With Luton’s promotion to the Championship, the R’s will be travelling to Kenilworth Road once again next season.
In 1904 the Hatters were based at their former Dunstable Road ground and on the 12th November, QPR took on the hosts in a Southern League fixture. Ahead of the game, “Strawopolis” wrote a preview of the match for the ‘Luton Reporter’:
‘We should have a good game in store when the Queen’s Park Rangers pay us their annual visit.
The Rangers have a team that has a good following, and no doubt we shall see many wearers of the green and white rosettes on the grandstand on Saturday.
If we do not see them, I guess we shall hear them, for when they come out into the country it is astonishing how their lungs expand. They are always good-natured sportsmen with plenty of humour thrown in with their remarks, therefore their company is greatly appreciated.
The great cry of the Queen’s Park Rangers supporters is: “Buck up, Rangers,” and if Luton play a game equal to that given against Portsmouth, the visitors will need to buck-up with a vengeance to get off with a narrow margin of defeat.
The Rangers started the season in such a promising manner that they threatened danger for the championship, but of late they have hardly done so well, and last week they could only manage to share the points in a goal-less match at Millwall, which is not a very brilliant performance, for the Dockers must certainly be looked upon as one of the lesser lights of the Southern League this season.
Few clubs in the South have retained more players than the Rangers, from the team which made a very creditable show throughout last season.
They still retain Collins as goalkeeper, with Leather as his understudy, and both are good men. Collins is again acting as captain of the side.
At half-back the same trio as last year have re-signed. White acting as reserve to Archer and Newlands. Both men are big and powerful and sound defenders.
In the middle-line the names of Bowman, Hitch and Downing are all familiar, whilst new men have been taken on in J. Cross, from the Third Lanark, and Shufflebotham, late of Chesterfield.
Edwards who captains the Reserves and plays occasionally for the first team, is still with them. Cross is showing good enough form to secure a regular place in the first team.
In the front-rank some new men will be seen, not altogether new to Lutonians, but new to the Rangers club. Bevan, the old Reading centre-forward, who was very much sought after last April and May by several First League teams, is with them, and a very dangerous man he is, too
Stewart, from the Hibernians, is new to Southern League football. Singleton, the old New Brompton outside-left is well known, whilst Ronaldson who was with them two or three years ago has returned, after having had a spell of First League experience with Grimsby and Bury. A local forward named Stagg has been signed.
Of the old players of last season, Cross, Milward, Murphy and Blackwood, have all signed on again for this season.
The Rangers have also secured the signatures of several well-known amateurs in Metropolitan football, and I notice P. G Skilton has played for them at centre-forward, and he did very well, too. He has played many times for Middlesex.
Last season we just beat the Rangers at Luton by the only goal scored in the match, whilst away we lost by the odd goal in three, which shows there was very little to choose between the teams twelve months ago.
I am looking forward to a game next Saturday quite as exciting as that of a week ago, and given fine weather, we ought to have the best gate of the season.
The success last Saturday has given an appetite to the Luton supporters, and I can promise them a good afternoon’s amusement and full value for their money when we meet the Rangers, and if Luton do not win, one of the most disappointed spectators will be – “STRAWOPOLIS”’.
The match was drawn 1-1, Duncan Ronaldson was the Rangers scorer.
In 1905 the club moved to Kenilworth Road.
(Thanks to Colin Woodley for his assistance)