The Rise of a Ranger

Back on a cold Christmas Eve night in 1969 I came into the world at the world’s best hospital, and so my love for West London was born.

My first memories are from Wendell Road, just off the Askew Road. My Dad worked at Claridges and my Mum worked part-time.

We went to Ravenscourt Park at least once a week, weather permitting. I clearly remember the red ash pitch, many a cut and graze having since healed!



(Top picture from 1970: I was held by a woman I can only remember as Renee. Second picture: Standing in my old house with great wallpaper!)

At the age of five my Dad took me to Loftus Road. I wasn’t impressed, I was cold and tired and when I heard the whistle three times in a row I was glad to hear it, I was ready to go home, but I didn’t know I had another half to go!

A steward lived just round the corner and Dad met him at ‘The Sun’ public house in the Askew Road.

In the summer of 1976 we moved near Olympia, where I spent a great deal of my life.

One afternoon I asked my Dad if I could go with him to Loftus Road; he was apprehensive but said yes.

We left early and I saw my Dad talking to the man he’d met in the pub, only it was at the stadium, moments later we sat in the South Africa Road Stand. My love affair was only just starting.

At twelve I went with friends, my Mum was a nervous wreck.

I don’t actually have a favourite moment from my spiritual home, but I have favourite moments. Trevor Sinclair and his overhead kick in the FA Cup; Gary Micklewhite scoring the tenth and final goal of one of the best comebacks I’ve ever seen; Gary Bannister scoring a hat-trick against that team up the road in a six-nil mauling; beating Wigan to go to Wembley. I could go on.

I spent a few years away from where I grew up and when the chance came up to come back to West London I gladly took it.

Due to health conditions I was forced to give up physical work in my mid-thirties and didn’t have a clue what to do? Then I found writing.

Writing about the area I love helped me with my first book, ‘Break in to Murder’, it’s set around Holland Park and up from the school I went to, Cardinal Vaughan.

In my second book, ‘Cat got your tongue,’ I’ve combined my fascination with crime and my love for QPR with the Police force named after former players. An estate agent goes missing, but all is not as it seems!

Sadly in 2012 Alan McDonald passed away suddenly; a player in my all-time top five. I just hope I’ve done his memory proud.

The job of an author is to get their work read and rarely is success an overnight thing; writing what you know about is so important and that’s what I’ve done.

I’m a proud QPR fan and Londoner; a successful author will be added to that list.

Paul Moore


13 thoughts on “The Rise of a Ranger

  1. Wonderful article.

    Yes I remember the red ash pitch over at Ravenscourt Park. I played many a game of football on that in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. Victoria junior school used to play all of their games at that venue.

    Paul. Did you know that up to 1963 Albert “Smudger” Smith QPR Defender circa 1946/50 and his family lived on Wendell Rd. I was friends with his son Robert. I cant recall the actual house number but it was very near Wendell Park itself.

    Bernard Lambert

    • Thank you Bernard, I also share the same Birthday as the great Stanley Bowles, I don’t mind another connection though. 😀

  2. hi paul
    its pat corkerry
    we had many a drink in the bird in hand
    me and milan also with your dad and brother.
    hope your well.
    give me a shout.

  3. Hello Paul.
    Your article certainly struck a warm chord or two with me in the memory department.
    Ah, the red ash in Ravenscourt Park and I also had an scrape or two in sympathy with yours!
    I recognised your part of Wendell Road from the photo, as I used to be frog marched to Sunday school in St. Stephens round the corner at the end of Rylett Road as a young stripling. (Didn’t do much good!).The small front garden wall just over your shoulders in the background as you look at your photo is of interest. I am fairly sure that this was where one of the adult staff who volunteered at Sulgrave Boys Club used to live. John Pullen was his name. Do you perhaps know what became of him?
    He was also a QPR fan as well.
    Once again, many thanks for the article and I wish you every success.
    Cheers, Gerry.

  4. John Pullen and myself played in the same Sulgrave Boys Club junior football team circa 1963/64.

    I know later on he did once become a manager of a local football team but I have not seen or heard of him since the 1970’s

    Yes John Pullen even way back in the early 1960’s was a keen follower of QPR FC.

    Bernard Lambert

    • Hello Bernard.
      Sorry to say, but I was born in ’64!
      Last saw John early 80’s. We used to attend England games at the old Wembley. The stadium was dire, even back then.
      We also used to take part in the impromtu 20+ a side football matches on the biggest green space in Ravenscourt Park during the summer evenings and Sunday afternoons.
      John was recognisable by his long black hair and matching beard!
      From memory, he had a good sense of humour as well.
      Indeed, the last I heard he was managing a youth football team and if memory is correct, moved to the Hayes area?
      Oh well, lives drift and people move on. Thank God my love for the R’s is still constant and wouldn’t change for anything. 43 years and not out!
      Cheers Bernard and hope this comment finds you in good health.

  5. Thank you Gerry for those informative comments.

    John had the long black hair but not the matching beard when I last saw him! His brother Dave who died young was also at Sulgrave boys club with us and sometimes played the odd game in the Sulgrave junior football team.

    In those days John Pullen had a nickname of “Woolly” Never did quite work that one out! Did it still apply in the 1980’s?

    All the very best to you Gerry.

    Bernard Lambert

    • Hello Again Bernard.
      Have to confess that I never come across the name “Woolly,” but can recall he was a dab hand at the knitting machine! This was due to him producing woolen hats for himself and groups who went camping at various times of the year. Man of many talents! Not a bad footballer either.
      I know he used to have a van driving job with a company in Park Royal/Harlesden if that rings any bells?
      Interesting how the Rangers family springs up stories such as this every now and then. Isn’t it?
      And all the best to you.

  6. Hello Gerry, I grew up round the corner to the Pullen’s in Rylett Road and used to spend a lot of time in their house. Apart from John & Dave, their sister Sue was about my age, Joan was older and I was in touch with her up to a few years ago.

    • Hello There Steve.
      The world is certainly small!
      Would you know any recent history of John at all?
      I can also vaguely recall the shop towards St. Stephens school on Rylett Road. I wonder what that is now?
      This has certainly been a trip down memory lane, especially those mass football matches in Ravenscourt Park. They were the days, especially on Sundays when the pubs shut at 2pm with some poor souls joining in and running the beer off!
      Hope you are well Steve and like Rangers’s, onwards and upwards.

  7. Hello Gerry, the shop on the corner was known as ‘Jones’s in my time. I went to Wendell Park School and later Victoria then we moved up the Western Avenue mate.

    Joan used to take me, Sue, John Pethers etc to Saturday Morning flicks when I was a kid.

    We went back a few times and on the last occasion in the 70’s they told us that sadly their brother had tragically passed away!!! Joan contacted me many years later on Friends Reunited….best wishes mate – Steve

  8. Thanks Gerry. Now from what you have said I can understand the “Woolly” nickname connection. He or his family must have been undertaking that sort of project back in the days when I knew him as a teenager.

    Yes John was a decent footballer. A calm steady workman like wing half for Sulgrave juniors as I recall.

Comments are closed.