QPR topped the First Division table in March 1976. Bill Hodge of Stanleycroft Close in Isleworth raised a number of issues, which he put together in a letter that month to the Hammersmith & Shepherd’s Bush Gazette:
‘I have been a loyal supporter of Queen’s Park Rangers for more than 35 years, and have stood on the terraces at Loftus Road in all kinds of weather and under various conditions; watching a match was almost akin to Chinese torture for we diehards.
Our support, however, never wavered, the “Ragged-R’s” were our poor man’s Real Madrid.
Yet somehow I seem to recall that the game was a man’s sport played by real men with a leather ball, not with a plastic overgrown ping-pong ball of today.
However, it is magnificent to see the Rangers sitting on the top of the First Division, all honour and congratulations to them, but we true and loyal diehard supporters who have served our apprenticeship a few years ago are getting a little tired of reading reports and hearing comments complaining about the lack of support and poor attendance figures at home matches.
Incidentally, I have not noticed that the cash receipts obtained from these poorly attended matches are complained about overmuch. Seems to me QPR want the best of both worlds.
They are just about the most expensive club to get into in the Metropolis and don’t forget that there are two other professional football clubs in the London Borough of Hammersmith.
They are not beyond the horizon either, one can see their floodlighting even on a none-too-clear day from almost half-way up a lamp post in the Uxbridge Road.
Maybe I am quite wrong, but surely if QPR were to reduce their admission charges they would get a larger crowd with perhaps less money in the till at first.
It is expensive, especially for a family man, to attend home games regularly, and there is a certain amount of competition from Fulham, Chelsea and Brentford (heavens, the mind boggles were the impossible to happen and they were all in the First Division!).
It is a trifle unfortunate that those in commend today rarely mingle with members of the “lower deck”. Their minds must be too cluttered up with the reports from the whizz kids, those with the theoretical know-how, and the computerised brain box, and a string of letters following upon their surname as long as Llan…gochgoch!
The value of practical experience and common sense appear to be treated as mere trivia in all walks of life today including professional football or soccer.
Wake up Rangers, get a grip on yourselves, don’t let greed ruin your chances of becoming a great club.
Let us start with reducing prices of admission next season; management, shareholders, players and supporters remain only moderately greedy, and then not only would there be “bread” for all but butter and even a little jam, maybe.’
It had certainly been a transitional period for our Club and I wonder what Bill would have thought about it all today?
(Thanks to Colin Woodley for his assistance)