My family were QPR on both sides..both sides of the Westway that is. My Father’s lot were from Latimer Road, while my Mum’s mob hailed from East Acton, so Loftus Road was full of Aunts, Uncles and Cousins and some of them are still regulars. I first visited the hallowed ground as a six year old in 1966 with my Dad. We stood on the mud bank where the South Africa Road Stand now is and he explained his dreams for my Club. Tragically he never saw any of those dreams come true as he died that year aged just 41.
We’d already moved to North London and my two elder brothers were now Gooners but out of loyalty to my departed Father, I stayed with Rangers and have been ever since. I started coming regularly in 1972, travelling across town with my Cousin Ian, another exiled West Londoner of the same age. But it was that wonderful side of 1975-76, one of the finest Club teams of its era, which really solidified my support and provided my greatest memories. We went to almost every game, home and away, that fateful Season, seeing breathtaking football and amazing support. The saddest day of my footballing life was away at Norwich. I’ve never seen so much blue and white and every one of us knew that we’d blown it !
It was the year after our Championship Season (that should have been) that the most memorable game that I’ve ever witnessed took place. Away to Cologne, 3-0 up from the first leg, losing 4-1, down to ten men after Dave Clement was sent off, but going through on away goals. The tension was incredible and the joy among the travelling R’s was fantastic. Sadly in the next round we went out on penalties and Stanley missed one but we all forgave him, the greatest player and the greatest character ever to grace our Club. It’s still a thrill to see him in the bar.
On the pitch, there have been many great afternoons and plenty of awful ones too. Some very good players and a lot of average ones.. In recent years, this proud Club has been badly served by too many people who failed to understand what a remarkably strong family this is. But the support has been the thing which gives us all hope that we can return to where we belong. As for me. I belong here, in my ancestral homeland, shouting, arguing and above all loving this Club. And I’m proud to say that my boy Alfie is here with me now, the Hoops deep in his heart.