50 Years Ago Today: QPR (4) – Leicester City (2)

Football League Cup 4th Round

Team: Springett, Hazell, Langley, Keen, Hunt, Sibley, Lazarus, Sanderson, Allen, Marsh, Morgan (R)

Attendance: 20,735

Rangers had knocked out Swansea Town in the previous round of the League Cup and were then drawn against Leicester City, who included in their side the England World Cup goalkeeping hero, Gordon Banks. There was also Welsh international full-back Peter Rodrigues and Northern Ireland centre-forward, Derek Dougan.

Midfielder Jackie Sinclair had made his Scottish debut during the summer in a friendly against Portugal and Dave Gibson and been a regular for the Scots National side between 1963 and 1964.

Brian James wrote the following match report:

‘Queen’s Park Rangers played Leicester decisively out of the League Cup on a night of fantasy on the pitch and frenzy around the terraces.

Rangers are proudly at the top of Division Three. Leicester are striding along with authority and prospects among the leaders of Division One. Two divisions of difference were swept away in a brilliant burst of aggressive football that rose to its climax just after half-time.

Then, in five minutes, Rangers scored three goals – two of them in 60 seconds by Les Allen – to take their place in the last eight of the League Cup. Yet Leicester had been given a 2-1 lead through blunders by an over-eager defence in the first-half.

Amid it all a twice-normal crowd of 20,735, who contributed ground record receipts of £4,416, went slightly hysterical. Some fought, some fainted and ambulance men and police passed among them administrating aspirin and arm-locks as needed. But most just stood in a line, shrieking out their joy.

Such a result always seemed to be looming up from the time Leicester’s measured football began being swallowed by the sheer persistence of Rangers’ modest moves.

And especially when Marsh, the League’s leading scorer, who last night played with all the arrogance of a West London Eusebio, struck an uncanny understanding with the wily Allen.

A Marsh pass, an Allen cross gave Morgan the first goal for Rangers. And although Dougan equalised in 30 seconds, then snapped a second from a rare gap in Rangers’ defence, one sensed the full story was not yet told. It so proved.

Marsh and Allen forced Banks to marvellous saves to inspire a recovery. Banks then had no chance as a skilled Leicester defence crumpled. Allen struck a fierce shot against the bar and watched Banks carry the rebound over the line.

Within a minute, Allen raced on to a cross from Lazarus to shoot his second. With Leicester reeling and unable to get a grip back on the game, corner after corner followed. So Rangers’ fourth goal, from Lazarus, was delayed only five minutes.

The crowd began a unanimous chant of: “We Want Five”. With Marsh and Morgan missing by inches, with Banks saving with massive unconcern, no one dare say Rangers did not try to meet the demand.

Leicester, former holders of this cup, went down looking a good side beaten by a better.

But Allen went away again to shoot fiercely and dislodged a policeman’s helmet. It was that sort of hysterical night.’


In the programme notes the new club secretary, Ron Phillips, was welcomed as he came in to replace the outgoing John Smith.

It stated in ‘Supporters Corner’ that: ‘We want to send these Leicester boys home with all the fury of Shepherd’s Bush ringing in their ears.’

I stood on the half-way line, on the South Africa Road side, and remember celebrating wildly with my mate from school, Bob Draper.

The noise generated around Loftus Road that night was incredible and in my opinion has never been surpassed. The only occasion that it came anywhere near those levels was during the play-off semi-final against Oldham Athletic in 2003.

The R’s were drawn at home against Carlisle United in Round 5, but that’s another story!

Steve Russell

5 thoughts on “50 Years Ago Today: QPR (4) – Leicester City (2)

  1. Wow! Great memories of a great night.
    What a magical period that was.There have been some good seasons since but 66/7 will live long in the memory and it was a privilege to have experienced it…simply the best.

  2. I was there. What a night to remember. I had been supporting the R’s for 10 years and had never experienced an atmosphere at Loftus Rd like it…nor since!

    The whole four sides of the ground chanting RANGERS RANGERS most of the entire 90 minutes.

    Those were the days. The start of our climb to the sunny uplands of Football.

  3. I was there too. I still think off it often and it brings a smile to my face every time. I was standing in the Loft – the atmosphere was unbelievable. We all expected to lose and hoped the Rangers would not let themselves down. But once the game started you could sense an upset was on the cards. There has never been a better atmosphere at the ground than there was that night.

  4. I too was there. First match I ever went to. My Dad and I were at the School End, uncovered then of course. Don’t remember much about the game other than the excitement of being there with all the “grown ups”. I remember watching Banks get beat 4 times – not bad after he lifted the World Cup only months before.

    My Dad took me to all the League Cup home games that season. He had promised to do so whilst we remained in the Cup – I don’t think he expected to be going more than once.
    Poor Dad, when it came to the final, he couldn’t get a ticket but a friend of his knowing how special it was for me, took me along instead of his brother. Remember standing behind one of the goals and at half time being ribbed by WBA fans asking what’s the score. Being a kid I couldn’t show my disappointment and told them we’d win 3-2. Funny, never saw them at the end of the game :-).

    One of my sons bought me a video of the Final, still play it occasionally on the old VHS. Happy days.

  5. when you look back this was the start of our journey into the big time. Previous to this, we were just a small team from West London

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