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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

QPR Report Wednesday Snippets: A Look Back at Past QPR Signings Based on One Good Game

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Dave McIntyre/BBC606 - First impressions
- Tommy Williams is back at QPR and likely to feature against Doncaster on Saturday.
- Signed on loan with a view to a permanent move in January, Williams has been told he can leave Peterborough as his contract there is due to expire at the end of the season and he will not be signing a new deal.
He will, apparently, still need to impress because (unlike with Gary Borrowdale last year, for example) Rangers are not locked into signing Williams when the transfer window opens.
- I’m also told his eye-catching performance against Rangers this season was not the club’s main reason for getting him. But let’s ignore that because I’d already planned a piece on players QPR have signed largely because of one performance.
- So - completely unrelated to Tommy Williams - here’s a few examples. Let me know if you think of any others.
John Byrne
Byrne was snapped up after playing against QPR for York City in a League Cup tie in 1984. He went on to become a fans' favourite and his strike partnership with Gary Bannister is fondly remembered.
Alan Mullery is rightly regarded as one of Rangers' worst ever managers, but two of the club's signings during his short spell in charge were Bannister and Byrne. Not bad!
Clive Wilson
Ironically for a man overlooked for England despite being brilliant over a long period, Wilson was snapped up by QPR largley because of a brief substitute appearance.
It came for Chelsea at Loftus Road in the 1989-90 campaign, when Rangers won 4-2. It was the day Les Ferdinand got his first goals for the club and Mark Falco scored with a cracking volley.
Rangers had made the game safe by the time Wilson came on, but his flashes of pure class caught the eye of everyone in the ground that day - including Don Howe, who moved to sign him at the end of the season.
Eric Sabin
Sabin, who if nothing else was blessed with blistering pace, was signed weeks after skinning Clarke Carlisle while playing against QPR for Swindon in March 2003. Carlisle was enduring a troubled spell in his career and was playing out of position at right-back.
Kaspars Gorkss
With centre-back a problem position for QPR at the time, Gorkss' display for Blackpool at Loftus Road caught the eye of sporting director Gianni Paladini, who moved for him weeks later when the season ended - and actually signed him just before the following season was about to start.
The delay was because that move was an illegal one according to Blackpool, and what should have been the straightforward capture of a player with a £250,000 release cause in his contract turned into the most protracted Rangers transfer of recent years.
Paladini eventually smoothed things over by agreeing what was effectively an exchange involving Zesh Rehman and Danny Nardiello, making the Gorkss deal both an example of sheer farce and pure brilliance. And all because of his performance on a Tuesday night in March 2008.
Adam Miller
Miller, then with non-League Aldershot, was signed after an excellent performance in front of Ian Holloway in a match against QPR's reserves at Loftus Road.
Miller, a Rangers fan, was determined to catch the eye that day and played out of his skin. He got his dream move but was unable to establish himself at the club.
Lee Charles
Striker 'Chippy' Charles also found the going tough after stepping up from non-League. He was signed in the summer of 1995 for £67,000 after scoring a hat-trick in a friendly against QPR while playing for Chertsey Town.
Aziz Ben Askar
Known to members of a consortium that was trying to buy QPR at the time, Ben Askar was invited to play in a pre-season friendly against Chelsea in 2001.
Having been introduced to the rest of the squad in the dressing room before the game, the defender produced such an impressive performance that the deal to sign him was effectively done on the pitch during his post-match warm-down.
Mike Sheron
Record signing Sheron was captured in 1997 after a relentless pursuit by Stewart Houston, who was convinced the striker would help Rangers get promoted.
Sheron had scored plenty of goals for Stoke, but Houston's near-obsession with signing him was partly based on one particularly brilliant performance.
It came in November 1996. Houston had just taken over as QPR manager and his former club Arsenal played Stoke in the League Cup.
Sheron's display - coming against Arsenal's famed back four - was nothing short of international class according to a number of respected observers who saw him that night.
Houston was smitten, and pleaded with the Rangers board to sign him despite several knockbacks.
George Kulscar
Kulscar's performance for Bradford against West Brom in November 1997 prompted Ray Harford, then Albion's manager, to immediately make enquires about him.
Weeks later, Harford replaced Houston at Rangers and quickly made Kulscar his first signing, saying he wanted a "Vinnie Jones-type player."
Kulscar failed to impress and four months later QPR signed another Vinne Jones-type player: Vinne Jones.
Gary Hooper?
Hooper is currently an example of someone the club decided not to pursue largely on the evidence of just one game.
But it’s possible, although unlikely, that he could yet join the list of those signed after impressing against QPR.
Recommended to Rangers a number of times before he gained his reputation at Scunthorpe, Hooper's goalscoring belatedly led to a scout being sent to watch him late last season.
The verdict was a thumbs-down and Rangers instead chased Simon Cox, who later joined West Brom from Swindon.
But after seeing him in action this season, Paladini made an unsuccessful offer for Hooper, who is one of several strikers to have been monitored by Rangers ahead of the January transfer window" BBC606

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