about our F.A.Cup match at barry town I was there with Daphne for that match. Memories with Daphne and QPR she was QPR. mike gettens August 25th,2010 3.10pm.

  8. Chris says:

    Daphne looked after me on all those away trips in the 70′s – she was like my 2nd Mum.

    A wonderful lady.

  9. Martin says:

    Great write up Steve. I didn’t know Daphne as well as many others but she did make a big impression on me. Like Paul I also received a card signed by all the players on my wedding day and that meant a huge amount to me. I know Daphne was behind that.

    She was a woman with a truly incredible memory for faces, names and people – quite quite remarkable.

    The flag at Cardiff at the 2003 Play Off match was a very nice touch. Anyone know who made it? A photo of it to go with this article would be a nice touch.

  10. Brian McCarthy says:

    Lovely tributes for a lovely lady.

  11. MIKE WOLL says:

    I was “lost” youngster working in London as an apprentice from Chicago and first went to Loftus Road in 1971. Became a member and got back to visit rarely as my family back in USA grew, but when I stopped by, Daphne always had a greeting for me by name: “Hi, Mike Woll from Chicago, back again?” She was such a treasure.

  12. Martin K says:

    wonderful woman who was Rangers through n through greatly missed

  13. Phil Harris says:

    I spent five years working with Daphne at Loftus Road and what always struck me during my time with the Club was her remarkable energy and devotion to the Rs.

    Well in to her 70s, she put the club and its supporters first and epitomised everything that was good about QPR as a club and a place to work.

    Phil Harris
    QPR Communications Manager to 2005

  14. luke peppard says:

    if anyone deserves a memorial at qprfc, it’s daphne.
    time flies but memories linger.
    she loved qpr so much and gave it so much.
    RIP.

  15. Kerrins says:

    FAO Mike Gettens

    Those were very interesting comments regarding Daphne Biggs in paticular the stories relating to the late 1950 era.

    Y’know that game against Tranmere away you mention where we won 3-0 has a vivid place in my memory. The match took place on 26th Sept 59 and although unlike yourself I did not travel(too far for a ten year old boy) it stands out clearly because on that day I was watching the reserves beat Crystal Palace 2-1 at Loftus Rd.

    At the final whistle of the Reserve game they annouced over the loudspeaker that the first team had won 3-0 at Tranmere Rovers..cue unusually loud cheers and celebrations from a very small crowd.For the record up at Prenton Park you missed a brace of goals from Norman Golding and one from Brian Bedford. The Attendence was 11,252…but it should have been 11,253! lol

    I dont recall you in that old supporters club office(but your name rings a bell) just Daphne and Ken Blackburn. You certainly wont remember me..skinny schoolboy sprog with braces on teeth sometimes wearing a Victoria School blazer. Daphne was always kind and allowed me to Browse at will through the merchandise and once gave me a discount on a black and white photograph of Arthur Longbottom.

    Yes Daphne’s longevity at QPR FC touched many of our own lives.

    Bernard Lambert (Kerrins)

  16. Liam says:

    I only knew daphne for a short time when I started goin to away games regularly in 1987. The first thing that surprised me is that she remembered my name only after ever having met her once. One of my ‘few’ failings is failing to remember people’s names even after years of knowing them!

    Daphne knew you straight away, even on the phone. She must have known hundreds of people at least. That says all you need to know about her and her interest in people. Something missing today not just from our club.

    I remember going to see if I could pick up an away programme from Bolton one time. i spoke to Daphne and she said they’d all been sold. @oh well’ I though, I’ll make do without. A week or two later a package arrives at home with a Bolton away programme inside. I was gobsmacked. Not only had Daphne tracked down that programme but found my address just from first name….I never got to thank her for that which I really regret because she passed not long after.

    These are the things I remember of Daphne. Not only did she love Queens Park Ranger, she loved people. She was a wonderful person. Really one of a kind and I miss her.

    Liam

  17. Andy Wardle says:

    What can I say? 1980, I met her away at Oldham on a train with 900 QPR fans doing the Coro Street tune as we passed through Stockport. I met her at several other games and at the club shop and the box Office. 1985, different trip to the UK, same result, there she was. To be honest I thought she was like the higlander and gonna outlive everyone!

    Thanks daph for saving me away at WBA, just because those Police didn’t like me using a Britrail pass for the train trip and thanks too for saving me at that other game when I have that camera film key ring and the Police thought it was a dangerous weapon. Thats two I owe/d you.

    Your warmth, compassion, genuineness, yet also your ability to scold those being stupid, made you like everyones mother. You had total respect even from those whom you scolded. No one back chatted you that I know/heard of. In my 49 years I have not found anyone else held up in such high esteme with perhaps the exception being Tony Ingham. So you are in good company.

    Even now I miss you. When you were helping run the supporters club sending me the yearly plastic wallets in the 70′s.

    Mrs QPR, that’s you!

  18. ray manning says:

    l didt know the lady but l did work with ken blackburn and he did say wonderful things about the lady absent friends

  19. Olly says:

    I hope on the 10th anniversary of Daph’s sad passing on 25th August 2012 that Mr Finney goes round the messageboards with a few in memoriam posts.

    She was simply 1)The Greatest Woman Ever To Be Associated With Queens Park Rangers.
    and 2)Everyone’s Second Mum.

    They sure as God don’t make ‘em like that anymore.
    Total respect.

    • finney says:

      I did the flowers for her funeral heartbreaking she took me into the QPR family and was even proud she told me when i bacame media rep for the LSA.
      so missed and never will be forgotten.
      And yes we will do something that day.


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