Our fate had been confirmed at Huddersfield on 21st April and we were then hammered 0-3 in our final home game against Stockport County.
Much worse was to follow though – on 3rd May, Loftus Road plc, in response to press speculation, admitted in a statement that discussions, mooting the idea of a merger with Wimbledon FC, had in fact taken place !!!
That final match three days later against Wolves was an opportunity to demonstrate our defiance and what is more stirring than the bagpipes ? I knew that Stephen Cross in Northern Ireland was a keen piper and he told me that prior to the match he would be over with his brother David (another piper) for a stag do in Liverpool where they would meet up with Paul Finney.
Stephen was up for it so I rang the Wolves secretary and he said that the pipes wouldn’t be allowed inside the ground. I told him that we would make our own arrangements.
I travelled up by coach with my son Louis and we met up with the Northern Ireland contingent in the car park. It has to be said that the three of them were still pretty hung over !
It was David who was play for us and to a stirring rendition of ‘The Battle of Waterloo’ we marched off for the half-mile trek to the ground. Stephen Cross recalls:
“We all set off to the strains of the ‘Battle of Waterloo’. ‘Scotland the Brave’ was also played and I distinctly remember a few cheers and some of the lads whistling and humming along. The look on the Wolves support as we arrived was a picture.”
I remember a police sergeant appearing outside the ground. He was Scottish and very impressed. I think he told us that he was a former member of the Black Watch and he agreed to look after David’s bagpipes.
Wasps were playing at Loftus Road that afternoon, so for the return journey the coach driver was told to put his foot down in order that we could voice our anger at Chris Wright. We arrived just in time and the stewards were instructed to stop us from entering the ground.
However, a few of us slipped in and later we demonstrated outside the main entrance. I remember David Davies briefly considering coming out to reason with us and W12 resident and Chelsea fan Laurence Dallaglio getting some stick.
I can’t remember who gave me the above pic but amongst those featured are David and Stephen Cross, myself with my son Louis, George Gristwood of course and that looks like Steve Cane on the left.
Thanks once again to David and Stephen Cross.
We Are QPR