Dave Sexton: Posthumously inducted into the Forever R’s Club

Dave Sexton, Bobby Keetch and George Powell were posthumously inducted into the Forever R’s Club on Saturday. Their families were guests of the Club and were introduced to Rangers fans at half-time.

Andy Sinton spoke very well about what it means to everyone when former managers and players are posthumously inducted.

Michael Hart wrote the following article for the Evening Standard on 24th November 1976:

‘The calm, controlled footballing style of Queen’s Park Rangers, currently elevating the bedraggled reputation of the British game, faces its most formidable examination against FC Cologne at Loftus Road tonight.

The West German side, managed by a 56-year-old football intellectual named Hennes Weisweiler, bring to Shepherd’s Bush the blend of skill, organisation and power that Dave Sexton so envies.

The Rangers manager, a devoted student of the Continental game, is a particular admirer of Weisweiler, the man who made Borussia Monchengladbach, taking them into the Bundesliga in 1965 and steering them to the West German championship in 1970, 1971 and 1975.

After a short spell with FC Barcelona, Weisweiler resigned and joined Cologne in July. They started the season with five consecutive wins and are currently fifth, having scored 30 goals in 14 matches.

“I have followed Weisweiler’s career for some years and he is a man I greatly admire,” said Sexton. “Some of the performances of his Monchengladbach side came as near to the ideal as I have seen.”

Sexton’s ideal – something he is working towards at Rangers – combines skill, power, spirit and organisation. Tonight he is the pupil and a win over the master will give him a great personal sense of achievement. It will also give him a less harrowing fortnight as he prepares for the second leg.

Cologne have lost only once at home in European competition, and that was to Spurs, who won both legs in the UEFA Cup fourth round in season 1973-74.

Frank McLintock, Rangers’ 36-year-old defender acting as captain in the continued absence of Gerry Francis, harbours memories of a previous encounter with FC Cologne. He captained Arsenal against the West Germans in the quarter-final of the old Fairs Cup in the spring of 1971.

“They were a hard side to beat then,” recalled McLintock. “We lost on the away goals rule and they were lucky to beat us on their ground with a disputed penalty.”

Rangers may be experiencing their first season in European football, but McLintock points out that he, David Webb and John Hollins have all played Continental teams in past seasons.

“And, of course, we’ve got seven internationals in the side and that, indirectly, is much the same as playing European club football,” he added.

“People call us Britain’s Continental side and I take that as a great compliment. I genuinely feel we are equipped to do well in this competition. The players, subconsciously, are geared to winning the UEFA Cup. There’s lots of good teams left, but I feel we can do them.”

“One of the great points in our favour, of course, is Dave Sexton’s knowledge of European soccer. He probably knows more about Continental sides than any other League manager.”

“He’s been talking to us about the Cologne team and saying this player makes the decoy runs, and this is the move they employ in this situation. He knows because he’s seen them so many times.”

McLintock, who can approach his retirement from the game comforted by the success of business ventures, will probably mark 22-year-old striker Dieter Muller, who scored for West Germany against Wales last month.

The two other Cologne strikers are foreigners – Roger Van Gool, 26-year-old Belgian international signed from FC Bruges for £150,000, and, on the left, Preben Larsen, a 19-year-old Danish Youth international.

The midfield is generally accepted as Cologne’s strength, although they will be without 33-year-old Wolfgang Overath, who played in the last two World Cup Finals.

Nonetheless, two other West German internationals, Heinz Flohe, 26, and Bernhard Cullmann, 27, present a considerable threat to Masson, Leach and Hollins.

I’m sure you’ll need little reminding of the name Wolfgang Weber. He’s 32 now, has 53 caps, will probably mark Stan Bowles, and yes, scored the goal against England that led to extra time in the 1966 World Cup Final.

Sexton added: “They’re aggressive and skilful, but probably the biggest danger is the fact they play so well as a team. I’ve seen them play recently and I know we’ve got a job on our hands.”

England full-backs Dave Clement (instep injury) and Ian Gillard (broken nose) should both be fit to play. “I’ll leave a decision on Clement as late as possible,” said Sexton.’

Rangers won 3-0 that night with goals from Don Givens, Dave Webb and Stan Bowles.

Steve Russell

One thought on “Dave Sexton: Posthumously inducted into the Forever R’s Club

Comments are closed.