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Sunday, March 04, 2007

Forty Years Ago Today: QPR's Wembley Triumph

March 4 1967: The 40th anniversary of QPR's Historic League Cup Final Victory over WBA at Wembley. It's especially poignant given QPR's current status in the "Championship" (also known as Division 2) and our off the field situation and debts. There have been ups and downs: Promotion to the Second Division; Promotion to the First Division; Gordon Jago taking the team up; Dave Sexton's "Championship" team...Terry Venables promotion and FA Cup Final...European Football..Ian Holloway's promotion. But definitely 1967 still shines bright.

The Team:
(Peter) Springett -Langley, Hunt, Sibley, Hazell
Lazarus, Sanderson,Keen (Roger) Morgan - Marsh, Allen"
(Unused) Sub- Ian Morgan

And a special note to Ian Watson who played in four of QPR's League Cup games that season but is usually not remembered/considered part of QPR's League Cup Triumph.
The Managerial Team: Alec Stock and Bill Dodgin
The Chairman: Jim Gregory

1967 Programme - Programme
1966-67 Team Photo Photo Photo
Cup Triumph Photo - Photo
1967 Team Photo (almost) Team
Photos of Many of the players from that yearPhotos

QPR's Path To Wembley - League Cup Final Programme

Wikipedia Match Report
The 1967 Football League Cup Final took place on 4 March 1967 at Wembley Stadium. It was the seventh final and the first to be played at Wembley. It was contested between Queens Park Rangers of the Third Division and West Bromwich Albion of the First.

WBA were hot favourites to win, led by centre forward Jeff Astle. It was QPR's first ever appearance at Wembley, their star man was Rodney Marsh.

WBA started strongly with former QPR winger Clive Clark scoring twice to give WBA a 2-0 half time lead. In a fairy tale 2nd half, the underdogs stormed back. First Roger Morgan scored with a header. Then Rodney Marsh went on a mazy run, eluding tackles, and shot in off the post past keeper Dick Sheppard. In the closing minutes QPR centre half Ron Hunt went on a forward run and as he challenged the keeper for the ball it ran loose to Mark Lazarus to score the winning goal. Mike Keen lifted the cup to thousands of cheering Rangers fans" - Wikipedia

Carling Classic Finals - 1967 Classic Finals: Part One
1967: Queens Park Rangers 3 West Bromwich Albion 2

Interest in the League Cup was dwindling by 1967 and the Football League decided that to renew interest in England's second biggest cup competition, some changes needed to be made. Out went the two-legged final and in game a one-off finale, staged at the home of football, Wembley. Also, the winners (providing they were a First Division club) would be guaranteed European football in the Fairs Cup (now the UEFA Cup) the following season.

But a determined band of brothers from west London had other ideas as they hijacked the revitalised tournament. And so it was that Third Division QPR, with the likes of Les Allen, Jim Langley and the legendary Rodney Marsh in the side, waltzed all the way to the final and once there produced another great upset - just as they had done all season.

Former Rangers striker Clive Clark bagged a brace for West Brom in the first half to give the Baggies a two goal lead at half-time. But the Rs refused to lie down and they stunned the Midlanders with a breathtaking second half performance.

Roger Morgan scored just a few minutes after the restart to make it 2-1 and then, with 15 minutes of normal time remaining, Marsh produced a magnificent piece of skill, running through the Albion defence and levelling for the Londoners. And then, in the dying moments, Mark Lazarus completed a remarkable comeback and ensured Rangers made history as the first division three team to lift the League Cup.

They were refused entry into the Fairs Cup because of their lowly league status, but still had plenty to celebrate as they also won the Third Division title that season.

Some of the Heroes:
Ron Norris/QPR Net 2002 Interview with Rodney Marsh - Rodney Marsh
Ron Norris/QPRNet 2003 Interview with Roger and Ian Morgan - Morgan Interview
Ron Norris/QPR Net 2003 Interview with Frank Sibley - Sibley

Dave's Queens Park Rangers FC Site Profile of Alec Stock - Alec Stock
Dave's Queens Park Rangers FC Site Profile of Jim Gregory-
Jim Gregory

Carling: Carling Cup History "...The romance for the smaller clubs returned with the Wembley ticket: in 1967, a young Rodney Marsh helped QPR on the way to their first proper piece of silverware. They beat West Brom 3-2 and, in the process, became the first Third Division club to win a major trophy. The Super Hoops added to their haul a few weeks later by picking up the Third Division title too. The League Cup was fast becoming the 'Lucky Cup'.
The fact that 98,000 fans packed into Wembley for the 1967 final was conclusive proof that the League Cup was now extremely popular. In just seven years it had earned the right to stand alongside the FA Cup as a showpiece final. In every subsequent year, Wembley would be a sell-out.Carling

1967 Team - "Where Are They Now" - From 2003 Sunday Times
Caught In Time QPR win League Cup, 1967 by Greg Struthers

A quiet revolution was taking place in west London in the mid-1960s. A dapper former army major called Alec Stock was putting together a Queens Park Rangers football team that was ready to challenge the cream of the country.

Stock had developed a fine youth scheme since taking over in 1959, and when Jim Gregory was appointed club chairman in March 1965, the manager was given money to spend on new players. Striker Les Allen was enticed from Tottenham, the experienced Jim Langley was bought from Fulham, and a fee of only 15,000 pounds was paid to Craven Cottage for striker Rodney Marsh, probably the most famous player to don blue-and-white hoops.

Under the astute management of Stock and coach Bill Dodgin, the experience and talent blended well, with young lads breaking into the first team such as Dave Clement, Frank Sibley, Tony Hazell and the Morgan twins, Ian and Roger.

"The young players would inspire each other," recalls Roger Morgan. "There were about five or six of us who had grown up together, and there was tremendous team spirit.

Alec was prepared to put his faith in youth, but we learnt from the experienced players around us." Mike Keen, the club captain, has fond memories of his time at Loftus Road. "Even though we were in the Third Division, we were playing some quality football, and there was a good attitude in the team," he says. They showed the nation how good they really were on a crisp, frosty March 4, 1967.

The football hierarchy was concerned about the diminishing value of the League Cup in the eyes of the leading clubs. So it decided that the final would be staged at Wembley and that the winning First Division club would qualify for the European Fairs Cup.

Queens Park Rangers scuppered those plans. They marched cornfortably into the final, then came from two goals down at half-time to upset First Division West Bromwich Albion, winning 3-2.

Clive Clark, a former QPR player, scored both goals for West Brom, but the Rangers players were not concerned at half-time. "We had come back from 2-0 down in other games that season and were told to simply go out and enjoy the. day," says Keen.

Enjoy it they did. Roger Morgan scored after the restart, and 15 minutes from the end, Marsh set off on a trademark mazy dribble that ended with a brilliant solo goal, his shot going in off the post. Late in the game, Mark Lazarus scored the winner.

Rangers were denied a place in Europe, but were more than satisfied with their season. They won the Third Division by 12 points, and the following year were promoted to the top flight for the first time in their history.

1 Ron Hunt (QPR)
One of the products of the club's youth scheme, Hunt made his name as a solid centre-half. He became a squash coach after retiring from football, but knee injuries suffered earlier in his career forced him to quit. He lives near Reading and works for a petro-chemical company based in London.

2 Les Allen (QPR)
A striker in Tottenham's Doublewinning side of 1960-61, Allen moved to QPR for 21,000 pounds in July 1965. "I met Jim Gregory, the chairman, and he laid out the plans about what they wanted to do. I was impressed, even though they were in the Third Division," recalls Allen. "It was quite a change. When I started, we were only getting gates of 3,000 or 4,000 people, but that trebled when we began to get results". Allen became player-manager in December 1968 after the premature departure of Stock and the stormy 28-day reign of the colourful Scot Tommy Docherty. However, the club was relegated, and he moved on to manage Swindon, then spent time in Greece.
He then became a professional model-maker. Allen, who recently underwent hip replacement surgery, is retired and lives in Brentwood.

3 Roger Morgan (Tottenham Hotspur)
Another of the young players who came through QPR's youth scheme, Morgan was a speedy right-winger who played in 180 games for Rangers, scoring 39 goals. He then joined Tottenham, where he scored eight goals in 68 games. Although he scored a goal in the final, he does not remember the game well. "I was only 20 years old, and it went so quickly that I did not have time to savour it," he says. "But we were on the crest of a wave." After battling with injuries for four years, he was forced to quit s football at 26. He went to college and earned a degree in leisure studies.

After working as a recreation officer for Haringey council in London for 11 years, Morgan joined West Ham United and has run their football in the community scheme for 12 years. There are 125,000 children in the Essex and Hertfordshire area who take part in the project, and he feeds the best of them into the West Ham Academy. "It's nice to be giving something back to the game," he says.

4 Ian Morgan (QPR)
A wing forward like his twin brother, Roger, Ian also joined the club through the youth ranks. He signed for Watford after a successful spell at QPR, but was forced to quit football at 28 because of injury. He moved to Norway, where he coached for five years. On his return to Britain, he went into the leisure industry , teaching football and tennis in schools. Morgan lives in east London and helps his brother in the football in the community scheme at West Ham.

5 Mike Keen (Luton Town)
One of the old school of half-backs Keen was a skilful player who enjoyed delivering long passes, and he was a strong, clinical tackler. He was a QPR stalwart who joined the club in 1958, and played in 393 League matches. After a change of managers, he moved to Luton before finishing his playing career at Watford. He was appointed manager at Vicarage Road and enjoyed four years at the club, where he set about engendering the spirit he had experienced as a player at Loftus Road. He managed Northampton for a year before taking charge of Wycombe part-time and then Marlow while he concentrated on running Sport and Ski, a shop in Wycombe. He lives in Flackwell Heath in Buckinghamshire, and is manager of a shop in Oxfordshire that sells outdoor gear and ski equipment.

6 Tony Hazell (QPR)
A right-back who joined the club as a 15-year-old apprentice, Hazell admits that he did not have a great final. But he enjoyed his time at QPR, although he admits "football was nowhere near as intense as it is today". He later joined Millwall. and then spent three years at Charlton.
When he hung up his boots, he became an insurance salesman for three or four years, then went into property maintenance. He lives at Flackwell Heath, the same village as his former captain, and is a technician for BT, specialising in fibre optics.

7 Peter Springett (Sheffield Wednesday)
A member of the Springett goalkeeping family, Peter played an important role in the success of QPR, while his brother Ron stood between the posts for Sheffield Wednesday and won 33 caps for England. When he quit football, Peter joined the police force In Sheffield. He died after a short illness about four years ago.

Taken from this site: Where are they now

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