‘We Were Duped’ Complain Young QPR Fans

That was the headline in the local paper following Rangers friendly against Hendon in 1972. The match was played on Saturday, 26th February, Hendon won the game 3-0 and 1,492 attended the match. The four page programme cost 2p and there was a special welcome for the R’s physiotherapist, Ron Woolnough who was previously with Hendon. A certain Fred Harris wrote the following newspaper report……

‘QPR were severely criticised by some of their own supporters for turning out a near Reserve team against Hendon at Claremont Road on Saturday. “We have been duped into thinking it was a first-team fixture,” said one disappointed young Rangers fan, who pointed to the large board outside the Hendon Clubhouse claiming that Hendon were meeting QPR, “owing to the fact that Rangers did not have a first-team match.” Hendon’s assistant secretary, Stanley Bearton, who had been helping with gate duties, confirmed that there had been many complaints from disgruntled Rangers fans when they realised that Hendon were meeting only a reserve team.

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One party of young Rangers supporters, about 20 of them, got fed up with the match before half time. They watched Johnny Baker give Hendon an interval lead with a glorious header and then decided to call it a day. They ominously circled the terraces, watched anxiously by Hendon stewards, clambered over the wall at the North Circular Road end and disappeared into Clitterhouse Playing Fields to play football. “I have been a steward at Hendon for several years, but I have never known supporters climbing out of the ground before,” said 23-year-old Colin Docherty. “I did not interfere because my orders are to stop people climbing in – not out,” he said.

Hendon tried out two combinations against Rangers, one in each half and both were too good for the professionals, who included only three players with first-team experience – goalkeeper Alan Spratley, Mike Leach and transfer listed Mike Ferguson, a ¬£20,000 buy from Aston Villa. “The remainder were youngsters, mainly apprentice professionals,” said team manager Vic Mobley, the former Sheffield Wednesday star, now out of competitive football through osteoarthritis, praised Hendon on their skill, adding they were too good for his side. Mobley has a healthy respect for Isthmian clubs, he played in the league for Oxford City before joining the professional ranks. Hendon proved that they can play football – if allowed to. They ran Rangers……’

Team: Spratley, Roots, Williams, Delve, Kempton, Seary, Everest (withdrawn), Mayes (withdrawn), Abbott, Leach, Ferguson.
Subs: French and Medwin.

Steve Russell

9 thoughts on “‘We Were Duped’ Complain Young QPR Fans

  1. Steve…I did not attend this game for the very reason that I guessed something like that might happen regarding team selection….and besides I did not wish to scuff my new “wet look” shoes on that rough Hendon terrace lol

    Looking through the team sheet though you would have thought that players such as Spratley Delve Mayes Abbott Leach Ferguson could have produced the Goods!

  2. “and besides I did not wish to scuff my new ‚Äúwet look‚Äù shoes on that rough Hendon terrace lol”

    Was the wet look as a result of you getting over excited at the prospect of us getting promoted that season?!

  3. I don’t think that’s the first time that that has happened…it would help that if it were the reserves or such like playing they would state that it’s against a ‘QPR XI’ and save the confusion…to easy though I know.
    Wonder if the home side had anything to do with it though as it would certainly harm their chances at getting a healthy gate!

  4. Good to see that those type of misunderstandings don’t happen now and are long forgotten in today’s communication friendly world.
    By the by. Anyone going to the first team pre-season friendly at Aldershot this evening (July 24)…?!

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