Fulham visit brings back Rehman nightmares and 1983 memories - history
Thursday, 23rd Feb 2012 00:41 by Clive Whittingham
The first competitive meeting between QPR and Fulham at Loftus Road for 11 years takes place this Saturday, and couldn’t be more important for the home team.
Fulham 6 QPR 0, Sunday October 2, 2011, Premiership
Neil Warnock said his QPR teams would take some thrashings in their first Premiership season, and he was proved more than correct in October when an abject display resulted in a crushing 6-0 defeat. Optimism had been high before the game with a host of new players bringing about three excellent performances and five points from games with Newcastle, Wolves and Aston Villa but Fulham scored through Andy Johnson inside the first two minutes and kept scoring at regular intervals after that. Paddy Kenny embarked on a fool’s mission to retrieve a ball Fitz Hall should have cleared in the twentieth minute resulting in a foul on Johnson and a penalty from Danny Muprhy for 2-0 and Johnson made it three himself before half time. With Adel Taarabt substituted and allegedly standing on the Fulham Palace Road waiting for a bus Rangers shipped three more with Johnson completing his hat trick and Clint Dempsey and Bobby Zamora filling their boots in a rout.
QPR: Kenny 5, Ferdinand 5, Hall 4, Young 5, Orr 5, Faurlin 5, Derry 4 (Smith 45, 5), Wright-Phillips 5, Taarabt 4 (Campbell 45, 6), Barton 5, Bothroyd 4 (Mackie 72, 7)
Subs Not Used: Murphy, Perone, Buzsaky, Helguson
Booked: Hall (foul), Faurlin (foul), Wright-Phillips (dissent)
Fulham: Schwarzer 7, JA Riise 6, Hangeland 6, Baird 6, Grygera 7, Sidwell 8, Murphy 7 (Etuhu 83 6), Dempsey 6, Johnson 8 (Ruiz 75 6), Zamora 7, Dembele 7 (Sa 87, -)
Subs Not Used: Etheridge, Kelly, Senderos, Duff
Goals: Johnson 2, 38, 59, Murphy (penalty) 20, Dempsey 65, Zamora 70.
Booked: Sidwell (foul), Hangeland (foul)
QPR 0 Fulham 2, Wednesday January 31, 2001
In many ways Rangers’ fate was finally sealed in the first meeting that season at Loftus Road. Not with the result, because given the respective resources and starting elevens that was never really in doubt, but the legacy of the match would last long after the final whistle. After ten minutes England Under 21 international Clarke Carlisle was stretchered off with a ruptured cruciate knee ligament that would keep him out of the QPR team for more than a year and lead him into a personal battle with alcohol. Twenty minutes later Richard Langley followed him to hospital – incredibly with exactly the same injury. It almost seemed cruel when Fulham took advantage with goals from Peter Moller and Karlheinz Riedle. This was already a very poor QPR side, but shorn of Richard Langley and Clarke Carlisle it was doomed.
QPR: Miklosko, Perry, Plummer, Carlisle (Bruce 11), Baraclough, Langley (Kulscar 37), Rose, Peacock, Connolly (Ngonge 79), Kiwomya, Crouch
Subs not used: Harper, Morrow
Fulham: Taylor, Finnan, Melville, Symons, Brevett, Goldbaek, Davis, Clark, Fernandes, Saha, Moller (Riedle 70)
Subs not used: Hahnemann, Stolcers, Neilson, Sahnoun
Goals: Moller 45, Riedle 77
Previous ResultsHead to Head >>> QPR wins 12 >>> Draws 5 >>> Fulham wins 11
2011/12 Fulham 6 QPR 0
2000/01 Fulham 2 QPR 0
2000/01 QPR 0 Fulham 2
1999/00 QPR 0 Fulham 0
1999/00 Fulham 1 QPR 0
1982/83 QPR 3 Fulham 1 (Gregory, Sealy, Stainrod)
1982/83 Fulham 1 QPR 1 (Stainrod)
1979/80 Fulham 0 QPR 2 (Waddock, Burke)
1979/80 QPR 3 Fulham 0 (P Goddard, Allen, Currie)
1978/79 Fulham 2 QPR 0*
1972/73 QPR 2 Fulham 0 (Bowles, Clement)
1972/73 Fulham 0 QPR 2 (Bowles, Givens)
1971/72 QPR 0 Fulham 0
1971/72 QPR 1 Fulham 1* (Mancini)
1971/72 Fulham 2 QPR 1* (Clement)
1971/72 Fulham 0 QPR 3 (Saul, McCulloch, Matthewson og)
1970/71 Fulham 2 QPR 0**
1948/49 QPR 1 Fulham 0 (Ramscar)
1948/49 Fulham 5 QPR 0
1931/32 QPR 3 Fulham 1 (Wiles, 2, Haley)
1931/32 Fulham 1 QPR 3 (G Goddard 2, Cribb)
1930/31 Fulham 0 QPR 2 (G Goddard, Coward)
1930/31 QPR 0 Fulham 2
1929/30 Fulham 0 QPR 2 (G Goddard, Rounce)
1929/30 QPR 0 Fulham 0
1928/29 Fulham 5 QPR 0
1928/29 QPR 2 Fulham 1 (G Goddard, Young)
1905/06 Fulham 1 QPR 0
Zesh Rehman >>> Fulham 2004-2006 >>> QPR 2006-2009
The witching hour, according to American legend and second rate horror films, falls at 3am. This, they say, is the devil’s hour as it falls opposite to the 3pm time that Jesus was crucified. It’s the time when supernatural creatures come out to play and black magic is at its most effective. To be honest, you’d think if you only got to come out once a day at three in the morning and you had the supernatural powers of your average spook or demon you’d do a little bit more with it than turn the kitchen radio on, which is what the resident spirit at LoftforWords Towers likes to do at the moment, but each to their own.
Before a ghost decided I wanted to listen to Magic at 3am every night I often used to be awake at that time anyway. I’d lay there in the darkness, cold but sweating, eyes wide open and pupils dilated searching for objects in the darkness, fearful that I might one day see another player in the QPR shirt as bad as Zesh Rehman. I’d wake with a start, and a gasp, from a recurring nightmare where the same moment plays over and over again in my head to a soundtrack of John Gregory laughing manically on the touchline about just how dreadful his team was.
There would be Zesh, back peddling frantically as Ishmael Miller ran towards him with the ball. Backing off and backing off and backing off and backing off and backing off some more until there was nowhere to go but into the back of the net with the ball. Were a football pitch three miles long then dear old Zesh’s preferred technique of running away from the problem and hoping it would go away may have been effective, but then I suspect Zesh Rehman would only ever have been effective in this sport if he was allowed to play it alone, possibly with an attendant to shout at him if he accidentally started kicking the wrong way.
Zesh Rehman was that oh so rare of things, a footballer of Pakistani origin. Consequently he was held up as a poster boy for the country’s large Asian population which, by and large, fails to engage in British sports and is grossly underrepresented in the professional football leagues. Unfortunately for Zesh, who’s community work in the field while with QPR and later Bradford City was prolific and commendable, and for the people who desperately wanted him to encourage others of his race to follow in his footsteps, he was absolute pony. Professional footballers from Pakistan may be rare, but players so awful you cannot fathom how on earth anybody ever thought for one moment they could cut it in the professional game sadly are not. And scores of them seem to end up, one way or another, playing for QPR.
Astonishingly he represented England at youth level up to the Under 20s as he came through the ranks at Fulham and became the first British Asian to play top flight football in this country when he made his first team debut against Liverpool in 2004. Loan spells down the divisions with Brighton and later Norwich furthered his development and he clocked up 30 appearances and one goal for the Cottagers by 2006.
Clearly though he was never going to be a top flight defender as long as he had a hole in his arse and Fulham accepted that fact in the summer of 2006 and moved him on. Down the road at QPR Gary Waddock was busy putting together his first squad as manager with the club in turmoil off the field under the chairmanship of Gianni Paladini, heading for a financial meltdown and signing some weird and wonderful players from around the world. Rehman would fit nicely into a rag tag bunch of poor players that included Egutu Oliseh, Adam Czerkas, Nick Ward and Armel Tchakounte.
Waddock had alienated a number of his senior players including Marc Bircham, Ian Evatt and Steve Lomas by transfer listing them and leaving them at home while the rest of the team went on a pre-season tour of Italy. This technique proved foolhardy though as the club’s finances didn’t allow for them to be replaced and so the season began with half a team that wasn’t good enough and the other half that knew it wasn’t wanted. Something had to be done, so Waddock was given £500,000 to sign Dexter Blackstock from Southampton and £250,000 to sign Rehman from Fulham. At the same time, and for the same price, Fulham sold Dean Leacock, a far superior player to Rehman in every single department, to Derby but the story goes that Waddock didn’t think Leacock was physically good enough for Championship football. Leacock played more than 100 times for Derby across five years, Rehman played half that many games for QPR and was, more often than not, frighteningly bad.
He spent time out on loan at Brighton again, Blackpool and then Bradford, playing in all four divisions of the English league as a result. But he was never good enough. When Bradford signed him permanently in League Two he won the league’s community award for his work in the city, and was described as a “supremely professional individual and a superb ambassador for the football club” by manager Peter Taylor. But he still wasn’t good enough on the pitch, square arsed with the turning circle of a combine harvester, and he eventually fell out with Taylor, and criticised him publicly, when a loan player was brought in to replace him. Taylor got rid, probably looking for an excuse.
Rehman has since played for Muangthong United in Thailand and now turns out for Kitchee in the Hong Kong First Division, one of Armel Tchakounte’s former clubs funnily enough.
But the nightmares remain, and probably always will.
Others >>> Bobby Zamora, Fulham 2008-2012, QPR 2012-present >>> Heidar Helguson, Fulham 2005-2007, QPR 2008-present >>> Lee Cook, QPR (loan) 2002-2003, 2004-2007, 2008-present, Fulham 2007-2008 >>> Stephen Kelly, QPR (loan) 2003, Fulham 2009-present >>> Callum Willock, Fulham 2000-2003, QPR (loan) 2002 >>> Paul Peschisolido, Fulham 1997-2001, QPR (loan) 2000 >>> Iain Dowie, Fulham (loan) 1989-1990, QPR 1998-2001, (manager) 2008 >>> Rufus Brevett, QPR 1991-1998, Fulham 1998-2003 >>> Ray Wilkins, QPR 1989-1994, (manager) 1994-1996, Fulham (manager) 1997-1998 >>> Robbie Herrera, QPR 1988-1993, Fulham 1993-1998 >>> Leroy Rosenior, Fulham 1982-1985, 1987-1988, (loan) 1990-1991, QPR 1985-1987 >>> Paul Parker, Fulham 1982-1987, QPR 1987-1991 >>> Dean Coney, Fulham 1980-1987, QPR 1987-1989 >>> Rodney Marsh, Fulham 1962-1966, QPR 1966-1972 >>> Bobby Keetch, Fulham 1964-1966, QPR 1966-1969 >>> Jim Langley, Fulham 1957-1965, QPR 1965-1967 >>> Dave Metchick, Fulham 1961-1964, QPR 1968-1970
QPR 3 Fulham 1, Saturday May 2, 1983, Second Division
These clubs may only be separated by a couple of miles of West London, but competitive meetings between them have been few and far between down the years. Certainly none were as important as the clash at Loftus Road in 1983 when Rangers needed a win against fellow promotion chasers Fulham to seal the Second Division title.
In front of more than 24,000 fans at Loftus Road Rangers surged into an early lead on their plastic pitch when midfielder, and future R’s manager, John Gregory raced through the wide open spaces of the Fulham defence to finish confidently from the edge of the penalty box. Gregory’s performances that season earned him an England call up at the end of the campaign for the summer tour of Australia.
The visiting defence didn’t improve much thereafter, Tony Sealy making the most of acres of space and slack defending to hammer a volley into the roof of the net from 12 yards out. Rangers now two to the good, with the time barely out of single figures.
The Whites held out until half time without further damage but the words of manager Malcolm McDonald had barely left his lips during the break when Rangers made the game safe. The trademark set piece during Terry Venables’ reign at Loftus Road saw a ball lobbed into the near post for giant defender Bob Hazell to head on and with the Fulham keeper inadvisably rushing out to try and beat the former Wolves man in the air the goal was left open for Simon Stainrod to nod home, unmarked, from close range.
Welshman Gordon Davies pulled a goal back for Fulham 20 minutes from time, seizing on a rare lapse in QPR’s defence to finish past Hucker from a tight angle, but the game was well and truly up when Ray Lewington hacked into the back of Stainrod and was sent off.
Rangers eventually finished ten points ahead of Wolves who finished second that season, a title winning triumph that many attributed to the unfair home advantage afforded to them by the plastic pitch. However Rangers finished the season with ten wins and four draws away from home, rather putting paid to that idea. Fulham finished fourth, a single point behind the other promoted side that year Leicester City.
Influential chairman Jim Gregory tried to sell a controlling interest in the club to manager Terry Venables as it prepared for life in the First Division but a deal was never struck and 12 months later, after a successful return to the top flight, Venables was taken from QPR by Spanish giants Barcelona. Imagine that.
QPR: Hucker, Neil, Hazell, Fenwick, Wicks, Dawes, Sealy, Waddock, Gregory, Flanagan, Stainrod
Highlights >>> QPR 3 Fulham 1, 1983
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Letters from Wiltshire #33 by wessex_exile
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Letters from Wiltshire #32 by wessex_exile
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Letters from Wiltshire #31 by wessex_exile
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