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Saturday, April 13, 2013

Fat Lady to Sing?...Flashbacks: QPR Go for Manchester United's George Best...Ainsworth Managerial Debut...Club on Sousa....Wright and Francis Player of the Year Dinner Comments...Baidoo and Briatore Birthdays


QPR History in Photos: From the 1880s to the 21st Century - The Bushman QPR Photo Archives

QPR Diary: Relegation, QPR ‘branding’, and fan perspectives


QPR Official Site - April 12, 2000


RANGERS chairman Chris Wright was in appreciative mood when he spoke to the fans at the Player of the Year Dinner and Dance.

Mr Wright said: "Obviously we are meeting in much better circumstances this year than in the previous two years. The recovery from last season has been quite remarkable, so it has been a great season.

"I would like to thank all the fans for sticking with the team for the last two or three years when we haven't had that much to cheer about. I would also like to praise all the players who have made it such a great season for us.

"Also, there are a lot of people who are involved with the whole process at Rangers who I would like to thank. Obviously all of Gerry's coaching staff from Iain Dowie, Des Bulpin down to everyone else behind the scenes and working in the offices. They have had a remarkable season as well.

"Last, but not least, we do have a guy who is a great manager for us, a brilliant person for me to work with and for everybody to be associated with at the club. Gerry Francis - well done!

"I think we've made a lot of progress this season. We certainly hope we can continue that progress next year. If we can perhaps strengthen the team a little bit during the course of the summer, then who knows where we might end up. We are working as hard as we can to achieve long term success for Rangers.

QPR Official Site - April 13, 2000


BOSS Gerry Francis gave a rousing rallying cry to the supporters in his speech at the Player of the Year Dinner and Dance.

Gerry said: "In my near 20 year association with this football club, I have been to quite a few Player of the Year evenings. I've got to say that last year - although the dinner went o.k. - was a very sombre evening for me personally.

"We only had Port Vale away and Crystal Palace at home to go as we fought against relegation.

"Having rejoined Rangers with the team bottom of the table, the last thing in the world I wanted was to take this club down to the Second Division. Fortunately, as you all know, we didn't go down.

"I remember saying to the players at the time that it was the last time that I ever wanted to go through that experience of staying up on the last day.

"We've certainly changed it around this season. The team have done a hell of a lot better with primarily the same players. We've worked very hard on the training pitch. We've not been beaten at home too much. Perhaps we have had too many draws in games we should have won.

"But certainly we have a much better base to work on for next season. If we can hang on to one or two players and if we can strengthen the squad, which we hope to do in the summer, we will get better and we will keep learning.

"And you never know what next season might bring. Perhaps we can get back in the Premiership where we belong.

"Thank you very much for your support. As my two year old son Jake would say 'Come on You R's!!'"

QPR Official Site - April 2000


CONGRATULATIONS to Stuart Wardley on being named QPR Supporters' Club Player of the Year.

Lee Harper is the runner-up
Jermaine Darlington is Players' Player of the Year
Richard Langley is the Young Player of the Year
Kevin Gallen's last minute equaliser at Stockport was voted QPR goal of the season

QPR Official Site - April 10, 2000


STUART WARDLEY was surprised and delighted to be named as Queens Park Rangers Supporters' Club Player of the Year.

Stuart says: "All this is a bit new for me, having come from non-League. I'd like to thank Gerry, Iain and the staff as well as the other players for making me feel welcome at Rangers.

"I'd also like to thank the fans for sticking behind me. It's been a very enjoyable season for me. It's just a learning curve. Everyday I learn things as I pick up the pro game.

"I've been pleased with the goals I've scored. Gerry keeps telling me to get in the box and get across people to create myself some chances.

"Even when I was with Saffron Walden last season I scored 17 goals from centre-half, so I hope I have an eye for goal. When I get a goalscoring chance, I try to take it.

"The full-time training and professional coaching at Rangers has helped me so much. It is so different compared to the non-League game, because there you only train twice a week. You can only get better when you train every day as a pro.

"I can feel myself getting fitter and stronger. It's a lot more physical in this league and you have to be more clinical as well.

"I hope that I can continue to improve my game. We'll see how it goes. I'll get my head down and work hard in pre-season. Hopefully I can come back next season fighting fit and score a few more goals."

By David McIntyre West London SPort
Harry Redknapp believes Andros Townsend will struggle to establish himself at Tottenham next season despite the winger’s successful loan spell at QPR.

Townsend has impressed since arriving at Loftus Road, suggesting the 21-year-old has a future in the top flight.

But former Spurs manager Redknapp says the youngster’s first-team prospects at White Hart Lane remain slim.

He’s can’t take Gareth Bale’s place or Aaron Lennon’s, that’s the problem,” said the R’s boss.

“He’ll go back to Tottenham and he’ll push again next year and I’m sure he’ll be in their squad.

“But obviously the kid’s got a problem getting in their team because they’ve got so many fantastic players.”

And Redknapp does not think Spurs have reason to regret letting Townsend leave on loan, even though Bale has subsequently been sidelined by injury.

He said: “They’ve [still] got good players. You’ve got Clint Dempsey, Gylfi Sigurdsson and all these people.

“They’ve got a massive, strong squad. There aren’t any kids playing there – they’re all experienced players.

“When I was there he couldn’t get in the team because they had Gareth Bale and Luka Modric. It was hard for him.”

Redknapp added: “I’ve been really pleased with Andros. I’d like another 10 like him.

“He’s done really well and playing in the Premier League has been a great experience for him. He’s a good lad too.” West London Sport


Rangers favourite now working for The Church ...

THE below Where 'R' They Now? feature appeared first in the Hoops matchday programme against Wigan Athletic (07/04/13).

What are you up to nowadays?
I am living in Canmore, Alberta in Canada with my wife Amanda and children Jake and Ava. I left the UK four-and-a-half years ago to do my seminary studies for pastoral ministry. I am now home missionary pastor at Calvary Grace Church in Calgary. We are currently in the final 18 months of our visas and deciding where we will be long-term.

How did you make such a major change in your life?
I have been a Christian since my early days at QPR in the late 1980s. I have always spoken about my faith in Jesus Christ but never sensed a call to full-time ministry until six years ago. This call was affirmed by the church and I began to preach. It was then that I felt compelled to pursue vocational ministry. I had been working for the BBC on Match of the Day and Football Focus as well as being sent to World Cups etc. It was all going very well. So when I gave everything up, it did surprise a number of people. It’s been the hardest few years of my life but coming away from the UK has given me some anonymity. Here in Canada they consider me a preacher, not a footballer or pundit!

You had two spells at QPR and must have a great affinity with the club?
People always ask me who I support. Charlton Athletic were my team as a boy because my father played for them. Then I enjoyed my best goalscoring days in a special time at Newcastle United and had my most high-profile moments with Chelsea. But QPR is my football home and always will be. I first joined Rangers when I was 15, so I have deep affection for the club and the fans.

Do you still keep an eye on QPR?
Yes I do. I follow the Premier League on Setanta over here in Canada. We get good coverage of matches. I’m always watching out for the Super Hoops.

Do you think the R’s will stay up this season?
It’s going to be very hard but it’s still possible. The new signings were expensive although Harry Redknapp needed to get some quality in and create some momentum. Harry’s a great manager. I played for him as a 21-year-old at Bournemouth.

Keep up to speed with Gavin's work with the church by visiting www.calvarygrace.ca or gavinpeacock8.blogspot.com. You can also follow Gavin on Twitter – @GPeacock8.


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