It still gets a cheer when a ball is kicked out of the ground, but in 1940 Mrs Emily Wood, a resident of Ellerslie Road, refused to return a number of footballs to the Club.
In a match against Arsenal one of the players kicked a ball high over the stand and into her garden, which provoked the response: ”That’s another new ball gone west”.
The ongoing dispute ended up in Court and Colin Woodley found the following article, dated 8th October 1940, in the Birmingham Newspaper Archive:
‘Mrs Emily Wood, Ellerslie Road, Shepherd’s Bush, appeared at West London Police Court yesterday to answer a summons taken out by Queen’s Park Rangers Football Club, alleging wrongful detention of footballs.
Mrs Wood carried seven footballs on a string in one hand and a basket containing tennis balls and baseballs in the other.
She said the club could have the footballs back if the nuisance stopped: “I object to the footballs coming over in my garden. It has been going on for twenty-two years.”
Exhibiting a wooden ball from her basket, Mrs Wood said: “When the American baseball team was using the ground, these dangerous balls came flying into my garden.”
Mr Thomas Arthur Eggleton, Rangers’ trainer, said that since the club had erected a shield on Mrs Wood’s wall, she had refused to return any balls. “The balls get kicked over the stand during matches and practice games.”
The Magistrate (Mr Paul Bennett) said that Mrs Wood had a right to the enjoyment of her garden and she had his sympathies, but she had no right to detain the footballs. If what she said about the nuisance were true, her remedy was the High Court.
He made an order for the return of the footballs.’
(Thanks to Colin Woodley for plucking this gem from the newspaper archive)