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Sunday, February 26, 2006

Five Years Ago Today, Ian Holloway Appointed QPR Manager

[Not sure what the record books will say about how long Holloway was QPR manager. But most QPR fans are grateful for what he did in much of his time at QPR .
A reminder of Holloway at http://www.qpr1st.co.uk/main/hollowayspeech.asp ]

BBC - February 26, 2001
QPR name Holloway as boss
Queens Park Rangers have named Ian Holloway as the new manager at Loftus Road.
Former QPR midfielder Holloway - sacked as Bristol Rovers boss last month - takes over from Gerry Francis who announced he was standing down 10 days ago.
I can't wait to take it on and I feel we can kick on from this
QPR boss Ian Holloway
He said: "I'm absolutely delighted to take this challenge on and motivate some of these players.
"It was a huge part of my playing career and I felt so proud. Anybody that watched me play could see what I was - whole-hearted and determined.
"This is the biggest club I ever played for and what we achieved in those five years, I was delighted.
"I can't wait to take it on and I feel we can kick on from this."
Holloway has joined Rangers on a contract for the remainder of this season and the whole of next term with options for an extension.
He is optimistic that he can keep the struggling club in the First Division, but insists that it is not just down to him.
"The players have got to work hard and they'll get honesty and enthusiasm from me and hopefully that will rub off.
"We are fully realistic of where we are and what we've got to do."
The former Rovers boss takes charge of first-team affairs on Tuesday and will work alongside his former mentor Francis, who has become the club's director of football.
But Holloway's appointment - which Francis is widely reported to have supported - throws the future of Rangers' assistant manager Iain Dowie into doubt.
Dowie was desperate to take over but, having failed in his second bid to land the job, could be set to leave the club altogether especially if - as expected - Holloway brings in Gary Penrice as his assistant. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/teams/q/qpr/1190402.stm

Monday, February 26, 2001 :
Soccer: Holloway named QPR boss

1:27:06 PM Ian Holloway has been named as the new manager of struggling First Division side Queens Park Rangers.Holloway was sacked as manager of Second Division Bristol Rovers last month and takes over from Gerry Francis, who recently resigned as QPR boss.Holloway made more than 200 appearances for the Loftus Road club between 1991 and 1996.He will take over another club fighting relegation - Rangers are fourth bottom of Division One and were on the wrong end of a 5-0 drubbing at Wimbledon on Saturday.Bristol Rovers almost won a play-off place under Holloway last season, but have endured a dramatic change of fortune this season.Despite beating Everton in the Worthington Cup under Holloway, they failed to win a home game prior to his departure on January 30.

[Just one of the scores of interviews and profiles of Ian Hollway which show the man as much as the manager.]

November 2003 Observer Interview with Holloway
Interview: Ian Holloway
Triumph and despair 'Having three deaf children out of four is so rare. We had the same chance of winning the lottery five times over.' The Queens Park Rangers manager Ian Holloway talks candidly about being a 'bolshie parent' - and how doing the best by his family disrupted his football career. Interview by Denis CampbellSunday November 2, 2003
It was a real shock when we found out that Eve and Chloe were deaf. You take it for granted with babies that there will never be anything wrong. William, our first born, had normal hearing. The twins looked fine. When they were born 14 years ago the doctors said they were perfectly healthy. But then, deafness is an invisible disability. After about six months we began to suspect something was wrong when we saw one of them mouthing words but with no sound coming out of her mouth.
We were confused because they could laugh and cry and we thought they wouldn't be able to do that if they had a hearing problem, but apparently they're natural things that all children do. Hearing tests were inconclusive, the medical people kept saying not to worry, and it wasn't until they were 16 months old that they were confirmed as being profoundly deaf. A hearing specialist came round, got a big heavy bell out of her bag and waved it behind the girls. They didn't react at all. Then we knew for sure that something was wrong.
We were shocked and suddenly out of our depth. We knew nothing about deafness and didn't really understand it either. I mean, even if you really shove your fingers into your own ears, you still can't make yourself deaf, so it's a very difficult condition to appreciate. The scariest thing was not knowing how to communicate with them, so we got a deaf woman called Christina in to teach us British Sign Language. That helped get rid of our frustration at not being able to get through to our daughters; it unlocked the door to communication.
After the girls, Kim was worried that if we had another child he or she would be deaf too. But the doctors told us that there was only a remote probability of that happening, even though both Kim and I carry a gene that means we're much more likely to have a deaf child. Then two years later we had Harriet and she was deaf too. Having three deaf children out of four is unbelievably rare. Statistically, we had the same chance of winning the Lottery five times over.
Eve and Chloe's birth was the start of a long fight and we're still angry that nobody told us just how big a challenge it was going to be having deaf twins. We had to learn basic things such as how you get a deaf child's attention. With a hearing child you can just shout: 'Oi!' But that obviously wouldn't work with the girls. If you want to tell off a hearing child, you just get louder and louder until they stop doing something. But if you're telling off a deaf child, they'll shield their eyes and won't look at you. Christina taught us that leaving the room is the best response.
The situation nearly did drive us crazy at one stage. We had three children, two of them deaf, Kim was pregnant again, and the twins' behaviour was out of control. As well as not being able to hear, they also had glue ear, which is horrendously painful. They would wake up screaming in the middle of the night, and I'd have to run outside with them and let the fresh air shock them out of it. They were deeply frustrated that the only way they could communicate with us was through sign language. They threw terrible tantrums.
It's been a fight all the way along to get proper provision for the girls, especially a good education. There's been rows, tribunals, appeals and endless phone calls. We have been labelled as bolshie parents. My view is that every child in the world has the right to be educated properly and whether your eyes or ears don't work is irrelevant. But the system at the moment makes that difficult. It's all about how much money each education authority wants to hand out to their minority of deaf people.
We've twice had to move home to get what we wanted for them. The first time was when I was playing for Queens Park Rangers in the mid-1990s. We were living in Camberley in Surrey, but the nursery school they were in had only basic sign language, so we moved back to Bristol, where we both come from, so they could attend Elmfield School for the Deaf there.
Our view was that the girls' development had suffered enough and that we shouldn't lose any more time. But moving there meant that every day for three and a half years I had a 250-mile round trip from Bristol to QPR's training ground in west London then back home again. Gerry Francis, my manager at the time, was sympathetic.
But it didn't help my care er. I developed terrible sciatica from sitting in the car all that time, even if the journey to London was a relief sometimes because it was an escape from the pressures of being at home. It was a chance to have a couple of hours to myself to think and reflect, which was nice.
We moved again from Bristol to St Albans in Hertfordshire, where we live now, so that Eve, Chloe and Hattie would be in the catchment area to attend a brilliant secondary school here called Heathlands, where 70 deaf children are taught alongside hundreds of hearing children. It's a great place and means the kids haven't become isolated by going to a school for the deaf. The full national curriculum is taught by sign language and the headmistress is deaf herself; she's the only deaf head in the country.
We still feel that we're lucky. Yes, our children have a disability, but it's an invisible disability and in every other way they're perfect, and we're so thankful for that. To experience the sheer trust and the love of a deaf child is amazing. The girls' deafness has touched and enhanced our lives. We're better people because of it.
The life facts
Born on 12 March 1963 in Bristol, Ian Holloway played 561 league games during a 19-year career as a midfielder with Bristol Rovers, Wimbledon, Torquay, Brentford and Queens Park Rangers. He became player-manager of Bristol Rovers in 1996, aged just 33, and since February 2001 has been the boss of QPR, whom he took to the Second Division play-off final last May. He is married to Kim and they live with their four children - William, twins Eve and Chloe, and Harriet - in St Albans, Hertfordshire.

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