5th September 1967: QPR v Aston Villa – Slow Motion Win for Rangers

Team: Springett, Clement, Harris, Keen, Hunt, Hazell, Lazarus, Morgan (I), Sanderson, Leach, Morgan (R)

Attendance: 21,438

Sub: Langley

I had witnessed the 3-1 win at Rotherham a few days earlier and this was soon followed by a superb win under lights against Aston Villa. A bumper crowd of over 20,000 turned out and generated a great atmosphere which continued up the South Africa Road after the game. Brian James wrote the following match report:

‘Aston Villa, the most honoured club in English football history, were trampled to defeat last night by the side least likely to be impressed by present power. Queen’s Park Rangers who have hustled to the top of Division 2, won in a canter, which for a team so practised at doing everything faster than anyone else, is their equivalent of standstill soccer.


Rangers have not been beaten at home since last November and their many victories away include lifting the League Cup at Wembley last spring.

They have this tremendous recent record and clearly the ability to stretch it much further yet. How do they do it? Pace is clearly important. Skill, too, plays an often under-estimated part: few teams in my experience could equal the timing and accuracy of their bursts of one-touch passing.

But, above all, they have a boundless confidence that would be an impertinence were it not so clearly well-founded. How else could they bring in five new players to complete an injury-hit first team and still reel off five victories in six games in this most difficult of divisions?

Part-timer Sanderson, having his first full game of the season, scored two superb goals within five minutes. The first, from a pass by Keen, was rapped home from the edge of the area. The second, from a prod forward by Leach, was hit as he fell, high into the roof of the net on Withers’ left.


Sanderson also made the third goal at the start of the second-half. A vague movement out of the Villa defence was halted by his interception, and a pass struck with swift insight gave Lazarus a simple goal.

Villa, having suffered a sharp disappointment when Stobbart’s first effort was cleared from the line by Harris, were never into the rhythm of this breathless game.

In defence experienced men like Sleeuwenhoek and Chatterley never grew accustomed to streams of curved centres, each pursued by a lone Ranger who hunted the ball as though it was some holy relic.

In midfield, Villa never grew used to the few blatant Rangers’ mistakes being remedied before the slightest advantage could be taken.

Some time, perhaps soon, if injuries continue to multiply, Rangers must lose. But the team that tames them must equal their pace, match their skill and persistence and somehow find an arrogance to undermine this confidence’.


A Villa fan was reported as remarking to a club official after the game that Rangers were to be one of the most promising sides he had seen in 40 years of watching all levels of football: “I’m disappointed Villa lost but we lost to a very fine team. We are suffering from the hang-over of relegation but we are far from being a bad side. Rangers can take a lot of credit from beating us.”

We went on to lose the following game of course, 0-1 at home to Derby County!

The programme noted that the latest issue of ‘Rangers Roar’ (No.3) was on sale and that the Club were anxious to hear the views of fans regarding what they felt should be done at Loftus Road ; accommodation, entertainment and publicity etc.

Steve Russell

4 thoughts on “5th September 1967: QPR v Aston Villa – Slow Motion Win for Rangers

  1. I was born the year after when we imploded in the first division but I would love to have been around at this time. It must have been incredible. I acquired some of the programmes a few years later and this must have been one of the last few leaflet-style programmes before we had those chequered design fronts. The return at Villa Park on the final day won us promotion of course when Rodney kissed the own goal scorer that clinched it. U RRRRR’s!!!

  2. It is good of you old timers giving us young ones (including Young Kerrins)a taste of what it was like in that great season!
    Seriously though, it brought back many memories of a wonderful season but little did we know as to what we would be faced with in the following season, having just scraped a promotion. (sounds a bit familiar!) However, despite what followed it did not seem to be a problem as we were just glad to have got out of the third division at long last. With the ground being transformed and the team being re-built, with excellent young players coming through (take note HR) we just knew we would return.

  3. And thank you Col, I always wanted to put myself there and I can see there were grounds for optimism with Gerry and Martyn Busby and Dave Clement and Mickey Leach but Jim did try to sell up….tell you what I’ve still got the programme where Antonio Incenzo claims it is his uncle who claims to be the mystery card sender.

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