QPR (2) – England Olympic X1 (1)- 10th October 1955

Team: Brown, Woods, Ingham, Crickson, Rutter, Angell, Longbottom, Smith, Clark, Cameron, Shepherd

This match against an England Olympic X1, kicked off at 7.30pm on Monday, 10th October 1955.

Comments ‘by the Manager’ in the 2d programme, included this preview of the match:

‘This evening we are very pleased to welcome an England Amateur X1to Loftus Road and also to the officials of the Football Association on whose shoulders fall the task of finding and blending together a team which will uphold the prestige of England.

The game this evening is the third arranged by the Football Association against professional sides in an effort, not only to asses the merit of each player, but also to give them experience against good opposition, for the team have undoubtedly a tough assignment.

The Olympic Games in 1956 loom ahead and Great Britain are called upon to play Bulgaria at Sofia in a qualifying game on 23rd October next, a very stiff first hurdle, but insignificant compared with those in the later stages of the tournament when teams at least equal to England’s full international strength will be competing.

The strict amateur code observed by the governing bodies of English sports is interpreted with some ‘elasticity’ by many of the Continental bodies and one is left wondering if “the glory is in having taken part” is not overshadowed by “a win at all costs” attitude.

I make so bold as to say that in every realm of sport the prestige of Great Britain as sportsmen is excelled by no other nation in the world; long may we retain that reputation.’

A short match report appeared in the West London Observer the following Friday:

‘Queen’s Park Rangers just about deserved their 2-1 victory over the England Olympic X1 at Loftus Road on Monday evening.

Rangers netted through Clark (19th minute) and Shepherd (33rd minute).

Clark’s goal had an element of luck, for Homan allowed the ball to slip out of his hand and the Rangers’ centre-forward had an empty goal at his mercy and Shepherd’s effort was deflected by a defender.

In between those goals, outside-right Littlejohn (Bournemouth) made a brilliant run and, after beating four men, fired in a rising shot that beat Brown all ends up.

Neil, the Portsmouth winger, found Woods too good for him, but the former had few good passes to make full use of his speed.

Finishing was lacking in this Olympic side, yet the defence was reasonably solid.’

Rangers lost 2-4 to another England Olympic X1 the following March.

Then in 1960, the R’s lost by the same score-line in an away match against a GB Olympic side.

Three years later QPR drew 1-1 with an Olympic X1 at Loftus Road.

And finally in April 1966, Rangers defeated an England Amateur X1 2-1, before a crowd of nearly 6,000.

Steve Russell

(My thanks to Colin Woodley and Gordon Macey for their assistance)