QUEENS Park Rangers went into the third game of the season following a respectable mid-table finish last time out.
Queens Park Rangers went into the third game of the season following a respectable mid-table finish last time out.
Teams: Queens Park Rangers v Peterborough United
Date: Saturday August 31, 1963.
Competition: Football League Third Division
Venue: Loftus Road, London
Alec Stock’s QPR were learning to adapt to life without consistent performer Tony Ingham who decided to hang up his boots at the age of 38. His 555 first-team appearances for QPR made him a steady performer in the Rangers backline, and a replacement would need to be sought.
Another experienced performer in Peter Angell was charged with filling his void in the defence along with summer inclusions such as Dick Whittaker from opponents Peterborough. Peter Springett had emerged as a contender for the goalkeeper`s jersey following in the footsteps of his brother Ron, who left Rangers for Sheffield Wednesday in 1958
Speculation was rife that Washing Machine tycoon John Bloom was on the verge of a club take-over as he looked to oust current board member Bert Farmer, but Stock and his side had to concentrate on the visit of Peterborough United to Loftus Road, the first of the current campaign.
Rangers had previously lost their opening game of the season against Oldham Athletic (1-2) despite a Malcolm Graham strike, but then a brace courtesy of Brian Bedford saw them to a useful win over Shrewsbury Town.
By comparison Peterborough got off to a flyer with Jack Fairbrother’s men far too strong for Wrexham, fairly dispatching them 5-1 at London Road. Following up was a useful point at Hull City (0-0) as the Posh looked to maintain an unbeaten start.
Central to their fortunes was striker Derek Dougan signed from Aston Villa in the summer – he was making his first appearance away from London Road after a good start in a Posh shirt.
Rangers named an unchanged side for the third time in the campaign, such was Stock’s preference. This included faces such as the reliable Mike Keen at right-half along with striker Stuart Leary, signed from Charlton Athletic the previous season. Peter Springett made his home debut at Loftus Road between the sticks.
A crowd of nearly 11,000 witnessed Rangers dish out a sound thrashing to the visitors with Stuart Leary central to the Rangers effort. The forward bagged a brace to hand Rangers a useful lead before left-back Peter Angell doubled the advantage and capped off his new-found tag of ‘longest-serving player.’
A good victory put the home crowd in high spirits, and they would have been thanking their lucky stars a few months later when John Bloom’s take-over fell through at the club’s November AGM. His company ‘Rolls’ went into receivership shortly after.
Rangers 15th placed finish would have come as a disappointment to Stock, but with a lack of investment in the side it was to be expected. A particular delight was the form of Brian Bedford, whose 22 goals were a distinct positive in a season of relative mediocrity.
A piece of positive news came in November 1964 with the development that Jim Gregory had invested in the club, something which set Rangers on their path to stardom under Stock.
Peterborough finished five places and two points better off in the Third Division, but neither side came close to the 60 points accumulated by promoted duo Coventry City and Crystal Palace.
Final Score: Queens Park Rangers 3-0 Peterborough United
Queens Park Rangers: Springett, Whittaker, Angell, Gibbs, Brady, Keen, Lazarus, Bedford, Leary, Collins, Graham.
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