QPR’s First Southern League Match at St. Quintin Avenue/Latimer Road on 7th September 1901

Team: Collins, Newlands, Aston, Freeman, Bowman, Edwards, King, Pryce, Millar, McQueen, Seeley.

Attendance: 5,000

The following match report appeared in the Kensington News:

Disappointment was written on the faces of the majority of those four or five thousand who witnessed the meeting between the Queen’s Park Rangers and Watford representatives at Notting Hill on Saturday. And the reason was because the Rangers shaped so badly when before goal, and were unable to gratify the wishes of their many supporters by scoring.

The forwards seemed utterly unable to cope with the excellent defence made by the visitors, but even when they appeared to have palpable chances, they never succeeded in utilising them, and long before the end of the game the Rangers’ team as a whole was characterised by all lovers of football on the ground as a weak one. If they cannot even equalise with Watford, what chance have they with any of the teams they will have to meet during the season, seemed to be the question universally asked, and to which it was difficult to give a hopeful answer.

The display they gave on the previous Wednesday against that well-selected team from Grays, was by no means excellent, but being the first of the list of fixtures, one was inclined to excuse them and look for better things on the next occasion, especially as they were encouraged by a win. But no, if there was any difference, it rather pointed to deterioration.

Watford did almost as they liked in the field, and were unfortunate in not adding to the goal they obtained by one or two others.

Collins, in goal, certainly distinguished himself, and did all that was required of him. The ball was frequently hovering round him, and he had quite an exhausting time of it. Often, when a goal seemed certain for Watford, Collins was found equal to the occasion, and got the sphere amid ringing cheers from partisans of both clubs.


It was pleasing to see the excellent spirit that prevailed amongst the onlookers. They came to witness a good game of football, and when a skilful exhibition was given by an individual member, whether he was representing the club they would prefer to win or not, they did not fail to accord him those encouraging cheers which help to stimulate a player of whatever re-creative game he may be engaged in.

Collins did very well, and knowing that so much was required to in any way counter-balance the weakness of his colleagues, he put forth all his energy, with the result that the beating was not such a very bad one after all.

During the first-half Watford scored the only goal obtained in the match, through the agency of Lyon, who got in a shot which could not be dealt with by the goalkeeper. This, of course, assisted to rouse the Rangers, and the play was afterwards very fast, but the forwards lacked that combination which could alone break through such stubborn defence as was shown by Cother and Nidd. “Darky” always in good humour, dealt with them in true veteran style, and seemed to relieve any pressure that was brought to bear with comparative ease.

With the wind in their favour during the second-half, the Rangers were expected to get the ball between the posts at least once, but they completely failed to do even this, and their first match in the Southern League (incorrect, 1899-1900 was our first season, unless he means that this was our first Southern League match on this ground – SR) has to be recorded against them, much to the regret of their supporters.

In a ‘Ranger To Ranger’ letters page from a 1976 home programme, Les Gearing of Crediton in Devon wrote the following:

Dear Sir – I thought you might be interested in the enclosed cutting I found in a newspaper which came from the back of an old mirror, dated September 12th, 1902….

Daily Express – ‘QP Rangers and Latimer Road – What with ground improvements and legal expenses, Queen’s Park Rangers lost over ¬£700 last season. It appears that Latimer Road belonged to the same landlord who owned all the houses that surrounded the enclosure, and as his tenants objected so strongly to the Rangers’ football in their midst he was obliged to ask the club to move. They have Kensal Rise on a two years’ lease, and they are greatly improving the enclosure. Whilst they are at it they might improve the Press box.’

Steve Russell