Team: Brown, Taylor, Ingham, Nicholas, Powell (M), Angell, Pounder, Cameron, Clark, Smith, Kerrins
Following the opener against Arsenal in October, a series of friendly matches were played under the newly-installed floodlights throughout the 1953-54 season. On 15th March 1954, Amsterdam FC were the visitors to Loftus Road and A.S.W. wrote the following report for one of the local newspapers:
‘After a promising start, Amsterdam failed to stay the pace in this floodlight match against Queen’s Park Rangers at Loftus Road on Monday evening, and were eventually beaten by 5-2.
The visitors shook the home crowd by taking the lead in the 21st minute when W. Feldman beat Brown with a full-blooded drive.
Rangers began to settle down and played good football, and in the 27th minute they got on terms. From then on it was nearly all Rangers, and two further goals were added to make it 3-1 at half-time.
In the second-half it was noticeable that the pace of the game was too much for the visitors, and the home team did practically as they liked, and the forward line always looked like getting goals.
L. Bijker, the Amsterdam centre-half, had a hard game against the home centre, but with right-back H.P. Van Den Bergh and goalie J.W. Van Dekker they were quite solid in defence despite the five goals. The goalie in the closing stages made two brilliant saves from Kerrins which drew great applause from nearly 6,000 spectators.
Rangers added two further goals before the end and Feldman added another for the visitors from the spot. Rangers scorers were Nicholas, Angell, Clark, Cameron and Pounder.’
The following Saturday the opening comments in the match programme began as follows:
‘In the Board Room after the game against Amsterdam Football Club last Monday evening Mr L. Woudstra, President of the Amsterdam Club , presented to our club a large plate which was specially made in Amsterdam to commemorate their visit to Loftus Road . The plate has a white background with blue decoration. In the centre is painted the traditional Dutch windmill and on the outer rim a floral design. Forming a circle inside the floral design is the inscription, “Presented to Queen’s Park Rangers Football and Athletic Club, Limited by A.F.C., Amsterdam, March 15th 1954.”
When making the presentation Mr Woudstra said that he was sure that sporting occasions such as Monday evening played a very substantial part in cementing the friendship between countries and in an unofficial way they substantially helped to relieve tension between nations.
Mr Woudstra thanked our club for inviting them to play that game, giving the majority of their party the opportunity of their first visit to England, also expressed thanks to our players for their sportsmanship and clean play, and also to you supporters who so readily applauded the Dutch players. We shall treasure happy memories of our visit to Queen’s Park Rangers, said Mr Woudstra.
Our chairman, Mr A.B. Hittinger, received the plate on behalf of our club and, after thanking Mr Woudstra for his kind remarks, stated that it would serve as a perpetual reminder of that evening’s visit of a grand body of young sportsmen representing a great club.
In passing on this information to our supporters, may we stress that not only is the behaviour on the field of the players watched with interest but also the behaviour of the spectators. Well done, Q.P.R. supporters ! Once again you have enhanced the prestige of the club.’
The programme notes also referred to what happened to their coach on the morning after the game:
‘On Tuesday morning he innocently accepted the offer of a shave by one of his colleagues. An interested audience gathered in the bathroom to watch and gave whispered approval as each deft stroke was made. In due course their coach looked in the mirror and to his disgust saw that his neatly trimmed moustache had vanished. Yes, even coaches live and learn.’
After the match, R’s fan John Blackburn wrote to Amsterdam FC to compliment them on their play and later received the following reply from L. Woudstra:
‘We very much appreciate that you have written us about the match we played versus Queen’s Park Rangers and we are most thankful for your very kind words. We must express our heartfelt thanks to all the supporters who so readily applauded our players and we shall treasure happy memories of our visit to Q.P.R. ground.’
I have to mention that elsewhere in the programme notes, the ‘Beating About the Bush’ section to be precise, it’s stated that there had been: ‘little response from supporters for tickets for the big event of the football season, which is being held at the Empress Hall (Earls Court) on Cup Final eve, April 30th.
This is the night when the Football Queen of Great Britain will be duly and ceremoniously crowned after a country-wide quest. Two representatives from Q.P.R. Supporters Club have been selected to go forward to the Area Semi-Finals which are being held on the same night prior to the Grand Final. They are Miss Patricia Ivey, of 8, Methwold Road, W10 (age 22), and Miss Margaret Duffy, of 8, Ashtree Dell, Kingsbury, N.W.9 (age 18)..’
I wonder what happened to that commemorative plate ?
(Thanks to Gordon Macey for confirming the R’s line-up for me. In his book ‘The Complete Record’, he lists the Rangers goalscoers as: Nicholas, Angell, Cameron and two from Willie Clark)