Following their defeat in the Kinnaird Shield match against Blackburn Rovers on 4th May 1912, Rangers set off immediately after the game to Charing Cross to embark on the first stage of the Club’s first Continental tour. They travelled overnight to Calais and after a gruelling train journey they arrived at their hotel in Paris at 7am. After a breakfast of rolls and coffee the players rested until midday.
Later, they left the Hotel St. Petersburg and the 1912/13 Club Handbook records: “Lunch over a motor ‘bus quickly took the team to a pleasantly situated ground outside Paris to meet Fulham.” The fixture has been described as an exhibition match, but after the game the Dubonnet trophy was awarded to the victors.
The Club Handbook goes on to state that: “With Birch and Sangster playing, we were, if anything, the better team in the first half, but condition told its tale in the second half, and we were well beaten (4-1) at the finish. McKie, playing at inside left, scored our goal, and incidentally, the best of the match.” The attendance was given as 6,000, but unfortunately there is no record of the Rangers line-up.
However, I managed to pick up some years ago a copy of the French magazine: “La Vie Au Grand Air” which included the above pics from the match. One of the players named is the R’s goalkeeper A. Nicholls.
Rangers then played their second match on the Tuesday when they thrashed Red Star Paris 9-2. Again no record of the R’s line-up, but we do know that three players scored hat-tricks; John Tosswill, Daniel McKie and Jimmy Birch.
The QPR party set off at 8 o’clock on Thursday morning for Southern Germany and arrived in Saarbrucken in time for dinner. A further article on the tour of Germany will follow in due course.
(One again my appreciation to Peter and Steve for making the 1912 Club Handbook available and also my thanks to Gordon Macey and Martin Percival for their assistance)