The 1984 Postponed Game at Sunderland – QPR Fans Riled by Train to Nowhere

The following article from January/February 1984, appeared in issue 5 of the Club newspaper, ‘Ranger’:

‘QPR Supporters Club – welcomed throughout the league as a good-natured band – were up in arms last month over what they claimed was shabby treatment from soccer organisers.

The fans, travelling by train to Sunderland, had got as far as York when purely by chance they discovered the game had been cancelled almost an hour earlier. The train had been held up briefly because of a minor mechanical fault and thus gave fans the opportunity to ask a station police officer to radio in and check that all was well at Roker Park.


The news came back that the game was cancelled at 11.45 and the local police stood down extra match day officers at 12-noon. The correct and courteous procedure once the decision was made, should have been to signal the train so that the fans could turn back to London – without further waste of time.

It seems likely however that if the supporters hadn’t discovered the bad news for themselves they would have been allowed to plough blindly on to Sunderland.

One traveller was doubly underwhelmed, having forked out twenty pounds in cab fares that morning in order to get to Kings Cross by the departure time of 9am. Angry Supporters Club member, Peter Kingham, felt so strongly he organised a petition – signed by all those on board – and will protest to the FA, the PFA and the Football League.

Terry Venables has made a call for common sense to be applied in the future and for decisions of this kind to be taken earlier. Sunderland too have joined the protest and will be making a formal complaint to the Football League over the belated actions of referee Mark Scott.


Rangers’ players told us that they were in the Roker Park dressing rooms with kit laid out and going through a pre-match briefing session when the news of the cancellation was broken to them.

The team has a special affection for its small but dedicated band of away followers and greatly appreciates the extra boost they give the side’.

According to the match programme, dated 21st January 1984, the R’s line-up was printed as follows:

Hucker, Neill, Dawes, Waddock, Wicks, Fenwick, Fillery, Stewart, Charles, Stainrod, Gregory

I think that the match was also postponed the following month but it was eventually played on the 7th March with Rangers losing 1-0.

Steve Russell

10 thoughts on “The 1984 Postponed Game at Sunderland – QPR Fans Riled by Train to Nowhere

  1. I actually went on normal trains and arrived with about 5 other QPR fans at 11:50 before the game was cancelled
    We ended up having a good drink and chat with Sunderland fans

    • Hi Doug – are you the guy from Bert Oak/Collingdale who went around with Ken?

      If you are I was with you that day in Sunderland we had a right good piss up in the Seaburn Hotel.

      Colin Gray from Crawley in Sussex.

  2. This sort of “Shabby Treatment ” still goes on ,although nowadays its usually instigated by SKY SPORTS who change fixtures to suit themselves ,leaving fans who have made work /travel arrangements,flights etc sometimes months in advance,well and truly out of pocket.

  3. Modern day technology would hopefully give early warning of such ‘call offs’ but as you say Walshy there are different rules for the covered matches and there have been some pretty late call offs as a result over the past few seasons.
    We did get reasonable communication from stations stopped at in the late fifties and early sixties but the biggest problem sometimes was fog which could appear at any time.
    We had one classic trip in snow and ice to Swindon in the early sixties which did go ahead much to the supporter’s amazement but invariably it was the frozen pitches that called many off. In those days also a few flakes of snow falling on the approaches to grounds didn’t get the games called off but Health & Safety rules now!

  4. Hi Colin, yes I am the one and the same
    A lot older than them days but I still get to most home and away games

    • Good to hear from you Doug.

      We are all a lot older! I still go but not as often.

      What about Ken?

      • Hi Colin, Ken came to Wembley for the play off final and also went to Charlton away last year
        He doesn’t come that much anymore
        Was up in Hull with Joe and Cathy though

          • Colin, I am usually downstairs in Springbox before home games, the LSA room. Have a word with Steve on the door and I am sure he will letting you come downstairs
            Remember my wife Val from all those years ago, she still comes with me

          • Will try and pop in and see you Doug next home game I go to but after going to Palace bit pissed with it all.

            Thats if I recognise you after all these years!

Comments are closed.