In Memory of Keith Sanderson

It was very sad to hear the news that Keith Sanderson, the engine room of the QPR FC 1966-68 golden era, died following a car crash incident.

Keith was signed in 1965 from Plymouth for £4,000 and stayed with the R’s until 1970 whereupon he was transferred to Goole Town.

During his spell at Loftus Road he played 124 league and cup games and scored 12 goals. Unfortunately, he missed out on the run in the epic top-flight promotion in 1968 because he had broken his leg in March of that year.

‘Fetching and carrying’, to use that old-fashioned phrase was his midfield forte. He was truly an unsung hero and the many times that I saw him play, he seemed to cover every blade of grass (or mud divot in those days!)

After his retirement from pro-football, I understand that Keith got involved in the infant and emerging Computer industry and went on to establish himself in that line of work.

Keith was an uncomplaining, solid servant to the Club. Such cruel circumstances surrounding his death.

RIP Keith Sanderson. You did Queen’s Park Rangers proud.

Bernard Lambert (Kerrins)

Keith Sanderson was born in the East Yorkshire village of Keyingham on 9th October 1940 and grew up in Hessle.

A former Cambridge University soccer blue, after beginning his football career with Harwich & Parkeston, Keith moved on to Bath City.

In August 1964, he was transferred to Plymouth Argyle. Then, following the departure of Malcolm Allison, Alec Stock signed the part-time pro in June 1965 for a fee of £4,000. Keith had been working at NCR in the Marylebone Road.

This is from a local newspaper at the time: ‘Keith Sanderson, Cambridge blue & Queen’s Park Rangers bargain inside-left, is the happiest new boy on the London soccer front. His transfer from Plymouth saves him an additional 250-mile car dash every weekend.

Sanderson, who lives in Hampstead, has combined a post with a London computer firm near Lords with football, since he first became a part-time pro with Bath and later Plymouth.

He’s still a part-time player with Rangers but is now able to report to his club each evening for training, in contrast to a hectic after-work dash to Plymouth.

Admits Sanderson: “Life has never been better. I’ve already spent my holidays training with my new colleagues. Now I am certain that I shall play better as a result of the switch.”

Along with the likes of Les Allen, Ian Watson and Jimmy Langley, Keith made his QPR league debut at Griffin Park on 21st August 1965.

With the influx of these new signings, I had gone there with reasonable optimism, but the R’s suffered a heavy 1-6 defeat that afternoon!

However, the R’s fortunes soon picked up and they went on to finish in third spot that season.

Keith will always be remembered as a member of the 1966-67 Rangers Third Division title and League Cup double winning side.

After moving to Goole Town in 1970, Keith also had a spell with Wimbledon. He later worked for IBM in Portsmouth.

Keith was inducted into the ‘Forever R’s’ Club by Andy Sinton in March 2020.

Keith’s nephew, Paul McDonnell, said of him: “Once, when pressured by QPR’s chairman, Jim Gregory, to become a full-time professional in return for a tidy sum, he rejected his offer, replying; ‘my father worked too hard for me to waste my education’.”

News came through that Keith had sustained serious injuries in a car crash in Cumbria and then tragically died on Christmas Eve, aged 82.

May he Rest in Peace.

Steve Russell

3 thoughts on “In Memory of Keith Sanderson

  1. I agree Young Kerrins a truly unsung hero in that period. A player every great team needs to keep it ticking over.
    A sad ending of his life and may he rest in peace.

  2. I am 57 ,first Game v Notts County 1972.But my season ticket holding grandfather had two favourites in his 70 odd years of going to Loftus Road.Gerry Francis (“captain of QPR and England don’t you know” and Keith Sanderson.”Did all the work for Marsh’-never got the acclaim he deserved”.

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