The following letter from Bill West of the Goldhawk Road appeared in the West London Observer on 12th April 1957:
An open letter to the so-called supporters of Queen’s Park Rangers:
As a keen and loyal fan of the Rangers, one of the hard core of 5,000 or so who would go and see the lads even if they finished up by playing on the Scrubs, I wish to say here and now that the riff-raff, hooligans and louts who gang up to bait the referee, linesman or player who happens to be fair game for their distorted sense of decency and fair play, MUST BE STAMPED OUT.
Several times this year I have witnessed scenes at Loftus Road that are a disgrace to the fair name of football and sportsmanship.
Referees assaulted, players insulted and disgustingly abused, and foul language hurled about with no thought or regard for the feelings of women who may be in the crowd. These people are a menace to the game, the onlookers and, primarily, to the club.
How easy for them to be safe in the crowd! What fun these morons must have, the ignorant beasts!
To stamp them out and to keep them out is the problem. No use appealing to their sense of sportsmanship or fair play – they haven’t any. So the club MUST do something about it, otherwise somebody is going to get seriously hurt.
The trouble lies in the nearness of the public to the pitch and the ease that player, or linesman, or referee can be interfered with or personally spoken to.
To my way of thinking, the seats in front of the stand should be dismantled, the barriers round the ground should be made higher and surmounted with railings.
Of course, the time-honoured system of placing warning notices round the ground may have its effect for a short period, but the danger is always there.
As some of the crowd like to behave like animals, let’s treat them like animals.
Bill West – Goldhawk Road.
Later that month Rangers finished off the season with a 5-0 home win over Gillingham, with goals from Arthur Longbottom (3), Pat Kerrins and Bobby Cameron.
(My thanks to Colin Woodley (ESSEXURs) for sending the letter to me)