From 1973: QPR (2) – Birmingham City (2) – ‘Rangers Ace Blows up after Goal Taunt’

Team: Parkes, Clement, Hazell, Venables, Mancini, McLintock, Thomas, Francis, Leach (Abbott), Bowles, Givens

Attendance: 18,701

The following newspaper report was written by Terry McNeill:

‘Stan Bowles, controversial Rangers star, was involved in a brawl with Birmingham’s Tony Want in the tunnel at the finish of this messy four-goal match.

Bowles was then dragged away to the dressing room by team mate Dave Clement before any more damage was done to the former Spurs back. Bowles’s rage ended a row between the two players that had been simmering throughout the game as Want struggled to contain the skilful Rangers forward.

Then, 10 minutes from time, Want badly fouled Bowles, who was carried off with damage to his left ankle. Want was properly booked by referee Tommy Dawes and a few minutes later he cautioned Clement, who launched himself in retaliation at Want.

Bowles limped back and immediately set up Birmingham’s equaliser with a back pass to goalkeeper Phil Parkes that Bob Hatton intercepted for Kenny Burns to score.

“You can understand how I feel,” said Bowles later. “Want had been pulling my jersey all the match and I called him a maniac when I went back on. I didn’t really want to go back on, but Mick Leach’s injury meant we were down to 10 men.”

“I was still a bit dazed when I tried to pass the ball back. That was bad enough but Want made it worse by shouting: ‘Nice pass Stanley. Nice one son.’ I can stand the mickey-taking, it’s kicks on my ankle that worries me. It would have to be my left, that’s the one I use to play.”


Bowles left Loftus Road clutching an ice pack that he hopes will ease the swelling, but he must be doubtful for the trip to Newcastle on Saturday.

Rangers’ manager Gordon Jago agreed with Bowles about the tackle and said: “That particular player had been doing that for most of the match.” But Jago was more concerned about the two goals conceded. “It’s Christmas for our opponents every time we play at home,” he moaned.

A comic Roger Hynd own-goal and an air shot from John Roberts that let in Bowles, both inside a minute in the first-half, suggested that Rangers were going to win at Loftus Road at last.

But Bob Latchford made it 2-1 with Rangers ball-watching and then Bowles rounded off his eventful afternoon with that pass.

Frank McLintock’s debut for Rangers was almost submerged by other events, but not quite. The canny Scot came out even, kicking a Latchford shot off the line and escaping when he miskicked and Parkes got him out of trouble with a blinding save from Bob Hatton.’

Rangers also drew their next home game, 1-1 against Chelsea, and it wasn’t until the 27th October that they recorded their first league victory of the season at Loftus Road.

Steve Russell

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