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QPR v Swansea Connections and Memories
QPR v Swansea Connections and Memories
Monday, 16th Mar 2009 22:51

Ash takes a look at players that have played for both Tuesday night's opponents QPR and Swansea City and a memorable match between the sides.

At the start of the season, I tried not to let myself get caught up with the expectation, I really did. I tried to convince myself that despite the promise of “boutique football” and a reason for incredible hike in season ticket prices that the requirement would be to build on the previous season’s fourteenth place finish. But of course I got swept up in the season’s hype and like most thought as recently as February that a play-off place would be achievable. Now a month on we sit in twelfth place ten points from sixth and ten points from the bottom three and without a goal to our name in four games. Suddenly that fourteenth place and above requirement is under threat, as is if you believe what you read is Paulo Sousa’s job.

The news get worse for Sousa, this Tuesday evening as the R’s play host to play-off hopefuls Swansea. The Swans started the year on fire propelling them into the top six chase and knocking out the holders Portsmouth out of the FA Cup. Their recent form like the R’s though is a little bit sticky, with only one win in their last six and go into Tuesday night’s game off the back of a 3-1 defeat to Crystal Palace. Of course when the two teams were first scheduled to play, it was seen as a make a break game for both sides play-off chances. Now both teams are just desperate for a win just to get out of horrible recent runs. For the R’s just a shot in anger would be an improvement on the dire performance at St Mary’s.

Swansea first visited West London for a Third Division game in October 1920 that finished in a 1-1 draw. While you have to go back almost 30 years for out last league meeting, a goalless draw in August 1980, although Rangers were victorious in League Cup meeting four seasons ago. So lets take a walk down the blue and white hooped path of memory lane and recall a win from the eighties and the players that have played for both teams.

Memorable Match

QPR 3-2 Swansea

2 February 1980

Second Division

As seen by the thread on the message board, games against Swansea have been few and far between over recent years so this week’s memorable match is only memorable as the last league win at HQ for the R‘s against Swansea in a exciting game from the early 80’s.

Rangers were in buoyant mood going into the game, after beating local rivals Fulham 2-0 to notch up their first win for eight games. Swansea had also just tasted victory over rivals, with a 2-1 win over Cardiff which had continued a decent run the Swans were enjoying since the turn of the year. So an exciting game was in prospect a rain-soaked Loftus Road.

After a pretty even first half an hour it was the R’s who struck first from the penalty spot. Clive Allen’s first attempt was saved but got a second chance thanks to a encroachment from Swan’s defender Leighton Phillips and the Rangers striker made no mistake to net his 21st goal of the season.

Five minutes later and the R’s doubled their lead, after a horrible mistake from Phillips once again. His attempted back-pass fell woefully short and Paul Goddard was on hand to steer the ball past Glen Letheran.

Rangers looked firmly in control at this point but Swansea nicked a goal just before the break. Ian Callaghan’s corner was aimed for John Toshack but instead came off the head of Rangers Steve Wicks and looped into the top corner, 2-1. Swansea now had the bit between their teeth and pushed for an equaliser throughout the second half. Rangers managed to hold-off until the 73rd minute, when Toshack fired in to draw the Swans level.

Both teams went looking for a win and those who left early missed some late drama from the home side. Steve Burke’s whipped corner caused panic in the Swansea penalty box and Paul Goddard was hand to bundle the ball home and collect all three points for the Superhoops.

QPR: Woods, Shanks, Gillard, McCreery, Wicks, Roeder, Goddard, Waddock, Allen, Currie, Burke

Swansea City: Letheran, Marustik, Rushbury, Charles, Phillips, Giles, Craig, James, Waddle, Toshack, Callaghan (Robinson)


QPR finished in fifth, six points off eventual winners Leicester City. Swansea enjoyed a mid-table safely before gaining promotion the following campaign.


Karl Connolly

QPR 2000-03

Swansea 2003-04

A schoolboy at Tranmere Rovers Karl Connolly was never offered an apprenticeship by the club and actually started his footballing career at Napoli. No not the Italian Serie A side made famous by Diego Maradona and Mars bars but the Warrington based Sunday League team. It was here he was spotted by Wrexham manager Bryan Flynn who was looking for a new left-winger. Still working in a chip-shop part time, Karl jumped at the chance of a signing for the Red Dragons, even if they had just finished the season in ninety second place only avoiding relegation due to a team already voluntarily leaving the league.

He began life at the Racecourse as a left winger and was at the club for their famous FA Cup victory over First Division champions Arsenal. Later when Gary Bennett left the club, Connelly moved upfront to become the clubs main striker and gained cult status for the Welsh club: scoring nearly 100 goals in 350 games before moving on a free transfer to QPR in May 2000.

It wasn’t a happy debut season for Connolly though as he scored just five goals and was part of one of worst Rangers teams in recent times who were relegated that season to the third tier. The following campaign Connolly was one of the few players who was still at QPR now under manager Ian Holloway and enjoyed a much more consistent season that saw a top-half finish for the club. His last act in a hoops shirt was a penalty miss in the infamous FA Cup defeat to Vauxhall Motors before leaving at the end of that season to join Swansea on a free transfer. At Vetchfield Connolly struggled to get into the first team and only made twelve appearances in a season in Wales before returning home to play for Prescot Cables and was last heard of at Newi Cefn Druids.

Magic R’s moment: A brace for Rangers rescuing a point against Northampton in 2001

Tommy Williams

QPR 2002-03 (loan)

Swansea 2006-07

Whenever the name Tommy Williams comes up, two words instantly spring to any Rangers supporters mind. No not ‘fit Mrs’ but ‘square it’ – relating to the winger’s complete waste of a brilliant opportunity to pass to Paul Furlong in 2003 play-off final. The pass may or may not have led to a R’s winner but Furs would have definitely had a better effort the Williams managed.

Tommy began started life at Walton and Hersham before getting a shot with West Ham in 2000. He left Upton Park however without making a single appearance for the club to join Peterborough United. After impressing for Posh, he was on the move again a year later this time to First Division Birmingham City. Despite playing the last few games of the season, he found himself down the pecking order at the start of the 2002/03 season so joined QPR on loan, making his debut in Rangers opening day win over Chesterfield. The tricky winger impressed the R’s fans with his all action displays that helped Ian Holloway’s mean reach the play-offs before losing in the final to Cardiff and Williams failed to square that ball. He returned to W12 at the start of the following season but after three months moved on a permanent transfer back to Peterborough.

Further spells at Barnsley and Gillingham followed before a solid season in Wales with Swansea, which earned him his first international cap for Cyprus. Wycombe was his next step before returning to Peterborough for a third time last season.

Magic R’s moment: His only goal in a hoops shirt, during a 3-0 win over Huddersfield.


Gerry Francis QPR 1968-79 & 1981-82, Swansea 1984. Now a coach at Stoke City

Robbie James Swansea 1973-83 & 1988-90, QPR 1984-87. Passed away in 1988

Jeremy Charles Swansea 1977-83, QPR 1983-85

Leighton James QPR 1977-78, Swansea 1980-83. Now a pundit on Real Radio

Gary Chivers Swansea 1983-84, QPR 1984-87. Now unknown

Dennis Oli QPR 2001-04, Swansea 2004. Now at Gillingham

Leon Knight QPR 2001 (loan), Swansea 2006-07. Now at Thrasyvoulos F.C.

Marcus Bean QPR 2002-06, Swansea (loan) 2005-06. Now at Brentford

Daniel Nardiello Swansea 2003 (loan), QPR 2007-08. Now on loan at Hartlepool

Fans’ Memories

Kevin Gallen’s penalty miss in the league cup game back in August 2004 was a highlight for me. I have seen bigger attendances at reserves games -Thame Hoops

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