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Saturday, February 11, 2006

Ex-QPR, John O'Rourke Turns 61

John O'Rourke,
Born February 11, 1945...

Ex- Luton, Middlesbrough, Ipswich, Coventry, etc....

Signed by Gordon Jago in 1970 for a then record fee of 65,000 pounds as a prolific goalscorer (a few weeks after we also signed Terry Mancini to help our defense) to help us win promotion
(after a competition with Millwall to sign him)
Unfortunately he didn't score that many. The following season, he scored a few, but we then signed Stan Bowles; O'Rourke was injured and then kept out by a forward line of Bowles, Givens and Thomas. And we sold him to Bournemouth for about 40,000.
We initially almost signed him from Middlesbrough in 1967/68 to bolster our push to the First Division. We couldnt agree terms, so O'Rourke joined Ipswich. And instead we signed Frank Clarke from Shrewsbury... (And a couple of years later, O'Rourke went to Coventry and Clarke had joined Ipswich from QPR!)

From Middlesbrough Heroes
THE crowd used to sing "Give us a goal, John O' Rourke" to the tune of "Give It To Me" by The Troggs - and he certainly did.
Arriving from Luton Town in 1966 with a formidable record of 64 goals in 84 games, O' Rourke carried on where he'd left off. In his very first game, he stuck two past Colchester and by the end of the season had chalked up 30 goals, nine of which came in hat-tricks.
His finest hour came in the last game of the season. Boro needed nothing less than victory to secure a place in the second division and O' Rourke was in the kind of form to give it to them, hammering in three goals in a 4-1 win over Oxford United.
He was capped for England under-23s against Turkey in Ankara and scored two more hat-tricks the following season, but with his marvellous goal-scoring ratio, it was only a matter of time before he was snapped up by a First Division club.
He moved to Ipswich in February 1968, moving again to Coventry, then QPR and finally Bournemouth. He must have liked it on the south coast because he stayed to open a newsagents. http://www.mfc.premiumtv.co.uk/page/HeroesDetail/0,,1~52174,00.html

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