This Loftus Road fixture was the first of many post-war friendly matches played against Scottish clubs. Subsequent encounters have included matches against the likes of; Kilmarnock, Ayr, Glasgow Rangers, Celtic, Hibernian, Hearts, Arbroath, St Johnstone, both Dundee clubs, Raith Rovers, Motherwell, St Mirren and also Nairn County from the Highland League.
This Monday night game kicked off at 6pm on 16th April 1951and the R’s lined up as follows:
Gullan, Poppitt, Ingham, Parkinson, Woodward, Parsons, Waugh, Duggan, Hatton, Farrow, Shepherd.
Incidentally the Bully Wee Clyde side that night was: Thompson, Lindsay, Haddock, Campbell, Somerville, Long, Davies, Bolton, Linwood, Robertson and Ring. A special mention has to be made of left-back Harry Haddock who was originally a half-back and he earned for himself the title of the longest ‘thrower-in’ of a ball in the country.
The following report appeared in the Willesden Chronicle:
‘Rangers were lucky to secure their 1-0 win over the Scottish “A” Division side, Clyde in the friendly on Monday. The home side rested Clayton and Smith and brought in Parsons at right-half and Duggan at inside-right. There were almost as many league Managers as there were players and if they had come to see the Rangers men in action – which was unlikely as they should know that Manager Dave Mangnall is unlikely to part with many of them – they were unlucky, for few of the home side were in top form. I would exclude Woodward, Poppitt and Ingham and, in the second half, Parkinson, but doubtless all were affected by the strange experience of playing on hard ground. It seemed to affect the forwards particularly, but it was also obvious that Shepherd and Waugh were up against good backs and neither Duggan nor Hatton were easily able to pass the tall centre-half, Sommerville.
Only the bar stopped Clyde scoring three goals, Ring twice hit the woodwork and the best shot of the match from Robertson, also glanced over the top. Rangers took 78 minutes to go ahead – Hatton scoring from a long pass down the middle – but although they had most of the play, they were far from clearly superior. The Scots crisp passing in which Davies excelled, took them forward at a much faster pace but Linwood’s inability to beat Woodward and Poppitt’s early grip on Ring thwarted their attack short of the penalty area. Apart from one or two shaky spells early in the game, Clyde’s defence was sound against a frequently fast but rarely cohesive attack. Thompson gave a good display in goal but was lucky to stop one drive from Duggan from point blank range.’
Apart from the usual pen pictures of the opposition, the Supporters Club notes announced that their next members dance would be at St Stephen’s Hall in Ellerslie Road. Refreshments would be courtesy of the Ladies Section and the Ranelagh Club Dance Band supplied the music. The next 1st team match was also a friendly, this time against Brentford. There were to be mixed fortunes in our final two league games, a 1-2 defeat at Blackburn Rovers was followed by a 3-2 home win against Bury. Rangers finished in 16th position and were to survive just one more season before being relegated back to the old Third Division South.
Thanks to Gordon Macey for confirming the R’s line-up.