The Night Alan Wilks Scored A Record Five Goals

On the night of Tuesday 10th October 1967, Alan Wilks scored a record five goals in the 5-1 League Cup drubbing of Oxford United. He was born in Slough on the 5th October, 1946 and arrived in May 1965 from Chelsea. Despite that amazing five-goal feat, he was never a First team regular and was eventually transferred to Gillingham in 1971. In that time he made just 54 League and Cup appearances and scored 19 goals.

A good crowd of 16,989 attended the match and the Rangers line-up was: Ron Springett, Dave Clement, Allan Harris, Mike Keen, Ron Hunt, Bobby Keetch, Ian Morgan, Les Allen, Mick Leach, Alan Wilks, and Roger Morgan. Brian James’s match report follows:-

Alan Wilks was ready but seldom required when Queen’s Park Rangers rose roaring out of the Third Division to take the League Cup at Wembley last season. The 21-year-old forward clearly does not expect to be forgotten again. He scored all his side’s five goals against Oxford United last night. The fuzzy haired forward made swift and deadly inroads into the Oxford defence as Rangers began to see if League Cup history might be repeated.

Wilks, in fact, equalled in 90 minutes the total reward for his marksmanship throughout last season. It was probably no accident that Wilks alone was alert enough to seize on the chances presented by almost permanent disorder in the Oxford defence. After all, he alone still had a reputation to make. The rest of Rangers, after sending Oxford staggering with a goal in 90 seconds, seemed anxious to give each move an almost patronising polish before attempting to shoot. They can be forgiven, for they have clearly outgrown the company they kept until promoted last spring.

Oxford were seldom as quick or aggressive and never as knowing as a fluent Rangers side blazing along with a Morgan in full tilt on either wing. Oxford looked methodical but muscular and yet strangely almost equalled the number of chances Rangers were able to make. But they lacked the wit to make capital from the openings their own persistent courage and Rangers occasional carelessness allowed them. In fact Oxford did not have a Wilks. He got his first goal in 90 seconds, shooting adroitly from a bad angle on the right wing. Then two of the many first-half crosses from Ian Morgan fell near him and a header (pictured)and a shot completed his hat-trick.

Bullock, heading strongly, passed Springett two minutes before half-time, briefly promised retaliation from Oxford. But Wilks, accepting a gift from Keen and then lunging at a rebound off the bar, moved on to make his first glowing entry in Rangers’ records. Rangers Manager Alec Stock said: “He has never scored five before, nor, as far as I know, has anyone else at the club. Yet it did not surprise me for he is our deadliest finisher.”

The match programme mentions that Ron Phillips was greatly heartened – and a little amused, by a letter he received from Sydney, Australia. The letter was from the Sydney Branch of the Q.P.R Supporters Club of Australia. The motto of the club read – “Rodney will go to heaven and Rangers will go into the First Division.” There were only two members in the club and although he was told that the financial standing of the club was critical, the morale was “sky high”. The members were J. Sullivan and R. Lovell who were saving hard to come to Loftus Road before the end of that season.

Top scorer at the time was Alan Glover with 12 goals in Youth team and Reserve matches. The Youth team had already scored 26 goals and were top of the South East Counties League. After 11 games, the 1st team were in fourth position behind Portsmouth, Blackpool and Crystal Palace. The following Monday night a strong R’s side played a very strong Tottenham team in the London Challenge Cup and the Club Notes by ‘Ranger’ stated: ‘The feat performed by Alan Wilks against Oxford United in the League Cup last Tuesday night will be a talking point at the club for a long time. As far as we can establish this is a club record. It is interesting to note that this was our second match in this year’s competition. In the second match – against Colchester United – last season, Rodney Marsh scored four. We hope this is an omen.’

Rangers went out of the Cup 2-1 in the next Round against Burnley and Wilks was the scorer in the 4-1 defeat at the hands of Tottenham in that London Challenge Cup game. I noticed in one of Gordon Macey’s books that Alan Wilks scored four goals in a Reserve match against Aldershot in April 1967. His record will be a difficult one to even match never mind beat.

Steve Russell

8 thoughts on “The Night Alan Wilks Scored A Record Five Goals

  1. …and all without the great Rodneeee… who was still a month away from his first match.
    Great memories.
    I can remember the match well and Alan became one of those ‘one hit wonders’ of the time.
    In the middle of a house move (deeper into Essex Rs land) so unable to check the records. Has anyone got close to it since Steve?

  2. Colin..I think Frank Bunn of Oldham broke the record and scored seven in a league cup match approx 20 years later.

    Hmmm those Alan wilks goals that memory tells me one or two were quite freakish…and none would have qualified for Goal of the month!

    They were all epic league cup matches that season..we tried very hard to retain the trophy. How we lost to first Division Burnley 2-1 at LR in the following round I will never know..a keeper error and a “breakaway” cost us


  3. Memory plays tricks after all these years Colin but I thought Wilks was selected because Marsh was either injured or suspended. Wilks wore the 10 shirt that night. We played good football that night but Oxford were poor. I agree Bernard that none of the goals were outstanding but as I recall he didn’t play badly either and he certainly made an impression! Pity he never made it. I often wondered whatever happened to him.

  4. Thank you young Kerrins but if I may have the timidity to correct you it was six out of seven goals in the match! (Wikipedia)
    Must agree I can still remember laughing at some of the goals. I think there is TV footage of the match and goals.

  5. Well picked up Colin! We have to be exact on here y’know lol I am sure that “lunging at the rebound” went in off a part of his body that he did not intend and certainly one other was a miss hit. I dont think any TV cameras were there that night… Maybe we will just have to rely on the pictures from our memory banks.

    Bill Wilson…Rodney Marsh was injured. The trouble with Alan Wilks in my opinion were that his arms and legs seemed to have a mind of their own!

    However he could at times be a deadly finisher..I will always recall those Classic strikes at Oldham won 1-0 to clinch the Div 3 Championship and the first division fixtures away at Arsenal lost 2-1 and Newcastle lost 3-2

  6. I was up at Oldham that day and I remember some of their fans looking for revenge after their coaches were attacked at Loftus Road. I think England were also playing Scotland at Wembley and there were thousands of Scots fans at Euston and some of them came over to us to check which ‘Rangers’ we were ?

  7. Steve. You are spot on with your Oldham fixture recollections of 66/67.

    I did in fact travel with the supporters club coaches that day and after the game a missile was thrown at our coach in the bus park…However the the coach driver who bore a striking similarity to wrestler Giant Haystacks(Whitefriars Coaches Ltd employed some real “bruisers” back then lol) got out and the small gang of youths ran off.

    PS I think England lost 3-2..(or was it 2-1?)

  8. Had the privelige of playing against Alan Wilks in the 80’s for my firms team against his for a charity game arranged by us at Luton Town FC, plastic pithc and all.
    He played in goal first half & then came on in the second half & showed his class (against our Sunday league standard & even kickabout players)by scoring with a direct shot from about 40 yards that our goalkeeper did not even see.
    In the bar after the game I mentioned that I was there for his most famous appearnce for the R’s.
    He looked slightly embarrased & was suitably modest.
    Suspect would not happen with todays so called mega-stars.

Comments are closed.