From 1954 – Eric Linden Spots a Winning QPR Team

The following article was written by Eric Linden and appeared in ‘Soccer Star’ on 6th March 1954:-

‘Queen’s Park Rangers can’t score goals. Everybody said it, and no wonder. Hadn’t Rangers just gone through a spell of ten games during which they had failed to hit the back of the net on nine (actually eight from ten or nine from eleven – SR) of those occasions ? Then they had the wonderful tonic of a five-goal performance against Newport. Rangers were beginning to hit goal-getting form. They might have found it earlier by a simple re-shuffle of players.

No change in goal – definitely. Harry Brown is as good as most ‘keepers in the league. Full-backs are no trouble for Rangers. In Tony Ingham they have one of the most cultured footballers they have ever had. Cool and resourceful, he may develop into their best-ever player – if they can keep him.

What of his partner ? I disagree that Jim Taylor is the man. He looks hemmed in at full-back. Often he’s caught out of position through his attacking trend. Then why not play this man, too good to be dropped, at right-half ?

Certainly it would be madness to think of him replacing Rangers’ discovery of the season, Peter Angell, at left-half. This lad will become excellent with experience. That long throw-in of his, he can reach the penalty spot when throwing from the corner flag.

There are three choices for Ingham’s full-back mate, Pat Woods, Lew Clayton and Johnny Poppitt. Of the three, I rate Woods the best footballer, but Clayton the best for the position ! Crazy ? Not a bit of it. Woods, who should be a regular, is another I believe more suited to an attacking position. And that position is centre-forward.

qpr team

(In action: Harry Brown, QPR choice as goalkeeper, and Eric Linden’s. George Petchey was deposed as centre-forward by Scottish youngster, Willie Clark. It’s suggested that Pat Woods should take over from Willie)

The man in possession, ex-Scottish junior, Willie Clark, needs something that Woods has – a first time, cannon-ball shot. Clark is clever with his head but too often ties himself up when it comes to groundwork and getting a shot away. He needs time to settle down to the faster brand of football.

Centre-half provides no difficulty. Young giant Mike Powell must stay there. He improves with every game.

Now for the rest of the forwards. But for the fact that the arrival of Albert Pounder from Charlton has brought Bobby Cameron back to peak form. I would have suggested a spell on the left-wing for Bobby. There he would have had to cure the one irritating fault he often showed throughout the season, a tendency to collect the ball and start off back toward his own goal with it. On the wing you get little time for such fads. Cameron’s crossing of a ball is good. But his brilliant understanding with Pounder is even better. So I’d leave the right-wing undisturbed.

Centre-forward has been dealt with. The left-wing problem has solved itself with the advent of Pat Kerrins, a tall 17-year-old who promises great things. But who is an ideal partner for Kerrins ? Conway Smith has the “go-for-goal” idea better than any other inside forward prospect. But Conway is essentially a right-footed player.

Who then for No. 10 ? Willie Hurrell or ex-centre-forward Petchey ? Conway Smith, on form, is certainly the most dangerous of the three.

Something to remember, though, is that Albert Pounder is only on loan from Charlton, so to speak. Until such a time as they can call this ball artist their own, Rangers must take steps to see that an adequate deputy becomes available.

Don’t change a winning team is an old soccer maxim. But if you can spot a winning team for a better team, that’s an even better principle. And I claim that; Brown, Clayton, Ingham, Jim Taylor, Powell, Angell, Pounder, Cameron, Woods, Smith and Kerrins, would produce a better team. Try it and see for yourself, Rangers.’

On the day that the magazine hit the streets, the R’s defeated Torquay United 5-1 at Loftus Road with goals from; Clark, Smith (2), Kerrins and Cameron. Rangers went on to finish the season in 18th position.

Steve Russell

3 thoughts on “From 1954 – Eric Linden Spots a Winning QPR Team

  1. Great Stuff Steve.This is really interesting nostalgia

    He got it wrong about Mike Powell I can tell you…Of course spot on about Pat Kerrins though lol

  2. Read this article and confirm that this is my Uncle who is amazed to see it re features after so many years.
    Eric Linden was a sports journalist, but I had no idea he covered football.
    He would love to know how come you revived this after so long.

  3. Hello Richard, pleased to hear that you came across it. I picked up a copy of the magazine some time ago and thought that it would be an interesting period article for the site. Sounds like this was the only article he ever wrote about the R’s and possibly one of the few football related? My thanks to him for that insight and best wishes to you both.

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