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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Ex-QPR Andy Sinton on his Time at QPR, Not Asking to Leave & Gerry Francis as Coach (Ben Kosky/Kilburn Times)

Ben Kosky/Kilburn Times - Andy Sinton
"...Along with David Seaman, Sinton was the only big name departure of his era to be vilified by the QPR crowd when he faced them in the colours of Sheffield Wednesday, Tottenham and Wolves.
Despite that, the former England winger insists that Rangers will always be 'his' club - and assures supporters he never did anything to initiate his controversial £2.75m transfer to Hillsborough in 1993.
Whereas Seaman and Parker had joined Arsenal and Manchester United respectively, Sinton's 'sideways' move to Wednesday, just after QPR had finished fifth in the inaugural Premier League, was badly received.
Now player-manager of Ryman League Division One South promotion chasers Fleet Town, Sinton recalled: "There was a myth that I'd asked to leave. I didn't - I was very happy at QPR and had no reason to leave.
"One or two people within the club had a certain amount of power and spun it a particular way, saying I'd wanted to go. I went on record to say that wasn't the case, but sometimes people believe what they're fed
"It hurt me a lot to be getting booed when I went back to Loftus Road, but I still watch the odd game at QPR now, there are people I still keep in touch with and to be honest it's my club.
"QPR was the happiest time of my career. I came there from Brentford, so it was my big break in the elite league and within 18 months I was in the England side.
"That was a rapid rise and my memories are of a very family-orientated club. Everyone knew each other and we used to go and sit and have a cup of tea with people like Brian Rowe and Tony Ingham after training."
Sinton's arrival, in March 1989, came during a spell of frantic transfer activity but, unlike Nigel Spackman, Peter Reid, Andy Gray and Colin Clarke, the winger's stay would prove to be more than fleeting.
Few of the players who propelled the Rs to the status of London's top club in 1993 were signed by Gerry Francis, but most of them, including Sinton, flourished under him as they had never done before.
That is borne out by the fact that, as Tottenham manager, Francis went on to sign three of the stars from his 1993 side, Sinton, Ferdinand and Clive Wilson.
"I still speak to Gerry now and when he was at QPR - not so much when he went to Tottenham - he was the best coach I worked for, a good man-manager who got the best out of people," said Sinton, now 40.
"Look at where he took someone like Darren Peacock, from Hereford to England B in a couple of years. We had unsung heroes like Wilson, Dave Bardsley, Ian Holloway and Simon Barker - there were no real stars and no big egos. Ray Wilkins was fantastic and Les came to the fore to be the best centre-forward I played with. I would even put him ahead of Alan Shearer.
"We had a great side, but for whatever reason QPR was a selling club. It's a shame to see such a demise when you think we used to be top team in London."....
"I remember the [England] call-up as if it were yesterday," added Sinton. "I was in the treatment room on a Monday morning and Gerry came in, he said 'you're in the England squad' and I said 'yeah, right'.
"But he was serious and it was a great feeling when I pulled on the white jersey. To break into the England side has to be the pinnacle of anyone's career.
"One game for QPR that stands out was when we beat Leeds 4-1 on a Tuesday night, absolutely battered them and they went on to win the league that year.
"Soon after I signed we beat Man United 3-2 - I scored and Andy Gray got the other two. Then there was that great 2-2 draw against Liverpool in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup and, from a personal point of view, my hat-trick against Everton [Boxing Day 1992], the only one of my career.
"There are so many happy memories of QPR and I owe my team-mates and managers so much for that. Kilburn Times

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