Drama At Highbury in A 1956 London Challenge Cup Tie.

The London Challenge Cup had been a regular fixture since 1908 and Rangers had in fact won it the previous season by beating Brentford 2-0 in the final. So then in 1956, the R’s travelled to Highbury after deposing of Walthamstow Avenue 7-0 in Round One, with goals from Locke 3, Cameron 2, Balogun and Rhodes (pen). The match was played on Monday 15th October and a dramatic equaliser forced a replay.
Team: Springett, Rhodes, Lay, Petchey, Powell, Dean, Quigley, Longbottom, Peacock, Cameron, Kerrins.

Match Report:

‘Rangers earned a home replay, which takes place next Monday at 7.30pm, after an extraordinary equaliser that came seven minutes from the end at Highbury last night. While referee S.W. Barker (Bexleyheath) was at the other end of the field sorting out what appeared to be an argument between Gordon Nutt and George Petchey, Terry Peacock raced through the middle and scored. Con Sullivan had left his goal.Young Arsenal inside-right David Herd scored goals in the 72nd and 74th minutes that would have demoralised lesser teams. Rangers were leading at the time through a Bobby Cameron goal (57 minutes) and were unlucky not to have been three up. Arthur Longbottom had watched Sullivan push his shot against the post and scramble away the rebound, and Peacock had smashed a left-foot drive against the bar. Then, for the first time, Herd flashed into the game. Nutt, who had switched wings with Mike Tiddy, centred from the left and Herd raced into an open space to beat Ron Springett with a crisp header. Before Rangers could recover, Herd struck again, shooting between Springett and the upright from the narrowest angle.’

Of the lesser known players that night, John Marks’s ‘Heroes In Hoops’ once again comes in very handy. Albert Rhodes (pictured) was born in Dinnington, Yorkshire, in 1936 and started his career with Worksop Town. He joined the R’s in 1954 but only made five league appearances because of the consistency of Pat Woods before moving on to Tonbridge in 1957. Terry Peacock made a total of 17 1st team appearances, scored 4 goals, but an injury forced him to retire from the game at the age of 23. Tommy Quigley made 17 appearances, scored 7 goals but apparently he couldn’t settle in London and was released at the end of the season. Coincidently, Jobey Dean also turned out 17 times and went on to play for Sutton Town and then Bradford Park Avenue in 1957. Finally, Peter Lay only appeared once for the 1st team and after two years at Loftus Road moved on to Kings Lynn.

However in the replay at Loftus Road the following week, Arsenal triumphed 3-1, the R’s scorer was Balogun.

Steve Russell

4 thoughts on “Drama At Highbury in A 1956 London Challenge Cup Tie.

  1. Steve a very interesting article. This was one year before my time at the R’s but some of those players are very familiar.

    The london challenge cup was a feature of my early days watching the R’s(ie late 50’s)and although sometimes the players in those games were not always “first teamers” it was a rare chance to possibly see some “stars” if QPR were drawn against first division oppostion.

    I think there was one encounter with first division Fulham at Loftus Rd when R’s lost 4-0 where Johnny Haynes and Roy Bently et al turned out.

    That Mike Powell at centre half for Rangers really was a man mountain..but unfortunately for him he was not as talented as Keith Rutter so his appearances were limited.

    Of course the introduction of the League Cup in 1960 saw an end to this event…and yes we went on to win THAT too! lol

  2. Albert is my old dad, still alive and, well OK he’s given up on the kicking. His claim to fame, aside from playing for QPR, was playing against the Busby babes in the FA youth cup. Dad played for Rotherham Utd Vs Man U. Drew in their first match, then in the next Duncan Edwards played and made all the difference. Much ill feeling as Edwards was eligible to play, but as a first team player and England international player at the time, was deemed to be unsportsmanlike to play for the “youth” team.

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