The following article appeared in ‘Shoot’ magazine in 1979:
‘It had been quite a day for Tony Currie. After putting in a hard morning’s training with Tommy Docherty and his new mates at QPR, he went back to the London streets he knew as a boy for a sentimental journey.
“It was always my dream to become a professional footballer,” Tony said. “That was my ambition right from the start. I used to watch Hendon, the local amateur side. They had some good players and I wanted to be just like them.”
As Tony looked out across the empty pitch and the deserted Hendon stadium memories of his former heroes came flooding back. “I started coming here when I was eight-years-old,” he smiled. “That pitch was like the Wembley turf to me and my mates. We were all football crazy. I’d dash in from school with my brother Paul, have some tea then we’d be off down the park playing 20-a-side football, until it got dark.
Tony’s natural skill shone through in those early days, but he wasn’t always as slim as he is now ! “When I went to Whitefield Secondary Modern School in Cricklewood, I put on quite a lot of weight. My mates used to call me ‘Chub’. When I started growing I slimmed down again, but the nickname stuck.” Even in his chubby days, Tony was a star of the school teams.
“We had a good side and one of the teachers, Les Hill, gave me a lot of good advice. My happiest memories are of winning two schools’ cup finals at Hendon. I get a great feeling when I walk out at Wembley now, but playing at the local stadium in those games was just as big a thrill.”
Tony’s a hero at his old school now. He called in at Whitefield as part of his trip down memory lane and was soon swamped by young fans. Not so many years ago, Tony was just another kid in the playground, practising his skills with a battered old tennis ball. He’s come a long way since then. “It was nice going back,” said Tony later, as he sat sipping a refreshing cup of tea at his mum’s flat. “I enjoyed seeing it all again.”
After an afternoon filled with memories, Tony’s thoughts turned to the future and his new club QPR. “If we don’t win promotion this season,” he said, with his usual honesty, “I’ll think I’ve failed. That’s the job the club bought me to do. The other new players feel the same way. Once we’re used to playing together as a side, I’m sure we can be one of the best three in the Second Division.”
“Tommy Docherty is a manager who loves the players who want to play for him. He’ll always back you to the hilt and fill you with encouragement. He can put confidence into players that was never there before.”
Tony’s willingness to make the fight for promotion a personal test is typical. “I’ve never run away from responsibility, I thrive on it. I love playing and when I go out there, I give it all I’ve got.”
In the heat of a match, Tony admits he isn’t the quietest player on the park ! “I’m quite a moaner on the pitch. I’m a bit of a perfectionist. If there’s an easy ball to play and it goes wrong, I get annoyed. But I leave it all behind after the game. I’m a different person off the pitch.” Tony’s new team mates are getting used to the Currie vocal chords, but they know the “moans” are coming from a player who is super-keen to see the side do well.
One stylish player Tony is quick to praise is Rangers star, Stan Bowles. Stan’s future has been clouded with uncertainty, but Tony hopes he’ll be staying with the West London club. “I know Stan used to love playing with Gerry Francis, but I think we could get that same sort of understanding going. Some players are on the same wavelength. There’s a kind of telepathy between them. I think it could work that way for Stan and me.”
At 29, Tony Currie is still full of ambition. He wants promotion for Queen’s Park Rangers. He wants to win more England caps. He wants to settle down and enjoy London life again, with his wife June and their three children, Ryan, Sharon and Natalie.
But it was nice to look back for an afternoon, re-living those happy schoolboy memories. The London kid has grown up…and seen his dream come true.’
Tony Currie was signed from Leeds United in August 1979 for ¬£400,000. His partnership with Stan Bowles wasn’t to last very long as Stan was transferred to Nottingham Forest in December 1979. As for Tony Currie, he moved to the Vancouver Whitecaps four years later for ¬£40,000 after making 98 1st team appearances, many at No.10, and scoring 6 goals.