Jimmy Andrews was an inside forward/winger for the R’s during the 1959/60, 1960/61 and 1961/62 seasons, playing 82 league games for the club and scoring 16 goals. He was signed by Alec Stock from Leyton orient in June 1959, having previously been at West Ham. After injury terminated his playing career he became coach and then Team Manager at QPR FC from 1962 to 1963.
“Noddy” – a nickname some of us gave him, was indeed small in stature. The number ’10’ on the back of his shirt seemed bigger than him ! Never the less, he did have skill and ball control aplenty and in the 1960/61 season he mainly played the role of “schemer” with good effect to that powerful goal scoring forward line which included Clark, Evans, Bedford and Lazarus.
The most amazing incident I recall involving Jimmy Andrews was in the QPR v Grimsby Division 3 fixture of 24th September 1960, which Rangers won 2-0. In a crowded goalmouth, packed with giant defenders, wee Jimmy Andrews, from absolutely nowhere, soared above everybody to head in a picture goal.
Subsequently, after departing Loftus Road, Jimmy Andrews further established himself as a well respected coach and Manager and was at the helm at Cardiff City when the Bluebirds won promotion to Division 2.
Jimmy Andrews was born in Invergordon on 1st February, 1927. He moved from Dundee to West Ham in 1951 and was part of a celebrated side that included Noel Cantwell and Malcolm Allison. The birth of the so-called “Academy of Football” focused on two main things; bringing skilful players through the ranks and ensuring a passing game on the pitch. Frank O’Farrell once said of him: “He was one of the group that would spend hours thinking and talking about the game.”
Rangers signed him from Leyton Orient in 1959 and he made his 1st team debut for the R’s against Swindon Town on 22nd August 1959. He was ever-present that season and he went on to make a total of 88 1st team appearances, scoring 17 goals. Alan Barnes told me that in-swinging corners were his speciality. In fact, Jimmy Andrews was the first player that Alan ever saw score direct from a corner.
He later became the Team Manager while Alec Stock adopted the role of General Manager. This arrangement lasted 77 days before Andrews became a coach at Chelsea. He moved on to Luton Town in 1967 and then became a Youth team coach at Tottenham Hotspur in 1972.
He arrived at Cardiff City in 1973 as coach and later became the Manager in 1974 until he was sacked in 1978. One very interesting signing he made for Cardiff was the legendary Robin Friday, who incidentally was born in Acton and played for the QPR Youth team during 1965/66. Apparently a film covering Robin Friday’s life story is in the pipeline.
Jimmy Andrews worked as a scout for Southampton and he later settled in South Wales where he coached a number of teams in the Cowbridge area. He died on 12th September after a long illness – Rest in Peace Jimmy.
(The above action pic was taken from the 1960/61 Club Handbook and the caption reads: ‘There’s a goal hungry look in Jimmy Andrew’s eyes as he slams a shot towards the Bury goal in the game played at Loftus Road Stadium against the Lancashire team last season. But Bury’s custodian, Adams, gave a sigh of relief immediately afterwards, for Jimmy’s shot went wide of the goal by mere inches.’)