Long Serving QPR Supporters Club Trustee, Mr Fred Blackwell

The following article appeared in the local Gazette on Friday, 16th October 1959:

‘Who is the oldest active club football supporter in the country? Well, it would be difficult to pinpoint, but Queen’s Park Rangers are quite convinced that they have a hot favourite for the title.

The club considers there is little doubt that one-club man, 88-year-old Mr Fred Blackwell, of 54 Goldsmith Avenue, Acton, must be entitled to the title.

Sprightly, silver haired Mr Blackwell can recall following Rangers before they turned professional, when ground admittance was threepence and a season ticket cost a mere half-a-crown.

He treasures an inscribed gold watch, presented to him by club chairman Mr A Hittinger, which acknowledges his active service on the QPR Supporters Club Committee from 1938-59.

This little elderly man is a bundle of energy and it is easy to understand his zest for life. It is nothing for him to attend club committee meetings which go on until almost midnight on some occasions.

This proud trustee of the QPR Supporters Club can proudly be seen taking his honorary seat in the Directors’ box before kick-off at each home league and reserve game.

Talk to Mr Blackwell – one of the few links between the present club and the past – and he will gladly revel in the opportunity of reminiscing about the good old days.

He recalls the day when the Rangers made their name in league football by playing at various grounds from Park Royal, Kensal Rise, Latimer Road, the White City and their present headquarters at Loftus Road, Shepherd’s Bush.

Sixty years ago an old grocer’s van was used to transport the faithful band of supporters to Rangers’ various matches.

Perhaps Mr Blackwell’s earliest memory of Rangers is when they played Tottenham Hotspur, the Cup holders at the time, in a mud bath at Latimer Road in 1901. “Spurs were a magnificent team in those days,” recalled Mr Blackwell.

Rangers’ octogenarian still treasures numerous photographs and souvenirs of the old days when club – and football generally was in its infancy. Unfortunately many of them are too faded to re-produce in these columns.

Good luck to you, Mr Blackwell, and may you long continue to cheer the Rangers.’

Steve Russell

(The above pic shows the 1950-51 Supporters’ Club Committee and Mr Blackwell is shown standing on the far right)