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Saturday, May 31, 2008

QPR Fan/Club Meeting and Ex-QPR Snippets

UPDATE: Turns out, reportedly due to a misunderstanding, Ali Russell did not meet with the fans groups. But a number of fans groups reps did meet with each other. Obviously the gist of what RUssell would have said remains what he told told QPR1st last week at its AGM.

Fan-Club Meeting: Today is the day of the joint fan groups representatives meeting with the club's Ali Russell, regarding the recently-announced new season ticket prices. A couple of weeks ago, various fan groups sent this joint letter to the club. Earlier this week, one group, QPR1st heard from Ali Russell at its AGM. QPR1st Report. See also QPR Fans Condemn QPR Ticket Price Increases

BBC -Bankole lands Colchester position
Colchester have named much-travelled goalkeeper Ademola Bankole as their new permanent keeping coach.
The former Nigerian international replaces Aidan Davison, who has retired and moved to the United States.
Bankole spent the final three months of last season at Layer Road deputising for Davison, who had a shoulder injury, as well as acting as keeping cover.
The 38-year-old, who played for Crewe, Doncaster and QPR, will now coach Dean Gerken and Mark Cousins. BBC

Colchester Official Site - Bankole Takes On Coaching Role
The U's have taken on goalkeeper coach Ademola Bankole on a full time basis after using his services over the past season.
Nicknamed 'George', the former Nigerian international had been looking after Dean Gerken and co. whilst Aidan Davison underwent, and then recovered from, surgery on his shoulder.
Aidan has now retired and is emigrating to the United States, so boss Geraint Williams has moved to make Bankole his permanent keeper coach.
'George' made ten appearances for his country and was in the squad that participated in the 2002 World Cup Finals in Japan, taking on England in the group stages.
On his appointment, the towering former shot stopper said: "From the first day I came in, everyone has made me very welcome and I've loved every minute of being at the club, I think the sky's the limit for me here."
There will be no rest for George over the summer as he completes the next stages of his coaching qualifications, in goalkeeper coaching as well as general football coaching... Colchester

Best of luck to former QPR Gavin Peacock:

The Times/Tony Cascarino - Gavin Peacock convinced God is on his side

Down a pot-holed lane, hidden deep in the Kent countryside, lies a large detached house. A “For Sale” sign stands out, as if illuminated, against the woodland backdrop. It is such an idyllic existence that Gavin Peacock, the 40-year-old former Queens Park Rangers, Newcastle United and Chelsea midfield player, is forsaking to move to Calgary, Canada. Not to continue his career as a respected media analyst but to study for three years for his Masters degree in divinity. A career in the church awaits. As Peacock leaves the macho world of football far behind, he talks to Tony Cascarino, his former Chelsea team-mate and close friend, about his past, present and future, his hopes and his fears ... and his faith.

TC: Why, Gav? The lifestyle change, giving up work, everything. It involves so much. Why?
GP: Well, I've been a Christian practically all my playing career, from when I was 18, but I've never felt called to the ministry. When I retired from playing six years ago, a very good friend of mine, whom I regard as my spiritual mentor, the Rev Tony Roake [chaplain to the church of St John and St Philip in The Hague, the Netherlands, and chaplain to the British Embassy], said to me: “I think you should go into the ministry.” I said: “No, Tony. I've no calling to do that at all. I'm going to do media work.” There are people who have faith, who are Christians, but who aren't called to lead. But then about two years ago, out of the blue really, I just felt a weight of conviction. I'd forgotten what Tony had said but I just felt: ‘I'm going to do this.'

TC: A calling? Describe it?
GP: Over my football career and life as a Christian, I've always spoken at different things - youth events, dinners, in churches. Over the last eight months, I've actually been preaching in churches. When I do that, I'm happy, it feels right. I enjoy it but, at the same time, I have to do it. I feel compelled to do it. It's twofold. I not only enjoy it and it makes me feel good and it completes me, it's that I have to do it. It's a conviction I have. It's different from doing something just because you enjoy it.

TC: It's a dramatic change. Are you afraid of making the break, the move to Canada?
GP: We [the family] go to Canada quite a lot, we've got a small place there, we love the place. I looked at the seminary that was proposed, it was a good one, I went for an interview and I got accepted. I just feel that that's the right place to be for us for the next three years. To go away, to do this. Sure, anything that takes you out of your comfort zone is a bit scary. It's the unknown but, because I have my faith, the unknown is not as frightening.

TC: You never preached to your former team-mates. Certainly, not to me.
GP: I've always been open about my faith, but it's not as if I went in and bashed the lads over the head with a Bible. It's more a case of: “What did you do on Sunday?” “Oh, you went to church.” And then the conversation strikes up. People get to know. Sure, there's the ribbing. About anything that's different, if you wear a new tie or a new pair of shoes. The lads would take the Mickey. But when they saw I was sincere about what I believe, I think most of them respected it.

TC: You got on really well with Dennis Wise and other lads with, er, reputations.
GP: I just think I'm an ordinary person. I do do things wrong [laughs] and there are lot of other people who I consider as better than me. But that's not really the issue. I just feel that when my faith is there, it is the centre of my life. Football was never central, it was never my God. It was very important, it was my job, I loved it. But it's never been the core of my life.

TC: But, as a footballer, you wanted to win?
GP: Oh, yeah. I wanted to beat you. That was my job, I had to give everything to that. But it wasn't the be-all and end-all. I mean, a lot of people in our industry struggle when they finish football. Their world collapses. What takes that place? Football is transitory; God is permanent.

TC: Life will be different when you return to England.
GP: Sure, we're going to sell this house. Eventually, hopefully. Because I know that when we come back, I won't live in a house like this; it is incongruous with church leadership. So, this will go. But while we've enjoyed nice things, I've never gripped on to it. I've held it lightly, it's just things. Money does not bring happiness and the world of football shows that.

TC: I used to be altar boy, when I was 9, 10, 11, at my Catholic church in Orpington. I had all the church upbringing. You never had any of that at that age?
GP: No, church conflicted with Sunday football. I liked playing on a Sunday. So I didn't go to church nor Sunday school. But I did have the belief that God was up there somewhere but, then, it was more like a superstition. But when I was 18, my mum [Lesley] started going to the local church. I saw a change in her and thought: ‘Let's go along myself and see what it's about'. It was just before I'd broken into the first team at QPR, I had an XR3i, I had money in my pocket and I was an England youth international. But when I met with these other young people, they were speaking about Jesus and it was as if he was real to them. I had everything that the world said was successful but they had someone I didn't.

TC: What do the family [wife, Amanda, son, Jake, 15, and daughter, Ava, 12] think about moving?
GP: They're excited. It's an outdoor life. There's skiing and snowboarding for the kids in the winter; in the summer, there's hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, canoeing. Each member of the family sees something individually for them there as well.

TC: What happens at the end of the three years?
GP: I'll have done all my theological training, I'll have done six months' internship within the church I go to out there, which is Baptist. What denomination I'll be ordained into - Anglican, Baptist, Pentecostal, Catholic - is down to me to choose.

TC: Would you ever come back to help out troubled footballers?
GP: All things are possible. I could be finished with football but I couldn't rule it out completely. It's difficult to look so far in the future. A lot of people thought I might go into coaching but I never felt that calling. I feel that this is what I'm made to do, this is my purpose. For me, there is no higher calling. I know it's the right thing. The Times

Les Ferdinand and Mark Bircham taking part in a fundraiser match for Edgware Town joint manager Del Deanus, who was recently diagnosed with the terminal illness motor neurone disease" -Harrow Observer

Ex-QPR Brett Angell Speaking (about Everton's prospects)

Belated commiserations to ex-QPR's Alan McDonald, whose Glentoran team finished as runners up to Linfield - Final Table

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