Turkish Acrobatics Were a Delight – QPR v Galatasaray in 1950

The R’s had toured Turkey twice just after the War and had played Galatasaray on both occasions. There was the 1-1 draw in May 1948 when Cyril Hatton converted a penalty and this was followed in June 1949 with a 4-2 victory. The scorers were Duggan, Addinall, Muir and Pointon.

In 1950 it was the turn of the top Turkish side to tour England and news of the forthcoming encounter appeared in the previous home programme:-

‘On Thursday, September 14th, next, we are to renew our acquaintance with friends from Turkey, Galata-Saray. The Turkish Champions will play our League side here on that day, kick-off 5.45pm. Our players know from their past two games against this side in Turkey that they are up against a really first-class team and will have to be right on their toes.gala 2

Tickets can be booked in advance for this match at the usual prices, i.e. Centre Stand, 5/-; Wing Stands, 3/6. All numbered and reserved seats, Season Tickets ARE NOT AVAILABLE for this match, but ticket holders can purchase a ticket for their same seat provided application is made not later than Saturday, September 9th, next.’

I also have a report that Jack Milligan wrote for the Daily Graphic which appeared the following day:-

‘There was never any danger of a break in Anglo-Turkish diplomatic relations at Shepherd’s Bush last night, when Queen’s Park Rangers fox-trotted to a 4-1 victory over Galata-Saray , the all-amateur team of students who are reigning Turkish League champions.

This was a real gentlemanly friendly. There were smiles, handshakes, back-patting and even embraces all the way. The earnest, hard-working Turks, playing their third match in three days, were so hopelessly out of their class that even Rangers’ supporters, hardly the most impartial of soccer crowds, were hoping they would score, and when they did get a goal it drew the largest cheer of the match.

Referee A. Bond seemed disappointed when he had to award a free kick instead of a penalty when R. Eken, the centre-forward, was brought down. Rangers’ players did not form the usual protective screen when Ozkaya, stocky, rusty-haired right-back and best player in the side, ran up to take the 20-yard free pot-shot at goal. Few English players could have hit that ball harder, and no goalkeeper could have made a better save than Gullan. This, for me, was the highlight of an entertaining game.

The Turks sent on two substitutes, and at one time had two players wearing No.4 jerseys. One of them was replaced by an un-numbered player later on, the centre-half was playing inside-right, on the right-wing and the left-half at centre-half. All very confusing, but the crowd loved it. Rangers’ goalscorers were Addinall (2), Shepherd and Wardle. Mustachioed Varol, left-winger, scored the only Turkish goal.’

The caption accompanying the above pic reads:-

‘T. Seren, the Turkish goalkeeper, delighted the crowd with some of his spectacular saves against Queen’s Park Rangers at Shepherd’s Bush last night. Here he is swinging on the cross-bar after diving across the goalmouth to cut off a header by Addinall, QPR centre-forward, which went over the bar.’

The attendance was given as 7,100 and according to the programme (Gordon Macey’s copy also shows no changes) the R’s line-up was: Gullan, Powell, Heath, Nelson, Chapman, Farrow, Wardle, Cameron, Addinall, Mills, Shepherd.

The guests included the Turkish Ambassador, Sir Stanley Rous and Charles Caruana, a British subject living in Turkey and credited with developing a football relationship between the two countries. Ex-Ranger Peter Malloy had previously been coaching the Galatasaray players. “Ranger” concludes his ‘Behind the Scenes’ column with ‘Steak – And More Steak’:galatasaray 1

‘The Rangers hope to repay the Turkish people for some of the marvellous hospitality they received with a dinner to their party after the game. Everyone here I have spoken to has commented on the amount of food that was piled on to them in Turkey where dinners last for anything up to four hours and redoubtable gourmets like Arthur Jefferson and Alf Ridyard actually faced more steaks than they could tackle. When the team went on a 26-hour cross-country train trip the news of their progress was broadcast to every wayside station and at every one the full population turned out with bouquets of flowers and other gifts. “Considering that these village people never had a chance to see us play it was a wonderful gesture,” said Dave Mangnall.

The Turkish visitors today are led by Mr. Charles Caruana, an Englishman who has lived in Turkey for 32 years. He sponsored the Rangers’ tours to Turkey and looked after their welfare in a right royal manner. We hope they will remember their visit here for many years to come and that you will welcome their players with the same enthusiasm as you do the Rangers.’

Thanks to Gordon Macey for filling in some of the gaps.

Steve Russell

4 thoughts on “Turkish Acrobatics Were a Delight – QPR v Galatasaray in 1950

  1. Interesting article.

    I suppose it should be said that the standard of football in Turkey back in 1950 was no where near as high as today..so perhaps thats why QPR a then second division club were included in their tour of fixtures

    Somehow in this modern era I just dont see Galata-saray playing friendlies against Championship level teams.

  2. Well done Steve,great piece, I have never heard of that game before who would have thought with the nature of that game that decades later they would be in the latter stages of the premier european competition while we were floundering in the lower reaches of our leagues.
    That’s a great photo Steve, must have been taken just before we ditched the hoops for a short while.
    I wonder how much a copy of that programme would fetch these days?

  3. I was there! I remember that I was down near the front of the South Africa Road terraces opposite the halfway line. Yes, it is true that Galata-Saray were not even a tenth of the force they are now but what a fun evening it was and yes, we Rangers supporters were urging the visitors to score. I can’t remember ever before or since seeing such a good tempered game – a ‘friendly’ in every respect.

    The late Alf Bond was a brilliant referee – the only one armed ref I have ever seen. He lost his arm in an industrial accident. I was later to get to know Alf very well as he was my instructor when I trained to be an official registered with the London Society of Association Referees. He was a really nice bloke.

    Thank you for this memory, Steve. Happy days!

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