The following article was written by Nixon Farr and appeared in the popular football weekly magazine, ‘Soccer Star’ on 28th November 1959.
‘It was laughs all the way when we ran into QPR’s star forward, Arthur Longbottom and three of his player pals. Phew, they have a reputation for taking their soccer seriously, but off duty they could be likened to the Crazy Gang. Arthur, who joined Queen’s Park Rangers from Methley United in 1954, is wisely looking to the future by training to be a hairdresser. And Mr Lewis, in whose establishment he works during the afternoons, says that Arthur is a “natural” at the job.
QPR right-back, Pat Woods, will not forget in a hurry the shave given to him by Jimmy Andrews. By his reckoning the Scottish winger has the makings of a regular Sweeney Todd ! Joking apart, however, the Loftus Road men rate Arthur highly with the scissors and they all entrust him with the task of keeping their hair in shape. Pat Woods will testify to the fact that Arthur’s amazing hair restorer is working wonders with him ! And Manager Alec Stock’s claims to having a team that would qualify for any Brylcreem advertisement, plus their fine soccer ability that keeps them high in the league table. He also knows that in Arthur Longbottom he has a man equally capable of giving close shaves to customers in the barber’s chair and to opposing defences on the field of play.
Rangers made one of their best ever starts to a Third Division programme this season, and topped the table for a few weeks. However, this pace was not maintained and they have slipped recently. Nevertheless, the fans – who are turning up at Loftus Road in bigger numbers – may be optimistic about the future, for the club is producing attractive, constructive football and the season is barely at the half-way stage.
With such a magnetic personality as Alec Stock at the helm and with new and improved training schemes in operation, signs are that a fresh onslaught for the title is imminent. Added to all this, Rangers have a chance to show up well in the FA Cup competition. They are at home to Port Vale in the second round next Saturday.’
The captions to the above pics read as follows:
(A) ‘No player enjoys training more than Arthur Longbottom, who our photographer caught in the act of adjusting his shoes (?) in the photo above.’
(B) ‘Team spirit at Loftus Stadium (?) has never been higher than it is now, under the leadership of manager Alec Stock. Here, below, is an excellent photo of Arthur and QPR centre-half, Keith Rutter, looking on top of the world. Having just come out of the showers, Arthur needed someone to rub his back down, and Keith smilingly obliged.’
(C) ‘After training one recent morning, Arthur dropped in at a local car dealers to look at one of the new, super models. Who should he run into there but team-mates Brian Bedford, Jimmy Andrews and Pat Woods. Being a bit of connoisseur, Arthur pointed out a few things to the lads. After this Arthur and the boys travelled, via Arthur’s car, home with him for a cup of tea.’
(D) “More sugar please !” says Pat Woods who is a glutton for the stuff while Brian Bedford and Jimmy Andrews stand by for further supplies of Arthur’s tea. Someone suggested a game of cards and things got under way. Hm, thinks Arthur, as he makes an excuse to adjust his tie. “Not doing so good…wonder if someone is dealing off the bottom of the pack ! Anyone want a haircut ?”
(E) ‘Having cleverly extricated himself from the card game, Arthur trims Brian’s hair then agrees to give Pat a shave. That’s a smashing lather Arthur has worked up on Pat’s chin, as our picture left confirms, but the situation becomes tense when Jimmy Andrews grabbed the razor and insisted on finishing the job for Arthur. One thing is certain, Jimmy had a wonderful stranglehold on Pat’s nose !’
(F) ‘At last, Arthur is exhausted by the QPR crazy gang’s antics and drops off to sleep in a chair. My turn now thinks Pat as he gets the lather brush to work once again.’
Well they don’t write captions like that anymore ! Rangers drew that FA Cup tie against Port Vale 3-3 at Loftus Road with Arthur Longbottom scoring two of the goals. However, they lost the replay two days later 1-2. Arthur eventually changed his surname to ‘Langley’.