What follows is the first in a series of personal accounts of the events of Saturday, 4th March 1967.
My own recollections of that memorable day are patchy to say the least so I will leave it to others to write about the greatest day in the history of Queen’s Park Rangers FC. The first one is from Bill Elkins.
My Dad’s Ford Thames van had it’s windows plastered with that glorious QPR team photo for weeks in advance of the Wembley Final…..THE WEMBLEY FINAL !!! How on earth did my humble Third Division Club manage such a tremendous feat ? The excitement and anticipation of that short trip down the Harrow Road (I lived in Queen’s Park at the time) was almost unbearable.
How could any day upstage the evening when QPR totally outclassed First Division Leicester City which included Gordon Banks in goal ? An evening that I will never forget. And what about the two legs of the semi-final against Birmingham City…..surely a bridge too far ? I was unable to make the trip to St.Andrews for the first leg due to work commitments but I had managed to avoid knowing the result before reaching home and settling down in front of the television to watch the highlights. The commentator said something along the lines of that there was an interesting outcome to the game ! You bet there was…..4-1 to the R’s and my Mum and Dad’s front room in 187a Kilburn Lane was rocking…..unbelievable !. The second leg at Loftus Road was not a formality, Birmingham were a free scoring side. They had scored 50 goals in 27 league games and a certain Barry Bridges to contend with. Two goals from Rodney Marsh and another one from Mike Keen saw Rangers safely through to Wembley. 7-2 on aggregate and I was walking on air !
All through that memorable Season, I was a regular on the South Africa Road terracing along with the ‘Half Way Line Boys’ We had a great rapport with the players, especially Mark Lazarus who used to greet our chants with his arms held aloft in recognition. Unfortunately, I was unable to obtain a ticket that would of enabled me to stand alongside the ‘Half Way Line’ supporters at Wembley but I had a Cousin (my Mum’s Sister’s Son, Richard) who dearly wanted to attend the Final and managed to get hold of two tickets for 5/- each.
British Railways were running special trains from Queen’s Park direct to Wembley so we were not part of the famous march to Wembley, something that I now regret. And so Richard and I proudly took our places on Saturday, 4th March 1967, in the East Standing Enclosure of Wembley Stadium for the Football League Cup Final against West Bromwich Albion. The match has been well documented….2-0 down with ex-Rangers winger, Clive Clark running riot for West Brom, Alec Stock’s half time rallying call, Rodney’s wonder goal, Roger Morgan’s header and the wonderful, never to be forgotten winner from the legend that is Mark Lazarus.
What wonderful entertainment the QPR team of 1966/67 provided us with. The names even to this day roll off the tongue. Peter Springett, Hazell, Langley, Keen, Hunt, Sibley, Lazarus, Sanderson, Allen, Marsh and the Morgan twins. Let’s not forget the part that the Chairman, Jim Gregory played in all of this. Jim made some astute appointments in his reign. Alec Stock was a respected Manager with the midas touch and had alongside him an able Assistant Manager in Bill Dodgin. Alec Farmer was the experienced Trainer who had seen it all. So was it any surprise that this talented team went all the way to a Wembley Final on that sunny Saturday in 1967 ? I think not and I thank them all for the wonderful memories.