The following article appeared in the local press on 11th December 1959:
‘Two Shepherd’s Bush brothers, supporters of Queen’s Park Rangers since they were youngsters, told a Gazette and Post reporter this week of a petition they plan to send to the Football Association, signed by QPR Supporters’ Club members, to find out why “diabolical” referees are being sent to officiate at Loftus Road Division 3 games.
The brothers, 20-year-old TV singer Tony Raymond and ex-Army referee Stan Hicks, of St. Anne’s Road, claim it is referees that are getting the home crowd a bad name throughout the football world.
They think that bad officials are:
• Keeping the crowds away.
• Lowering the morale of QPR players
• Making the club’s away games “needle” matches because of its dirty reputation.
Explained Tony, supporter since he was five: “Saturday’s game decided me. The referee (Mr R. E. Smith of Newport) made many bad decisions, and when he got four policemen to drag away a ten-year-old boy because he thought the boy had thrown mud at him, it made me really angry.”
Tony continued: “I was next to the boy and he didn’t throw anything at the ref. He rushed on to the field with a crowd of people at the end of the game, presumably just to tell the ref what he thought of him.”
“I tried to explain what had happened, but nobody listened. Then the national newspapers got hold of the story – and look what happened. Everyone thinks ‘it’s the Loftus Road crowd at it again’”
Brother Stan took up the story: “It was another case of bad refereeing at home games. Of course the crowd was angry. I was with a few Supporters’ Club members and when I told them of our idea, they were with us and gave us their names.”
“We want to meet the Supporters’ Club as soon as possible to talk about sending the petition to the FA.”
He went on: “Naturally we went immediately to the man at the top, Alec Stock (manager of Queen’s Park Rangers) with our complaints as soon as the game was over, but he wouldn’t criticise the referee. So if he won’t do anything about the situation, we think we should at least try.”
“We have nothing against Mr Stock or the club. We are both ardent fans and wouldn’t miss a game for the world, but we’re fed up with the position. I’ve seen bottles thrown on the pitch at Division 1 games, and that club hasn’t got a reputation.”
Tony explained: “The referees just can’t be taking into consideration the different standards of football they have to come up against in the four divisions of English soccer. They should put referees into different divisions of quality instead of allowing one to referee a First Division game this Saturday and a Fourth Division game the next.”
I asked about Tony Raymond/Raymond Hicks on the ‘You’re Probably from W12 if….’ Facebook group and I was very pleased to get this response from Thomas Stacey:
‘Yes I knew him before he turned professional, his name was Raymond Hicks. I worked with him at the Patent Steam Carpet Beating Company in Latimer Road.
I think he came from Wilsham Street in Notting Hill and the last time I saw him was in late 1959 outside a music shop in Denmark Street, promoting his recording of ‘Broken Hearted Melody’, but I think Sarah Vaughan had beaten him to it.’
If anyone else has any information about him, please get in touch.
(My thanks to Thomas Stacey and also to Colin Woodley for sending me the newspaper article)