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Francis’ QPR on top of their game – History
Wednesday, 6th Sep 2017 07:47 by Clive Whittingham

Ahead of the weekend visit from Ipswich, LFW looks back to 1993 and a meeting between the two sides which is seldom talked about but really was Gerry Francis’ QPR side at its best.


Memorable Match

Queens Park Rangers 3 Ipswich Town 0, Saturday October 2, 1993, Premier League

There were several off-talked about peaks in form for the team Gerry Francis inherited from Don Howe and developed into London’s top-placed Premier League team.

With Les Ferdinand developing into a world class centre forward, supplied by Andy Sinton and Andy Impey on the wings, with Ray Wilkins ticking things over in midfield and David Bardsley and Clive Wilson the two best, and most underrated, full backs in the top division this was a fabulous time to be a QPR fan. In 1991/92 Man Utd were beaten 4-1 at Old Trafford, Man City 4-0 at Loftus Road and eventual champions Leeds 4-1 just days later. The season after Rangers finished fifth in the inaugural Premier League ahead of Arsenal, Spurs, Chelsea, Liverpool, Everton and others. Ferdinand scored a hat trick in an Easter Saturday 4-3 home success over Forest, then bagged another three two days later in a 5-3 win at Everton.

But there was another notable peak in form and results the season after as well, by which time Sinton had joined Sheffield Wednesdaty and been joined by a young Trevor Sinclair from Blackpool. The 193/94 campaign had started in concerning manner, with an injury to Alan McDonald, a 4-1 loss at Villa on day one and a 3-1 home defeat to Liverpool in the midweek home opener.

But by October, the R’s were motoring. Southampton and Sheffield United had been beaten at Loftus Road and a high-flying Norwich side that famously won a UEFA Cup tie at Bayern Munich was fortunate to escape with a 2-2. Away from home newly promoted West Ham had been humiliated on their own patch 4-0, in front of the three quarters of a million East Londoners who now all insist they used to stand on the Chicken Run.

Rangers would win seven out of eight through October and November scoring for fun – 22 goals in those fixtures. Everton were beaten 3-0 at Goodison Park with a Bradley Allen hat trick, Kevin Keegan’s impressive young Newcastle side 2-1 at St James Park when Jan Stejskal saved a last minute penalty and Les Ferdinand produced his best ever QPR performance, Coventry were annihilated 5-1… and it all started with a home win against Ipswich.

Nothing special about that per se. John Lyall’s Town had been promoted at the end of 1991/92 and been very fortunate to leave Loftus Road with a 0-0 the previous season when only a plethora of missed chances and unlikely goal line clearances kept the score tied. Finishing sixteenth, three points north of the drop zone, QPR should have been beating them in W12, even without Ferdinand in attack.

But it was the quality of the performance, and the three goals which arrived in an eight minute flurry either side of the hour mark. It was pure QPR to replace one of the best centre forwards in the country at that time with Devon White, an electrician from Ilkeston, but the man once described by The Times as “as mobile as a lamppost” was very effective in that team, with that sort of wide service, and scored twice against the Tractor Boys.

The first was a routine finish but the second, at the end of a flowing passing move the likes of which Barcelona are currently lauded for, was an absolute peach – worked through midfield brilliantly by Wilkins, crossed perfectly by Bardsley and headed into the top corner harder than most can kick it by White at the far post. Simon Barker added a third moments later.

This was, infamously, the season QPR missed their chance of going second in the Premier League by losing 1-0 away to ten man Swindon who hadn’t won any of their first 16 matches. Rangers have never been as good, or as high in the English leagues, since. Ipswich, for the record, finished one place and one point above the drop zone but were relegated dead last the year after.

QPR: Stejskal; Bardsley, Peacock, McDonald, Wilson; Sinclair (Brevett), Wilkins, Barker, Impey; White, Allen

Subs not used: Roberts, Bailey

Goals: White 57, 62, Barker 65

Ipswich: Forrest; Linighan, Marshall, Wark, Stockwell; Thompson, Slater, Mason, Williams; Kiwomya, Milton

Subs not used: Whitton, Yallop, Baker

Recent Meetings

QPR 2 Ipswich Town 1, Monday January 2, 2017, Championship

After six-straight defeats, QPR made it two wins in a weekend with a 2-1 success against Ipswich at Loftus Road on the New Year Bank Holiday. Idrissa Sylla spectacularly volleyed the R’s into a first half lead when a long throw from James Perch dropped over his shoulder, but when Tom Lawrence pinged in Ipswich’s goal of the season from three quarters of a mile out just after half time it looked like the game was heading for a draw. Then, eight minutes from time, Pawel Wszolek showed great strength and deftness of touch to run off the back of his man, bring down a long ball from Nedum Onuoha, round the Ipswich keeper and slide in the winning goal in one beautiful, fluid movement.

QPR: Smithies 6; Perch 6, Hall 8, Lynch 7, Bidwell 6; Manning 6 (El Khayati 68, 6), Cousins 6, Borysiuk 6 (Onuoha 58, 7); Mackie 7, Wzsolek 7, Sylla 7 (Washington 38, 5)

Subs not used: Ingram, Ngbakoto, Sandro, Shodipo

Goals: Sylla 30 (assisted Perch), Wszolek 83 (assisted Onuoha)

Ipswich: Bialkowski 6; Webster 6, Chambers 6, Berra 6, Kenlock 6 (Knudsen 77, 6); Emmanuel 5 (Ward 46, 6), Bru 6 (Douglas 69, 5), Skuse 6, Lawrence 7; Pitman 6, McGoldrick 7

Subs not used: Gerken, Varney, Sears, Dozzell

Goals: Lawrence 48 (unassisted)

Ipswich Town 3 QPR 0, Saturday November 26, 2016, Championship

Ian Holloway’s honeymoon period at the start of his second spell in charge of QPR came to an end after just one victory over Norwich with an odd defeat at Ipswich in his first away game. Beaten 3-0, in a game that could easily have been five or six, Rangers were also perversely quite unlucky to lose. Dominant in the first half they were unfortunate to concede to a scuffed shot by Ward after 13 minutes, and unlucky not to equalise when Bialkowski rushed from his line to save one on one from Washington. A dreadful mistake by Alex Smithies to gift Luke Varney a second goal early in the second half changed the course of the match entirely with the previously awful Tom Lawrence making it 3-0 and Smithies making two fine last saves to stop if being worse still.

Ipswich: Bialkowski 6; Webster 6, Chambers 6, Berra 6, Knudsen 6; Ward 7, Skuse 5, Douglas 6; Lawrence 5 (Best 80, -), Varney 6 (Sears 68, 6), McGoldrick 6

Subs not used: Gerken, Bishop, Bru, Williams, Emmanuel

Goals: Ward 13, Varney 54, Lawrence 61

Bookings: Lawrence 71 (fighting)

QPR: Smithies 5; Onuoha 5, Hall 6, Lynch 6; Perch 5 (Sandro 59, 4), Bidwell 6; Henry 4, Cousins 5 (Ngbakoto 67, 6), Chery 5; Washington 6, Polter 6 (Sylla 59, 4)

Subs not used: Ingram, Wzsolek, El Khayati, Shodipo

Bookings: Perch 25 (foul), Chery 71 (fighting)

QPR 1 Ipswich Town 0, Saturday February 6, 2016, Championship

QPR secured a long overdue home win with a 1-0 success against Ipswich at Loftus Road when these sides met in February last year. On the balance of the first half the win was deserved, as Ipswich keeper Bialkowski made a string of saves to deny Matt Phillips, James Perch and on two occasions Junior Hoilett. The goal arrived late, Matt Phillips skilfully heading in Nasser El Khayati's wayward shop. But the hosts were indepted to their goalkeeper Alex Smithies during a terrifying period of injury time when Town could easily have come back to be win,.

QPR: Smithies 8; Perch 6, Hall 7, Onuoha 6, Konchesky 6; Phillips 6, Luongo 7, Faurlin 6 (Tozser 59, 7), Hoilett 7 (Mackie 70, 7); Washington 7 (El Khayti 80, 7), Polter 6

Subs not used: Chery, Angella, Ingram, Petrasso

Goals: Phillips 88 (assisted El Khayti)

Bookings: Faurlin 34 (foul) Onuoha 60 (foul)

Ipswich: Bialkowski 8; Chambers 6, Smith 6, Berra 7, Knudsen 6; Bru 5, Skuse 5 (Coke 58, 7), Fraser 6 (Toure 90+6, -), Sears 6; Pitman 4, Varney 5 (Murphy 57, 6)

Subs not used: Maitland-Niles, Henly, Digby, Foley

Bookings: Bru 7 (foul)

Ipswich Town 2 QPR 1, Saturday December 26, 2015, Championship

QPR entered into the season of giving with rather too much gusto when these sides met at Portman Road over Christmas last season. Having taken the lead on the stroke of half time when good approach work from Seb Polter and Matt Phillips set Junior Hoilett up for a headed opener, the R’s missed a glorious chance to put then game to bed when Leroy Fer went round Dean Gerken the home goalkeeper but dallied over his finish. That left the door ajar and Ipswich fought back with a hooked effort from Jonathan Dougles and an injury time header from Luke Chambers.

Ipswich: D Gerken; L Chambers, T Smith, C Berra, J Knudsen; J Douglas, A Maitland-Niles (R Fraser 61), C Skuse, F Sears; D Murphy (L Varney 89), B Pitman (T Oar 68)

Subs not used: P Malarczyk, K Bru, B Bialkowski, L Hyam

Goals: Douglas 77 (assisted Murphy), Chambers 90+2 (assisted Sears)

Yellow Cards: Oar 87 (foul)

QPR: R Green 6; N Onuoha 6, G Hall 7, G Angella 7, Konchesky 7; L Fer 5 (Sandro 71), D Hoilett 7, K Henry 7, M Phillips 5 (T Chery 83), A Faurlin 8; S Polter 7

Subs not used: A Smithies, D Tozser, J Emmanuel-Thomas, C Hill, M Luongo

Goals: Hoilett 45+5 (assisted Phillips)

Yellow Cards: Konchesky, Onuoha

Ipswich Town 1 QPR 3, Saturday January 11, 2014, Championship

QPR completed the double over Ipswich with one of their best performances and results from an otherwise largely forgettable 2013/14 season the last time these sides met at Portman Road. With inconsistent performers like Little Tom Carroll and Big Fat Niko Kranjcar finally hitting form at the same time, Rangers were able to cut loose in the second half against the division’s form team and score three quickfire goals through Kranjcar, Gary O’Neil and Armand Traore. A late consolation from Tommy Smith did little to take the gloss off a fantastic away win, and a violent dispute between the stewards and a group of the home fans to the immediate left of the away end resulting in a mass ejection of Ipswich fans only added to the spectacle.

Ipswich: Gerken 6; Chambers 6 (Mings 86, -), Berra 6, Smith 6, Cresswell 6; Hyam 6 (Hunt 72, 6), Skuse 6, Tunnicliffe 6, Anderson 6 (Nouble 72, 5); Taylor 6, McGoldrick 6

Subs not used: Loach, Edwards, Tabb, Lee

Goals: Smith 90+1 (assisted Hunt)

Bookings: Hyam 22 (foul)

QPR: Green 7; Simpson 7, Dunne 8, Hill 7, Assou-Ekotto 7; Carroll 8, Barton 6 (Henry 40, 7); Benayoun 6 (Traore 68, 7), Kranjcar 7 (Phillips 85,-), O’Neil 7; Austin 7

Subs not used: Johnson, Wright-Phillips, Onuoha, Murphy

Goals: Kranjcar 52 (unassisted), O’Neil 66 (assisted Austin), Traore 74 (assisted Hill)

Bookings: Hill 57 (dissent)

QPR 1 Ipswich Town 0, Saturday August 17, 2013, Championship

Rangers left it very late to win the first meeting between these sides that season at Loftus Road back in August. The visitors seemed more than happy with their 0-0 draw at a newly relegated side and a dire encounter was threatening to drift away into a bland mess of time wasting and scrappy midfield play. But Harry Redknapp introduced youth team product Tom Hitchock with seven minutes remaining, removing ineffective Bobby Zamora into the bargain, and when Town keeper Scott Loach palmed an injury time effort on goal away to his left the youngster was in exactly the right place at the right time to slam in his first goal for the senior team and win the match. Hitchcock barely played a minute for Rangers after that and after loan spells at Fleetwood, Crewe and Rotherham eventually signed permanently with MK Dons.

QPR: R Green 7, D Simpson 6, R Dunne 6, N Onuoha 7, C Hill 6, S Wright-Phillips 6, K Henry 6 (J Jenas, 77, 6), J Barton 8, D Hoilett 6 (G O'Neil, 56, 8), B Zamora 5 (T Hitchcock, 83, -), C Austin 6

Subs not used: B Murphy, M Ehmer, Yun Suk-Young, M Sharif

Goals: Hitchock 90 (assisted Austin/Wright Phillips)

Ipswich S Loach 7, E Hewitt 6, L Chambers 6, T Smith 6, A Cresswell 7, J Tabb 6, C Skuse 6 (R Tunnicliffe, 45, 6), C Edwards 5, L Hyam 6, D Murphy 6 (P Taylor, 63, 5 (F Nouble, 86, -)), D McGoldrick 6

Subs not used: M Crowe, F Veseli, C Berra, P Anderson

Bookings: Tabb 60 (foul)

QPR 2 Ipswich Town 0, Tuesday February 23, 2011, Championship

QPR had been in free-scoring, free-wheeling form when they won easily at Portman Road in the first meeting between these sides in the R’s 2010/11 promotion season. By the time the Tractor Boys, by now under the new management of Paul Jewell, came to Loftus Road there was a nervousness about the QPR team and a grinding nature to the wins they were somehow continuing to clock up. A 2-0 midweek win against Portsmouth owed much to goalkeeping errors and a subsequent success at Reading had been achieved while playing for an hour with ten men. Draws against ten man Nottingham Forest and soon to be relegated Preston followed and when Ipswich veteran Jimmy Bullard dictated the pattern of the first half here there was an air of apprehension about the place. Step forward Clint Hill, fast winning hearts and minds after a summer move from Crystal Palace, who followed up his thumping header against Pompey with another here in similar circumstances. Suddenly Bullard’s influence had been nullified and having taken the lead 13 minutes from time Rangers then doubled that advantage when Helguson forced in from close range after Hill had attacked another corner well. A 3-0 weekend win at Middlesbrough followed as the march towards the league title picked up pace.

QPR: Kenny 7, Orr 6, Hall 8, Shittu 8 (Connolly 90, -), Hill 8, Derry 7, Faurlin 7, Routledge 6, Taarabt 6, Miller 6 (Buzsaky 75, 7), Helguson 6

Subs Not Used: Cerny, Gorkss, Hulse, Moen, Chimbonda

Goals: Hill 77 (assisted Taarabt), Helguson 83 (assisted Hill)

Ipswich: Fulop 5, Edwards 6, Delaney 7, McAuley 7, Kennedy 6, Bullard 7, Leadbitter 6, Healy 6 (Drury 40, 6), Martin 6 (Civelli 84, -), Wickham 7, Scotland 5 (Priskin 71, 5)

Subs Not Used: Lee-Barrett, Peters, Smith, O'Dea

Booked: Kennedy (foul)

Ipswich Town 0 QPR 3, Tuesday September 14, 2010, Championship

This was a battle between first and third when the teams met at Portman Road in September 2010 – a battle QPR came out firmly on top in. Neil Warnock’s Rangers had started the season in scintillating form with four wins and a draw from their first five league games and four clean sheets into the bargain. That progress was threatened by long term injuries to two right backs picked up in a 3-0 home win against Middlesbrough just three days before the difficult looking trip to Portman Road but with both Bradley Orr and Peter Ramage unavailable Warnock pulled a rabbit out of the hat in the form of Kyle Walker on loan from Spurs. The speedy youngster was a tremendous addition to the side and looked right at home immediately in the teaming Suffolk rain. Rangers went in at half time two to the good thanks to a brace from the in form Jamie Mackie. First he showed great persistence in the penalty area to score at the second attempt after being set up by Heidar Helguson, then ten minutes later he accelerated past the Ipswich defence in a swift counter attack and buried a low shot into the far corner from the edge of the box. Ipswich had been set up to contain QPR rather than hurt them and, having seen that plan destroyed, manager Roy Keane was unable to kick start a plan B for the second half. QPR extended their lead from the penalty spot through Heidar Helguson although had the referee Keith Stroud waited a split second before blowing his whistle Akos Buzsaky had already ripped a 30 yarder into the top corner anyway. That strike rather summed up the emphatic nature of the victory and the R’s followed it up with a 2-0 win at Leicester that Saturday.

Ipswich: Fulop 6, Peters 6, McAuley 4, Smith 5, Kennedy 5, Edwards 5 (Brown 72, 5), Norris 5, Hyam 4 (Priskin 46, 4), Leadbitter 5, Townsend 5 (Wickham 46, 7), Scotland 5

Subs Not Used: Murphy, Eastman, Healy, Hourihane

Booked: Scotland (foul), Smith (foul), Leadbitter (foul)

QPR: Kenny 7, Walker 8, Gorkss 8, Connolly 8, Hill 7, Derry 8, Faurlin 6 (Buzsaky 36, 7), Ephraim 7, Taarabt 7 (Leigertwood 60, 7), Mackie 9 (Smith 80, 6), Helguson 8

Subs Not Used: Cerny, Agyemang, German, Parker

Goals: Mackie 31 (assisted Helguson), 42 (assisted Taarabt), Helguson 68 (penalty, won by Mackie)

Previous Results

Head to Head >>> QPR wins 27 >>> Draws 18 >>> Ipswich wins 30

2016/17 QPR 2 Ipswich 1 (Sylla, Wszolek)

2016/17 Ipswich 3 QPR 0

2015/16 QPR 1 Ipswich 0 (Phillips)

2015/16 Ipswich 2 QPR 1 (Hoilett)

2013/14 Ipswich 1 QPR 3 (Kranjcar, O’Neil, Traore)

2013/14 QPR 1 Ipswich 0 (Hitchcock)

2010/11 QPR 2 Ipswich 0 (Hill, Helguson)

2010/11 Ipswich 0 QPR 3 (Mackie 2, Helguson pen)

2009/10 QPR 1 Ipswich 2 (Simpson)

2009/10 Ipswich 3 QPR 0

2008/09 QPR 1 Ipswich 3 (Di Carmine)

2008/09 Ipswich 2 QPR 0

2007/08 Ipswich 0 QPR 0

2007/08 QPR 1 Ipswich 1 (Nygaard)

2006/07 Ipswich 2 QPR 1 (Furlong)

2006/07 QPR 1 Ipswich 3 (Gallen)

2005/06 Ipswich 2 QPR 2 (Moore, Furlong)

2005/06 QPR 2 Ipswich 1 (Rowlands, Gallen)

2004/05 Ipswich 0 QPR 2 (Furlong, Shittu)

2004/05 QPR 2 Ipswich 4 (Furlong 2)

1999/00 QPR 3 Ipswich 1 (Peacock, Koejoe, Kiwomya)

1999/00 Ipswich 1 QPR 4 (Steiner 2, Peacock, Wardley)

1998/99 Ipswich 3 QPR 1 (Kiwomya)

1998/99 QPR 1 Ipswich 1 (Gallen)

1997/98 QPR 0 Ipswich 0

1997/98 Ipswich 0 QPR 0

1996/97 Ipswich 2 QPR 0

1996/97 QPR 0 Ipswich 1

1994/95 Ipswich 0 QPR 1 (Ferdinand)

1994/95 QPR 1 Ipswich 2 (Ferdinand)

1993/94 Ipswich 1 QPR 3 (Impey 2, Ferdinand)

1993/94 QPR 3 Ipswich 0 (White 2, Barker)

1992/93 Ipswich 1 QPR 1 (White)

1992/93 QPR 0 Ipswich 0

1985/86 Ipswich 1 QPR 0

1985/86 QPR 1 Ipswich 0 (Byrne)

1984/85 QPR 3 Ipswich 0 (Fereday 2, Bannister)

1984/85 QPR 1 Ipswich 2* (Bannister)

1984/85 Ipswich 0 QPR 0*

1984/85 Ipswich 1 QPR 1 (Gregory)

1983/84 QPR 1 Ipswich 0 (C Allen)

1983/84 Ipswich 3 QPR 2* (Gregory, Stewart)

1983/84 Ipswich 0 QPR 2 (Gregory, Stainrod)

1978/79 QPR 0 Ipswich 4

1978/79 Ipswich 2 QPR 1 (Francis)

1977/78 QPR 3 Ipswich 3 (McGee 2, James)

1977/78 Ipswich 3 QPR 2 (McGee, Bowles (pen))

1976/77 QPR 1 Ipswich 0 (Givens)

1976/77 Ipswich 2 QPR 2 (Givens, Masson)

1975/76 QPR 3 Ipswich 1 (Thomas, Webb, Wark og)

1975/76 Ipswich 1 QPR 1 (Givens)

1974/75 Ipswich 2 QPR 1 (Gillard)

1974/75 QPR 1 Ipswich 0 (Francis)

1973/74 QPR 0 Ipswich 1

1973/74 Ipswich 1 QPR 0

1968/69 QPR 2 Ipswich 1 (Bridges, R Morgan)

1968/69 Ipswich 3 QPR 0

1967/68 Ipswich 2 QPR 2 (Marsh (pen), Leach)

1967/68 QPR 1 Ipswich 0 (Marsh)

1956/57 QPR 0 Ipswich 2

1956/57 Ipswich 4 QPR 0

1955/56 Ipswich 4 QPR 1 (Clark)

1955/56 QPR 1 Ipswich 1 (Clark)

1953/54 Ipswich 2 QPR 1 (Cameron)

1953/54 QPR 3 Ipswich 1 (Petchley, Woods, Shepherd)

1952/53 Ipswich 0 QPR 1 (Hatton)

1952/53 QPR 2 Ipswich 2 (Addinall 2)

1947/48 QPR 2 Ipswich 0 (Hatton, Boxshall)

1947/48 Ipswich 1 QPR 0

1946/47 Ipswich 1 QPR 1 (Hatton)

1946/47 QPR 1 Ipswich 3 (Hatton)

1945/46 Ipswich 0 QPR 2

1945/46 QPR 4 Ipswich 0

1938/39 Ipswich 1 QPR 0

1938/39 QPR 0 Ipswich 0

Connections

Chris Kiwomya >>> Ipswich 1987-1995 >>> QPR 1998-2001

Born in Huddersfield of Ugandan descent Kiwomya initially made his professional breakthrough down in Suffolk at Portman Road. He was reasonably hot property too - top scoring in the old Second Division in the 1991/92 promotion campaign that crucially won Ipswich a place in the inaugural Premier League. Rangers drew 0-0 with the Tractor Boys at Loftus Road that season despite dominating, and then 1-1 in the away game when Devon White’s first goal for the club only served to cancel out an earlier strike from Neil Thompson which frankly Tony Roberts should have been able to save with his limbs chained together.

Kiwomya built his reputation with Ipswich, scoring 64 goals in 259 appearances for a team that was often battling relegation from the top flight. When they finally succumbed to the drop in 1994/95 Arsenal moved in and paid £1.25m for his services. This was an odd period in the Gunners’ history. The reign of manager George Graham had turned sour after league title wins in 1989 and 1991, FA and League Cup success in 1993, and a Cup Winners Cup win in 1994. Graham had been caught taking £425,000 in bungs from Norwegian agent Rune Hauge to aid the purchase of two of Hauge’s clients John Jensen and Pål Lydersen. Jensen, bought as a goalscoring midfielder after an impressive Euro 92, infamously only scored one goal in more than 150 appearances for the Gunners – against QPR. Rangers did win the game 3-1 though.

Kiwomya joined on the same day as young Luton striker John Hartson, but neither signing really looked like they had the wherewithal to help the Gunners challenge for trophies once again, and both arrived just as the club was about to go through an amazing transition. Bruce Rioch, a very similar manager to Graham in background and style, was brought in after a successful stint with Bolton Wanderers but he lasted just over a season (in which Arsenal finished fifth) before a dispute with first Ian Wright, and then the board over transfer funds led to his demise. The signing of Dennis Bergkamp from Inter Milan during Rioch’s reign showed where Arsenal were heading as a club and, after another prolonged caretaker spell under furture QPR boss Stewart Houston, Frenchman Arsene Wenger arrived and transformed the club forever. All this rather left Kiwomya (who only managed six starts, 11 sub appearances and three goals in three years at Highbury) and Hartson in a state of flux. Eventually Kiwomya tried his luck on loan in France with Le Havre and Malaysia with Selangor before his contract expired and Ray Harford picked him up on a free transfer for QPR prior to the start of the 1998/99 season.

Harford would last barely two months into the campaign before resigning and being replaced first by Iain Dowie on a caretaker basis and then returning hero Gerry Francis. It was then, with Rangers cash strapped, that Kiwomya really started to shine. As the R’s battled relegation he scored twice in a crucial 4-0 home win against Swindon Town and then wrote his name into the club’s folklore on the final day of the season.

Locked in a struggle at the bottom of the table with Oxford, Bury, Port Vale and Portsmouth, Rangers knew they needed a victory on the final day of the campaign at home to Crystal Palace to secure safety. Since the Swindon win the R’s had managed just one victory and a draw from eight matches and a 2-0 setback at Port Vale the week before in front of a huge travelling support – a fifth defeat on the spin – looked to have doomed them to the Second Division.

It’s always been my opinion that there was something very fishy about what happened next. Palace – financially stricken and in the midst of a messy divorce from owner Mark Goldberg – rolled over and died on a pitch bathed with sunshine and protest balloons in the most obvious and dramatic manner anybody could ever have imagined. When George Kulscar and Tony Scully are lashing in volleys from outside the penalty box something is seriously amiss, and the Kulscar goal in particular – the first of the game – looked eminently saveable only for keeper Kevin Miller to stand still and watch it go past him. Kiwomya scored possibly the lowest quality hat trick ever registered in the professional game and missed a penalty into the bargain and Rangers survived.

Francis rebuilt the team intelligently, adding Stewart Wardley’s hard running to the midfield along with youth team graduate Richard Langley, Jermaine Darlington’s pace to wide areas and most crucially Rob Steiner as a focal point for the attack. Kiwomya thrived, scoring 14 goals as Rangers finished tenth. A well taken late goal in a 3-2 March win at Walsall had put the R;s within touching distance of the play offs but a subsequent brace was only good enough to secure a draw at home to Norwich and the form fell away slightly – his final goal of the campaign capped a memorable 3-1 home win against his former club Ipswich who were heading for promotion at the time nevertheless. That was also the day of the lesser spotted Sammy Koejoe blockbuster as well.

So, despite being on the brink of financial ruin, hopes were reasonably high going into 2000/01 with impressive England Under 21 hopeful Clarke Carlisle added to the defence and Peter Crouch arriving from Spurs. However, crucially, Rangers lost Steiner to a career ending injury and Kiwomya never functioned as well without him. Kiwomya’s early season form was good – four goals in his first eight appearances - but a September away game at Barnsley saw QPR go in at half time three nil down and with disgruntled travelling fans massing around the tunnel at half time to give the players a piece of their minds Kiwomya didn’t cover himself in glory with an angry reaction. Although the striker then subsequently scored twice in the second half to threaten a comeback, the final score of 4-2 only served to plunge the team into greater difficulty. Kiwomya was in and out of the side thereafter with one niggly injury after another and the perception was he either wasn’t bothered, wasn’t trying, or both. He managed six appearances and no goals in the next four months, returning briefly to score twice in an FA Cup replay with Luton at Loftus Road and win through to a fourth round game with his old club Arsenal which Rangers promptly lost 6-0.

More time on the sidelines was broken briefly by a return and two goal haul as the R’s beat Barnsley 2-0 and Gillingham 1-0 as Francis made way for Ian Holloway but they were to be his last goals for the club. Holloway added Andy Thomson to the attack alongside Peter Crouch and at the end of the season, with the club now in administration, Kiwomya was one of dozens allowed to leave at the end of his contract. A record of 30 goals in 96 appearances for a mostly crap side stands up well on paper.

Spells in Denmark with Aalborg and the lower divisions with Grimsby preceded his retirement and coaching spells with first Arsenal, then Ipswich and finally Notts County. In the wake of Keith Curle’s sacking at Meadow Lane, Kiwomya had a prolonged caretaker spell in charge of Notts County which brought three wins and six draws from 11 games. Ominously they lost three on the bounce following his permanent appointment but rallied with two wins and a draw from the final three games and finished the season twelfth. An abysmal start to the following season saw him sacked and replaced by Shaun Derry. The jury therefore remains out on his ability as a manager, and divided on whether he was any good for QPR or not.

Others >>> Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, QPR 2015-present, Ipswich 2011-2013 >>> Massimo Luongo, QPR 2015-present, Ipswich (loan) 2012 >>> Danny Simpson, QPR 2013-2015, Ipswich (loan) 2008 >>> Andros Townsend, QPR (loan) 2013, Ipswich (loan) 2010 >>> Brian Murphy, QPR 2011-2015, Ipswich 2010-2011 >>> DJ Campbell, QPR 2011-2013, Ipswich (loan) 2012-2013 >>> Kieron Dyer, QPR 2011-2013, Ipswich 1996-1999, (loan) 2011 >>> Bradley Orr, QPR 2010-2012, Ipswich (loan) 2012-2013 >>> Tamas Priskin, Ipswich 2009-2012, QPR (loan) 2010 >>> Marcus Bent, QPR (loan) 2010, Ipswich 2001-2004 >>> Jim Magilton, 1999-2006, (manager) 2006-2009, QPR (manager) 2009 >>> Damien Delaney, QPR 2008-2009, Ipswich 2009-2012 >>> Simon Walton, Ipswich (loan) 2006-2007, QPR 2007-2008 >>> Georges Santos, Ipswich 2003-2004, QPR 2004-2006 >>> Adam Miller, Ipswich 1999-2000, QPR 2004-2006 >>> Steve Palmer, Ipswich 1989-1995, QPR 2001-2004 >>> Kevin Lisbie, QPR (loan) 2000-2001, Ipswich 2008-2011 >>> Wayne Brown, Ipswich 1995-2002, QPR (loan) 2001 >>> Sieb Dykstra, QPR 1994-1996, Ipswich 1999 >>> Mark Stein, QPR 1988-1989, Ipswich (loan) 1997 >>> Paul Goddard, QPR 1977-1980, Ipswich 1991-1994 >>> Phil Parkes, QPR 1970-1979, Ipswich 1990-1991 >>> Alan Brazil, Ipswich 1977-1983, QPR 1986 >>> John O'Rourke, Ipswich 1968-1969, QPR 1971-1974 >>> Frank Clarke, QPR 1968-1970, Ipswich 1970-1973

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