In 1986 QPR pulled in nearly 1,500 to light-up Ruislip

A few days after the friendly match at Ruislip’s Breakspear Road ground on the 10th March 1986, the Hayes & Harlington Gazette reported that:

‘First Division Queen’s Park Rangers drew a bumper crowd of 1,500 to Breakspear Road on Monday evening for a special match against Ruislip to officially switch on the local club’s new £15,000 floodlights.

Rangers, League Cup finalists at Wembley this year, did Ruislip proud with a line-up of stars which included; Peter Hucker, Gary Chivers, Clive Walker, Steve Burke, Wayne Fereday, John Byrne and Steve Scott from their first team squad.

An entertaining game resulted in a 3-1 win for Rangers with goals from Walker, Burke and Fereday? Nicky Reagan scored for Ruislip.’

Not totally accurate as Gordon Macey records that the R’s scorers that night were; Billy Beggs, Clive Walker and Gary Chivers, before an attendance of 1,459.

The Ruislip Chairman, F. N. Deanus, wrote the following introduction in the match programme: ‘With an improvement in the weather at the weekend I feel confident that we shall be able to stage to-nights game.

I would like to thank Jim Smith and his staff for arranging this match. Nothing has been too much trouble to assist us, and the courtesy and friendly manner in which his off the field staff have contributed is a credit to him. Thank you QPR from us all.’

Reference is made elsewhere in the programme of an earlier encounter between the two clubs: ‘This is the second time this season that Rangers have appeared here. Just before Christmas we met in a hastily arranged game when a David Kerslake goal in the 85th minute gave Rangers a 1-0 win in a very entertaining game.’

Ruislip FC was born in the autumn of 1981 out of a merger of Ruislip Town FC and Coteford FC. They replaced Ruislip Town in the Premier Division of the Middlesex League, which later became the Middlesex County League.

They eventually joined the Southern Division of the Southern League, but after finishing bottom they left the league and later the club unfortunately folded.

Hillingdon Borough took over the ground, which was later re-named the Middlesex Stadium.

Steve Russell

(My thanks go to Gordon Macey and also to Colin Woodley for sending me the newspaper article. The match programme is from my collection)