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Friday, December 05, 2008

QPR's 1967 Hero Turns Seventy: Mark Lazarus

Mark Lazarus Turns Seventy. Mazel Tov!

Born December 5, 1938. One of THE heroes of the 1967 League Cup Victory, goalscoring winger, Lazarus scoring QPR's winning goal against WBA.
In the 1960s, Lazarus was bought three times by Queens Park Rangers. Sold Three times by Queens Park Rangers. Started Orient, QPR, Wolves, QPR, Brentford, QPR, Crystal Palace, Orient.
Lazarus made his QPR debut in September 1960 away to Colchester, scoring the only goal. Also in the team that day: Brian Bedford, Clive Clark, Ray Drinkwater, Tony Ingham (Mike Keen was out injured). Lazarus played his last game for QPR (in his third stint) in November 1967 away to Huddersfield (QPR losing 1-0). Players in that final team included Ron Springett, Les Allen, Mike Keen, Bobby Keetch, Ron Hunt, Tony Hazell, the Morgan Twins, Keith Sanderson (Sub), Alan Harris...and Rodnee Marsh.

See Also:
- Mark Lazarus Playing Stats
- Wikipedia Profile
- Lazarus/Jews in Sport
- Photo of Lazarus in 1967 (Front row on left, as face it)
- Photo at Fan's Player of the Year Dinner in 2006 (Photo by Nick De Marco)

QPR Official Site, December 2007 - BLAST FROM THE PAST
In our latest instalment of exclusive past player interviews on www.qpr.co.uk, 1967 League Cup Final hero Mark Lazarus comes under the spotlight.
Mark Lazarus
- Mark Lazarus will always be remembered as the man who scored the winning goal in the 1967 League Cup Final victory.
- It was a memorable match as Third Division Queens Park Rangers fought back from two down to beat West Bromwich Albion 3-2 in the first Final to be staged at Wembley
Lazarus can recall that day from 40 years ago in vivid detail. He reminisces that Rangers started nervously and were soon trailing to goals by former R's player Clive Clark on seven and 36 minutes.
- "None of us performed in the first half," said Lazarus. "The atmosphere and the occasion must have affected us before the game. Maybe we felt we had got to Wembley and that was the job done! We had forgotten that there was a football match to play as well.
- "In saying that, both the West Brom goals were dodgy and looked offside. Had it been an ordinary game, we would have contested them. But because we were in the Final and we were the underdogs against a First Division side, there was no protest from us.
- "Then at 2-0 our keeper Peter Springett made a brilliant save from Jeff Astle, which I think won us the game. If Albion had scored again at that point then we would have been finished. Peter really kept us in it.
- "During half-time, Manager Alec Stock told us that we could still win the Cup. But whatever we did had to be an improvement on our first half performance. He said that we had overturned deficits before, so we should go back out and enjoy the day and finish the task.''
- The second half was a totally different affair. Rangers goals from Roger Morgan (63 minutes) and Rodney Marsh (75 minutes) took the score to 2-2.
Lazarus said: "We played well after the break and the R's fans in the 100,000 crowd kept cheering for us. But Roger's goal came out of the blue with less than half an hour remaining.
- "I got the ball on the right hand side of the pitch and I went past Graham Williams, who was at left-back and captain for West Brom. He brought me down. And from that free-kick by Les Allen, Roger Morgan headed home.
- "We were the better side at that point. I had a couple of good chances that were kicked off the line and another that was pushed on to the post by their goalkeeper.
- "So the equaliser was coming. I remember that Rodney hardly had a kick all game but then he started to buzz. Although I think he was surprised when he scored his goal! He was trying to get rid of the ball but he couldn't find anyone to pass it to. So he just ended up shooting from distance and it hit the post and went in. It was a great strike."
- The winner came on 81 minutes. It was Lazarus who sealed victory after good work by Ron Hunt. And like the biblical Lazarus, Rangers had risen from the dead.
"Ronnie gained possession so I ran inside and he played a pass up to me. I slipped it back with the outside of my foot and it went up in the air and started spinning like a rugby ball. Ronnie was a strong boy and he carried on running.
"When the ball came down, it dropped at the feet of a couple of West Brom defenders but the spin beat them and it carried on through to their goalkeeper. Ronnie raced in and he had every right to go for the ball but there was a clash with the keeper.
"The spin beat the goalkeeper as well so the ball rolled out and I was there just to tuck it into the corner of the net with my left foot. It was a scrappy goal but the occasion made it so important!"

- Lazarus feels that the 1967 team launched Rangers into the big time. They also won the Third Division that year, paving the way for the future advancement of the Club.
- "It was just a great season all round. We were a good side and we were confident that we could beat anybody.
- "That campaign certainly put the R's on the map. Previously, we were just a Cinderella club who were lucky to attract crowds of 4,000 at home games. But our gates rocketed after that.
- "Our team in 1967 was the stepping stone for the great Rangers players who have followed since then. We were the start of the QPR success story." QPR

See Also: Mark Lazarus Eulogy for Jim Langley

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