The ‘Bush Ranger’ – The Official 80’s Club Newspaper

Following the article on ‘The Superhoop’ in February, next up is the ‘Bush Ranger’ in the series on various QPR fans periodicals that were issued by the Club/Supporters Club since the 1940’s. Costing 50p in October 1987, the first issue included the following message from the Chairman, David Bulstrode:

‘Welcome to your own newspaper. Let me welcome you to the first edition of BUSH RANGER, which will appear monthly throughout the year. Our new newspaper will provide a useful supplement to the Match Day Programme, as it will be possible to go into subjects in greater detail. We can also cover fully, items which may not be of particular interest to visiting supporters who, on average, purchase about half our programmes. Additionally, we will be able to keep you up-to-date with Club information during the summer months.

I believe it is vital that the Club and the supporters communicate with each other. We will try to ensure that through BUSH RANGER, you are kept informed of news items which are not always accurately reported in the national press. We look forward to hearing from you with your own views and suggestions. Why not take out an annual subscription TODAY ? Please turn to Pages 10 and 11.’

The subscription charge for 12 monthly issues was fixed at ¬£8, which included postage and packing. Cheques/postal orders were to be posted to Tony Ingham. I used to buy my copies from the Club Shop, and apparently, it was also available in local newsagents. As usual, it didn’t last very long and No.15 was to be the final edition.

There was news that Paul Parker, Kevin Brock and David Seaman had been included in Bobby Robson’s England B side in Malta. Also Dean Coney had made it into the England U21 squad to play Turkey at Bramall Lane. Alan McDonald was called up again for Northern Ireland and John Byrne for the Republic.

There is a welcome on page 3 to the seven new arrivals; Mark Dennis, Dean Coney, Paul Parker, John O’Neill, Danny Maddix, David Pizanti and Kevin Brock. And news that during the following year, work was to be carried out on the new Cellsystem natural grass pitch at a cost of ¬£250,000. Bobby Campbell, Mike Fillery, Frank Sibley and Gary Bannister looked ahead to the forthcoming matches against Liverpool, Portsmouth, Norwich and Watford.

Manager Jim Smith had his own column and there was an interesting article on David Bulstrode which I will put up separately in the near future. Two 17-year-old players had signed professional terms, Tony Roberts and Brian Law. Steve Allan wrote about the players that had moved on; Sammy Lee, Robbie James, Mike Fillery, Gary Chivers and Mark Loram.

A focus on two of the backroom boys at the Bush featured Bobby Campbell and Brian Bedford. Campbell was back for the third time to run the Reserve side with Frank Sibley given special responsibility for youth development. And former Rangers goalscoring legend Brian Bedford had taken over in the summer from Joe Quinlan as groundsman.

Although it was a very contentious issue at the time, the message from Ron Phillips was: “Get your membership cards as soon as possible. Many fans who normally stand in the Loftus Road terrace, or use the Loftus Road stand, were disappointed that they could not occupy their favourite viewing positions at the sell-out Chelsea game, as they had not taken the precaution of obtaining membership cards. Some of them had to watch from the Paddock or seats surrounded by Chelsea fans (which may well have dampened their enthusiasm). We can only give them the advice we have been hammering at them all season: Do, please, obtain an application from the box office in South Africa Road….”

Gary Fitzgerald reviewed our magnificent start to the season, starting with that superb 3-0 win at Upton Park and we also recorded victories in the early stages against Arsenal and Chelsea. There was a short report on the American football match played at Loftus Road, watched by 13,000 fans, and also Wayne Fereday on his midfield role for the Football League in their 2-2 draw against the League of Ireland in Belfast.

Finally to the back page….GaryFitzgerald wrote about Gary Waddock’s ‘Sad Day’. Other snippets included David Bulstrode’s sponsorship deal with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and the Netherlands Board of Tourism, plus his attempt to separate QPR FC from his property company, Marler Estates. And lastly there was a short report of the R’s progression in the Littlewoods Cup at Millwall and a few lines on the arranged match at Le Havre.

Despite those positive times down the Bush, maybe an initial monthly circulation of 8,000 was a little too ambitious and No.15 tells its own story with the acknowledgement on the cover that it had been sponsored by London Transport.

Steve Russell

8 thoughts on “The ‘Bush Ranger’ – The Official 80’s Club Newspaper

  1. I remember clearly one of the later issues boldly announcing on the front page that Peter Shreeves had taken over as manager in Decemeber 1988 after the departure of Jim Smith to Newcastle United. The announcement was a little premature to say the least as it was Trevor Francis who was installed as the Superhoops player/manager very shortly after.
    If the club’s very own newspaper couldn’t get the story right what chance the rest of the press…

  2. We’d had great start to that season with that 3-0 win at Upton Park on the opening day. We’d also had the first pre season friendly at home (v Seattle Storm) since 1971 and a couple of good tournaments in Holland v NAC Breda and AZ Alkmaar. I remember the signings of Paul Parker and Kevin Brock were pretty exciting too….not si sure about Dean Coney! I’ve often wondered about what might have happened to the club if David Bulstrode had lived.

  3. When Jim Smith left for the Newcastle job, his last game in charge at QPR was a 2-1 home win over Coventry City.The Chairman gave Peter Shreeves one month as caretaker manager to prove his worth, and the press took it for granted that he would replace Jim after that.

    However,after just a couple of games we played Wimbledon in a 5th. round Littlewoods Cup match on the 14th.December at Plough Lane and at the final whistle the Chairman ( surprised everybody including the press )by calling me into the Boardroom and asked me to go to the dressing room and bring Trevor Francis up for a meeting.

    Trevor was offered the managers job and he readily accepted, taking over as player/manager a few days later. That was the reason for the “Bush Ranger” newspaper along with all the sports journalists getting it all wrong.

    Not surprisingly,Peter left the club and the rest is history.

  4. “I believe it is vital that the Club and the supporters communicate with each other.” – David Bulstrode. A man thought very highly of by Ron Phillips I believe.

    Can you imgaine todays three amigos saying something like this and actually sticking with it??

    So how long did the BR stick around for? As in when was it’s final issue and was it said in that issue that it was ceasing?

  5. Great piece Steve, also great reply by Brian it’s incredible that something like that could happen was it an impulsive appointment by thompson? I remember Francis doing a live phone in that night on Midweek Sports Special and seeming as shocked as anyone.
    During the early days of the LSA I met Bulstrode a few times, on one occasion we had the pleasure of his company upstairs in the Springbok at a meeting drinking a pint about an hour before kick off!
    I was intially cautious of him due to the merger fiasco and the fact he was part of a property company but he certainly was a compelling bloke to listen to and in the year or two he was with us he seemed to take the fans, particularly the LSA’s views on board a fair bit.

  6. Just an aside to report the sad passing of JoeQuinlan, an uncle of mine who passed away this week. Sadly missed by his sons and daughter, brothers, sisters and extended family and friends. A man of passion about all he did. Ar dheis de go rsibh a anam. To god we send his name.

  7. He was certainly a great man one of the best you will ever find, r.i.p uncle Joe xxxxx

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