Gregory reign starts with Hull win - History
Thursday, 29th Nov 2018 16:56 by Clive Whittingham
Ahead of the visit of Hull on Saturday we look back to a game here between the two sides in 2006 when the John Gregory managerial era began at QPR.
QPR 2 Hull City 0, Saturday September 23, 2006, Championship
The summer of 2006/07 will surely go down as one of the most bizarre, and darkest, in the history of Queens Park Rangers.
Promoted from the third tier in 2004 under the guidance of inspirational manager Ian Holloway, who had rebuilt the squad from a base of seven professional players and taken it back into the Championship in double quick time, things had been getting steadily worse ever since. Despite consolidating the club's Championship status in 2004/05, going on an extraordinary seven match winning run at one stage that threatened a second consecutive promotion, Holloway's position had been steadily undermined by his new short-tempered Italian chairman.
Gianni Paladini, who claimed to be a former football agent who'd worked on deals to bring Ravanelli and Juninho to Middlesbrough back in the day, had invested £600,000 into QPR in the division below. He later brought Italian agent Antonio Caliendo and legendary former Brazil captain Dunga on board as investors, only to then use their votes to oust popular chairman Bill Power from his seat. Later Paladini claimed he'd been forced to resign from the club at gun point by a gang of hired heavies during a home game with Sheffield United – all were found not guilty as Paladini's eccentric witness box performance failed to impress a jury.
QPR steadily lost money and the negative publicity kept on coming. Stories about being locked out of the training ground were frequent and Paladini said he walked around in a stab proof vest because of threats from supporters. He fed information and freebies to a chosen select few QPR fans in exchange for their support on forums and the pubs of Shepherds Bush. Those who questioned and criticised were targeted and ostracised from their club. Ian Holloway was finally dismissed midway through the 2005/06 season, allegedly for going to speak to Leicester about their vacant managerial position. Paladini said you don't go off with another woman if you're happy with your wife, Holloway said Paladini had given him permission to speak with them.
Holloway was replaced by Gary Waddock, a popular former player who'd worked with the youth set up at Loftus Road prior to his promotion. Despite being hired by, and working alongside, Holloway, Waddock came out and publicly criticised the style of play of the first team under his predecessor and promised an immediate return to the traditions of the great QPR teams of old. Problem was, apart from Lee Cook, Rangers didn't really have any players capable of putting it into action. With the legendary Alan McDonald as his assistant, Waddock secured early wins against Millwall at Loftus Road and Sheffield United at Bramall Lane but failed to win any of the last 11 matches of the season.
That summer was a farce. Waddock and Paladini ostracised senior players from the squad – Marc Bircham, Steve Lomas, Ian Evatt and others were left back in the UK to play for the youth team in pre-season while the firsts travelled to Sorrento where their hotel was absolutely glorious and the training facilities completely abysmal. Rangers travelled more than an hour by coach every day to find a suitable training pitch, and when they did it was in the middle of a rough Naples estate with ankle length grass and gun shots in the back ground. Their first friendly against the local Sorrento side saw McDonald come out of retirement to play at centre half, and goalkeeper coach Tony Roberts picked up front in a 5-1 defeat – Waddock unwilling to risk his better players on a dodgy artificial pitch.
Paladini promised international players but delivered a madcap selection of unknown foreigners. Egutu Oliseh, brother of Sunday, and Polish striker Adam Czerkas arrived along with Fulham's accident prone Pakistan international Zesh Rehman and untried Australian youth midfielder Nick Ward. The club spent good money, nearly £500,000, on Southampton striker Dexter Blackstock but he was a shining light in a murky world. The decision to bring in Armel Tchakounte, a Cameroon midfielder who'd failed to make the bench at Carshalton the year before and whose only experience apart from that was in the Hong Kong league, about summed the situation up.
Waddock did unearth promising striker Ray Jones from the youth set up and give him his first team bow, but the R's were clearly a dreadful team that season and they won just one of their first eight league games. A 2-0 home defeat by Birmingham, 2-1 set back at Colchester, and League Cup exit at lower-league Port Vale saw him sacked on September 20.
Paladini moved quickly to secure the services of his old friend John Gregory, a former player during Terry Venables time at QPR who'd previously managed Wycombe and Villa to notable success and Derby to a disastrous failure. His first match in charge was against Hull City at Loftus Road. Gregory said he knew more about the opposition than his own squad but QPR scrapped out a win thanks to two second half goals.
First, on the hour, Ray Jones bundled the ball over the line after Blackstock had nodded down a cross from Martin Rowlands. Then ten minutes from time the trademark combination of Cook crossing for Blackstock to score with his head put Rangers out of sight.
Gregory strengthened the side using the loan market, bringing in Chelsea youngsters Michael Mancienne and Jimmy Smith to good effect. Returning the likes of Lomas and Bircham to the fold gave the worst QPR team in living memory much needed impetus and impressive, memorable wins followed at Southampton, Luton, Cardiff in the last minute and at home to Crystal Palace. In January Gregory's transfer business bordered on a masterstroke – Lee Camp, Danny Cullip and Adam Bolder were brought in right down the middle of the team, providing a much needed spine to the side.
A run of defeats that included a televised 5-0 debacle at Southend threatened to relegate the R's anyway but another loan signing, Inigo Idiakez, sparked a 3-1 win at Leicester and Rangers won five and drew one of the last eight to survive with plenty to spare.
Flavio Briatore and his multi-millionaire consortium bought the club that summer, rescuing it from bankruptcy. Would they have done so had Gregory not kept the R's up that season? Unfortunately the takeover happened too late for significant team strengthening that summer and QPR struggled badly at the start of the following season. No wins in the first nine games, with the tragic death of teenage striker Jones to contend with, saw Gregory sacked after a 5-1 loss at West Brom.
His replacement, Luigi De Canio, also started life at Loftus Road with a 2-0 victory at home to… Hull City.
QPR: Paul Jones 7, Bignot 7, Rehman 6, Stewart 6, Rose 6 (Kanyuka 45, 7), Rowlands 6, Bircham 6 (Ward 64, 6), Bailey 6 (Lomas 64, 6), Cook 7, Ray Jones 7, Blackstock 7
Subs Not Used: Royce, Baidoo
Booked: Ray Jones, Rehman, Paul Jones
Goals: Ray Jones 60, Blackstock 80
Hull: Myhill, Mills, Turner, Collins, Dawson, Fagan, Livermore (Marney 75), Ashbee, France (Yeates 67), Parkin, Bridges (Forster 67).
Subs Not Used: Duke, Thelwell
Booked: Collins, Mills, Livermore.
Hull City 4 QPR 0, Saturday April 7, 2018, Championship
QPR had Nedum Onuoha sent off as they slumped to a 4-0 defeat against struggling Hull in the away meeting last season. Two goals just before half time changed the course of the game decisively, the first struck in off the far post by Liverpool loanee Harry Wilson, the second rebounding back into the net off Alex Smithies after Abel Hernandez had struck the bar. But Hull had been banging on the door long before that and added two more after half time through Grosicki and Hernandez from close range. Onuoha let the frustration get the better of him by charging an opponent in the aftermath of a horrible foul by Josh Scowen which saw him sent off.
QPR: Smithies 5; Furlong 5, Lynch 6 (Robinson 15, 5), Onuoha 5, Bidwell 5; Scowen 5, Freeman 6, Luongo 5; Wsolek 3 (Osayi-Samuel 67, 5), Manning 4 (Sylla 45, 5); Eze 5.
Subs not used: Ingram, Cousins, Baptiste, Smyth
Red Card: Onuoha 90+1 (violent conduct)
Bookings: Bidwell 30 (unsporting), Scowen 90+1 (foul)
Hull: McGregor, Aina, Dawson, Hector, Clark, Henriksen, Larrson, Bowen (Grosicki 52), Toral (Irvine 59), Wilson, Hernandez (Campbell 71)
Subs not used: Meyler, Marshall, Tomori, McDonald
Goals: Wilson 42 (assisted Hernandez), Smithies own goal 45 (assisted Hernandez), Grosicki 62 (assisted Wilson), Hernandez 69 (assisted Henriksen)
Bookings: Bowen 30 (unsporting), Irvine 81 (foul), Henriksen 90+1 (unsporting)
QPR 2 Hull City 1, Saturday August 19, 2017, Championship
Rangers scored in the last minute to win the game when these two sides met right back at the start of this season in August. An even first half had gone just the way of the visitors thanks to Jared Bowen’s cute finish from a tight angle after Luke Freeman had side-footed a sitter wide at the other end. But QPR equalised with a quarter of an hour left when Matt Smith headed in Freeman’s left wing cross after earlier sending a similar effort straight at Hull keeper McGregor. It looked like finishing level until Conor Washington broke free in injury time, chipped the keeper, then seemed to execute a pretty blatant push on his man trying to retrieve the situation but was allowed to play on and Idrissa Sylla slammed in a trademark two yarder. Still time for the obligatory injury time panic in the QPR six yard box during which Hull should have scored on at least three occasions, but that’s how we roll.
QPR: Smithies 7; Perch 7, Onuoha 6, Baptiste 5 (Wszolek 63, 6); Lua Lua 4 (Smith 57, 6), Bidwell 6; Scowen 7, Luongo 7, Freeman 6; Mackie 6 (Sylla 72, 7), Washington 6
Subs not used: Furlong, Ingram, Manning, Borysiuk
Goals: Smith 74 (assisted Freeman), Sylla 90+1 (assisted Washington)
Bookings: Perch 82 (foul), Sylla 90+1 (over celebrating), Smith 90+7 (foul)
Hull: McGregor 5; Aina 5, Dawson 7, Hector 6; Clark 6, Meyler 6, Stewart – (Diomande 10, 6), Bowen 7, Larsson 6; Grosicki 6, Campbell 5 (Mazuch 45, 5)
Subs not used: Mannion, Weir, Batty, Olley, Lenihan
Goals: Bowen 35 (assisted Meyler)
Bookings: Meyler 56 (foul), Larsson 60 (foul), McGregor 87 (time wasting)
QPR 1 Hull City 2, Friday January 1, 2016, Championship
The umpteenth and, thankfully, final calamity of Rob Green’s QPR career cost the R’s a point when these sides met at Loftus Road on New Year’s Day 2016. The televised encounter seemed to be heading for a draw when Seb Polter powered in Matt Phillips’ brilliant left wing cross four minutes from time. Abel Hernandez had given Hull a first half lead after Mo Diame’s powerful midfield work. But Green undid the equaliser almost straight from the kick off, coming for a Sam Clucas cross that was never his and punching it onto Diomande and back into his own net in farcical fashion. Remarkable to consider that until this point Green had been picked ahead of Alex Smithies for the best part of six months.
QPR: Green 2; Onuoha 5, Hall 6, Angella 6, Konchesky 6; Faurlin 6, Henry 5 (Fer 71, 4); Phillips 6, Chery 6 (Luongo 85, -), Hoilett 6 (Mackie 78, 6); Polter 6
Subs not used: Smithies, Tozser, Diakite, Petrasso
Goals: Polter 86 (assisted Phillips)
Yellow Cards: Hoilett 73 (foul), Angella 90+1 (foul)
Hull City: McGregor 6; Odubajo 6, Davies 6, Maguire 6, Robertson 7; Elmohamady 5 (Snodgrass 65, 6), Livermore 6, Diame 6 (Diomande 86, -), Clucas 7; Hernandez 6 (Huddlestone 81, -), Meyler 6
Subs not used: Taylor, Maloney, Jukupovic, Aluko
Goals: Hernandez 61 (assisted Diame), Diomande 90 (assisted Green)
Yellow Cards: Maguire 34 (foul)
Hull City 1 QPR 1, Saturday September 19, 2015, Championship
QPR turned in one of their more accomplished performances of the 2015/16 season when these sides met at the KC Stadium in September. There was, naturally, a defensively shambolic goal gifted to the home team after 38 minuttes when Michael Dawson was allowed a free run to power in a header from a Tom Huddlestone free kick. But Rangers were already in front by then, with Charlie Austin’s header coming down off the underside of the bar over the line after half an hour, and they could easily have won had Tjaronn Chery not missed an absolute sitter from a yard out in the second half.
Hull: McGregor 6; Bruce 6 (Akprom 65, 6), Davies 6, Dawson 7; Robertson 8, Huddlestone 7, Clucas 6, Diame 6 (Elmohamady 76, 6), Odubajo 6; Hernandez 5 Aluko 4 (Maloney 69, 6)
Subs not used: Jakupovic, Taylor, Meyler, Hayden
Goals: Dawson 38 (assisted Huddlestone)
QPR: Green 6; Perch 6, Onuoha 6, Angella 7, Konchesky 5; Faurlin 8, Henry 6; Phillips 6, Luongo 6 (Doughty 87, -), Chery 5 (Mackie 76, 6); Austin 8
Subs not used: Hall, Gladwin, Emmanuel-Thomas, Smithies, Tozser
Goals: Austin 26 (assisted Chery)
Hull City 2 QPR 1, Saturday February 21, 2015, Premier League
Joey Barton was idiotically sent off in a crucial game for the fourth time in his QPR career when these sides met at the KC Stadium in February 2015. Rangers had already missed a penalty in a 1-0 defeat to City on the opening day and set about gifting them another crucial three points at the bottom of the table with two soft goals and a ridiculous red card. Steven Caulker’s abysmal defensive header set Nikica Jelavic up for a gift in the first half before Barton let his temper and lack of intelligence get the better of him once more by flicking Tom Huddlestone in the balls right in front of the referee. Down to ten, Matt Phillips and Charlie Austin combined to craft an equaliser and with Michael Doughty impressing in the middle of midfield Rangers were actually the better team for much of the second half. But when Robert Green followed an astounding last minute save with a foolish decision to rush from his line for a cross he was never likely to get near, Dame N’Doye was able to head a last gasp winner into the empty net.
Hull: McGregor 6; McShane 5, Dawson 6, Bruce 5 (Ramirez 55, 6), Emohamady 6; Meyler 6 (Aluko 82, -), Livermore 5 (Hernandez 67, 5), Huddlestone 6, Brady 6; Jelavic 7, N’Doye 7
Subs not used: Davies, Harper, Robertson, Quinn
Scorers: Jelavic 16 (unassisted), N’Doye 89 (assisted Brady)
QPR: Green 6; Furlong 6, Ferdinand 6, Caulker 4, Yun 6; Phillips 6, Barton 3, Henry 7, Kranjcar 5 (Traore 78, 6); Austin 6 (Zarate 75, 6), Zamora 5 (Doughty 64, 7)
Subs not used: Hill, McCarthy, Wright-Phillips, Vargas
Scorer: Austin 38 (assisted Phillips)
Sent off: Barton 31 (violent conduct)
Bookings: Furlong 31 (foul), Zamora 57 (repetitive fouling), Zarate 74 (foul), Phillips 79 (foul)
QPR 0 Hull City 1, Saturday August 16, 2014, Premier League
QPR, and Charlie Austin, fluffed their lines on return to the Premier League with an opening day defeat at home to Hull City. Austin, top scorer the previous season, had the perfect opportunity to score his first ever goal in the top flight with four minutes to go when the R’s were awarded a generous penalty by referee Craig Pawson. The former brickie let the occasion get to him, and Allan McGregor made a fine save. Earlier James Chester had scored the crucial goal from a corner but there were signs of the struggles that were to come for the visitors with Robert Snodgrass the first of several long term injuries the Tigers have suffered this season – dislocating a knee on debut.
QPR: Green 7; Caulker 7, Ferdinand 7, Dunne 6 (Zamora 78, 5); Simpon 5 (Phillips 68, 5), Traore 6; Barton 6, Faurlin 6 (Hoilett 69, 6), Mutch 6; Remy 7, Austin 6
Subs not used: Henry, Onuoha, Hill, Murphy
Bookings: Dunne 68 (foul)
Hull: McGregor 8; Davies 7, Chester 8, Bruce 6 (McShane 45, 6); Robertson 6, Elmohamady 6; Huddlestone 6, Livermore 6, Snodgrass 6 (Quinn 40, 8); Ince 7 (Meyler 82, -), Jelavic 6
Subs not used: Brady, Figueroa, Harper, Aluko
Goals: Chester 52 (assisted Quinn)
Bookings: Davies 26 (foul), Jelavic 78 (foul)
QPR 1 Hull City 1, Monday April 25, 2011, Championship
Loftus Road was all set for a party when these sides met in April 2011, only for midtable Hull City to ruin the celebrations. Neil Warnock’s Rangers needed a win to seal promotion from the Championship and surged into an early lead when loanee Wayne Routledge scorched through on goal and hammered an opener past Matt Duke after just nine minutes. But frustration and tension set in thereafter and although Adel Taarabt had a goal disallowed for offside it was Hull who came roaring back with an emphatic finish from David Amoo down at the School End ten minutes from time. Rangers rallied and could easily have won the game anyway, had hapless substitute Patrick Agyemang not momentarily forgotten who he was and attempted a ridiculous lob finish when played through on Duke – the ball bounced off down Loftus Road towards the tube station – or Ale Faurlin’s agonising last-second free kick dipped into the bottom corner rather than being brilliantly turned around the post by Duke. The QPR fans, bizarrely, invaded the pitch anyway at the end only for a last minute winner at Carrow Road by Norwich’s Simeon Jackson to take the promotion fight to the following weekend. Rangers, though, won through in the end.
QPR: Kenny 7, Orr 6, Hall 8, Gorkss 7, Hill 7, Faurlin 7, Derry 7, Routledge 7, Taarabt 7, Smith 6 (Ephraim 67, 6), Helguson 7 (Agyemang 76, 5)
Subs Not Used: Cerny, Buzsaky, Connolly, Hulse, Shittu
Goals: Routledge 9 (assisted Taarabt)
Hull: Duke 8, Chester 6, Gerrard 7, Hobbs 7, Dawson 6, Garcia 7, Harper 6, Evans - (Akpan 12, 6), Cairney 6 (Mclean 46, 7), Simpson 6 (Amoo 71, 7), Fryatt 7
Subs Not Used: Oxley, Devitt, Solano, Belaid
Bookings: Garcia (foul), Dawson (foul), Gerrard (dissent)
Goals: Amoo (assisted Akpan) 80
Hull City 0 QPR 0, Saturday January 29, 2011, Championship
QPR and Hull drew 0-0 at the KC Stadium in January that season in a game rearranged from December when the health and safety nazis intervened to tell us what we should and shouldn’t do in the snow. Ishmael Miller had a first half goal disallowed for offside and Matty Fryatt missed a one on one chance to win the game in injury time but the big talking point of the whole match was the behaviour of Adel Taarabt who lost the plot well and truly for the only time that season. Tiring of the physical three man marking system employed against him and lack of service from his team mates he appeared to go on strike five minutes before half time refusing to play as the game went on around him. Warnock ignored his repeated requests to be substituted and then when Rangers were awarded a free kick on the edge of the area he became embroiled in a fight with Shaun Derry having suddenly shown an interest in taking it. All of which was much to the home fans’ delight as you may imagine.
Hull: Guzan 6, Rosenior 6, Chester 7, Gerrard 6, Dawson 6, Koren 6, Evans 6, Harper 7, Stewart 7 (Devitt 73, 6), Fryatt 5, Mclean 5 (Barmby 65, 6)
Subs Not Used: Duke, McShane, Cairney, Simpson, Belaid
Booked: Harper (foul)
QPR: Kenny 7, Orr 7, Gorkss 6, Connolly 6, Hill 6, Derry 7, Faurlin 5 (Moen 67, 6), Routledge 6, Taarabt 5, Smith 7 (Hulse 72, 5), Miller 7 (Ephraim 85, -)
Subs Not Used: Cerny, Hall, Chimbonda, Shittu
QPR 2 Hull City 0, Saturday November 3, 2007, Championship
Luigi De Canio got his QPR reign off to a flying start against a poor Hull City side at Loftus Road back in November 2007. A fine first half strike from Hogan Ephraim, who cut in from the left flank before curling a low right footed shot into the corner from the edge of the area, preceded a vintage Mikele Ligertwood goal after the break. There was only really one team on the pitch which makes it all the more surprising that by the end of the season Rangers had stayed in much the same position at the lower end of the table while Hull won promotion into the Premier League.
QPR: Camp 7, Mancienne 7, Cranie 8, Stewart 7, Barker 7, Rowlands 7, Ephraim 8, Leigertwood 8, Buzsaky 7 (Ainsworth 86, -),Vine 7 (Nardiello 90, -), Nygaard 7 (Bolder 81, -)
Subs Not Used: Cole, Timoska
Booked: Mancienne (foul), Barker (foul), Stewart (foul), Vine (wasting time)
Goals: Ephraim 26 (assisted Rowlands) Leigertwood 56 (assisted Ephraim)
Hull: Myhill 5, Ricketts 5, Turner 6, Brown 7, Delaney 4, Garcia 5 (McPhee 58, 6), Ashbee 4, Marney 7, Okocha 4 (Featherstone 71, 6), Windass 7, Campbell 6
Subs Not Used: Duke, Dawson, Livermore
Booked: Turner (foul), Delaney (foul)
Previous ResultsHead to Head >>> QPR wins 16 >>> Draws 16 >>> Hull wins 16
2017/18 Hull 4 QPR 0
2017/18 QPR 2 Hull City 1 (Smith, Sylla)
2015/16 QPR 1 Hull City 2 (Polter)
2015/16 Hull City 1 QPR 1 (Austin)
2014/15 Hull City 2 QPR 1 (Austin)
2014/15 QPR 0 Hull 1
2010/11 QPR 1 Hull 1 (Routledge)
2010/11 Hull 0 QPR 0
2007/08 Hull 1 QPR 1 (Blackstock)
2007/08 QPR 2 Hull 0 (Ephraim, Leigertwood)
2006/07 Hull 2 QPR 1 (Blackstock)
2006/07 QPR 2 Hull 0 (Blackstock, Jones)
2005/06 QPR 2 Hull 2 (Ainsworth 2)
2005/06 Hull 0 QPR 0
1991/92 QPR 5 Hull 1* (Thompson 2, Bailey 2, Bardsley)
1991/92 Hull 0 QPR 3* (Barker 2, Thompson)
1985/86 Hull 1 QPR 5* (Kerslake 2, Rosenior 2, Fillery)
1985/86 QPR 3 Hull 0* (Kerslake, Dawes, Bannister)
1972/73 QPR 1 Hull 1 (Bowles)
1972/73 Hull 4 QPR 1 (Givens)
1971/72 Hull 1 QPR 1 (O’Rourke)
1971/72 QPR 2 Hull 1 (O’Rourke, I Morgan)
1970/71 QPR 1 Hull 1 (Marsh)
1970/71 Hull 1 QPR 1 (Leach)
1969/70 Hull 1 QPR 2 (Marsh, Clarke)
1969/70 QPR 3 Hull 0 (Clark, Clarke, Leach)
1967/68 QPR 1 Hull 1 (Marsh)
1967/68 QPR 2 Hull 1* (Leach, Keen)
1967/68 Hull 2 QPR 0
1965/66 QPR 3 Hull 3 (Collins 3)
1965/66 Hull 1 QPR 3 (Allen 2, R Morgan)
1964/65 Hull 3 QPR 1 (McAdams)
1964/65 QPR 2 Hull 1 (Keen McAdams)
1963/64 Hull 3 QPR 0
1963/64 QPR 0 Hull 2
1962/63 Hull 4 QPR 1 (Leary)
1962/63 QPR 4 Hull 1 (Bedford 3, Lazarus)
1961/62 Hull 3 QPR 1 (Bedford)
1961/62 QPR 1 Hull 1 (Francis)
1960/61 QPR 2 Hull 1 (Bedford, Keen)
1960/61 Hull 3 QPR 1 (Bedford)
1958/59 QPR 1 Hull 1 (Whitelaw)
1958/59 Hull 1 QPR 0
1951/52 Hull 4 QPR 1 (Smith)
1951/52 QPR 1 Hull 1 (Smith)
1950/51 QPR 3 Hull 1 (Farrow 2, Smith)
1950/51 Hull 5 QPR 1 (Hatton)
1949/50 Hull 1 QPR 1 (Mills)
1949/50 QPR 1 Hull 4 (Duggan)
* - League Cup
Mark Hateley >>> QPR 1995-1997 >>> Hull City 1997-1998
Well, let's get the mitigation out of the way nice and early shall we? Replacing Les Ferdinand at QPR was always going to be an impossible job. Roberto Baggio may have made a decent fist of it, had there been any shred of truth in the London Evening Standard's most infamous backpage transfer splash, but otherwise Ray Wilkins' task of replacing the talismanic centre forward who'd scored 91 goals in 171 starts for our little, unfashionable West London club was a daunting one.
However, you could probably have hazarded a decent guess that Mark Hateley, aged 34 when he moved to Loftus Road from the Rangers north of the border, would struggle to fit the bill. The Ferdinand departure left QPR 25 goals short and until Hateley pitched up they had only youth team graduates Kevin Gallen and Danny Dichio as striking options. In the end, Wilkins pushed winger Trevor Sinclair into action as a centre forward to try and salvage the situation.
Hateley, who'd played with Wilkins for England, Milan and Rangers, may well have been a decent fit for QPR earlier in his career. A big, bustling, awkward centre forward, he'd scored regularly throughout Europe – 17 goals in 66 starts for Milan when Serie A was a fearsome division, 22 in 59 at Monaco, 111 in 214 Rangers outings before the SPL became a standing joke. Fanzine A Kick Up The R's carried an alternative version of Oasis' Wonderwall: "Mark Hateley, are you gonna be the one who saves me? Cos afterall, Les was wonderful." But by the time he got to Loftus Road , for £1.4m which, back in 1995, was a serious wedge for a club like QPR, he was physically shot. In fact, having signed in September, he was introduced to the home crowd on the field at half time of a Monday Night Football encounter with Tottenham, appearing on the hallowed turf propped up by a pair or crutches. Another thorough Rangers medical that one.
Wilkins' men led 2-0 that night with half an hour to go but Spurs, bossed by Wilkins' predecessor Gerry Francis and aided by a scandalous penalty award by David Ellery for Teddy Sheringham diving over the back of Karl Ready as the defender turned away to play the ball, roared back to win 3-2. Rangers had only won two of their first seven games prior to that and although a Danny Dichio header a week later gave them a third success at newly promoted Bolton they were clearly in big trouble.
Hateley finally made his debut in 1-1 home draw with Middlesbrough at the start of December, winning a penalty which Simon Barker promptly skied over the bar. He would go on to make just 15 appearances that season as the R's were relegated for the first time in a generation, and he scored just two goals at Wimbledon and in a 3-1 home win against Everton.
By the end of the campaign the crowd was firmly set against the former England front man. Painfully slow, apparently overweight, terminally injury prone, and almost completely useless on the football field, he looked and played like one of those bedraggled ponies you sometimes find tethered on dodgy estates and was seen as an expensive liability, who was often found wanting for effort. Despite all of this, he seemed supremely arrogant.
Hateley started the first game of the First Division season at home to Oxford United but it was only when he was removed and replaced by Dichio that Rangers were able to come back from a goal down to win 2-1. Thereafter he miraculously managed to get himself a loan move back into the Premier League at Leeds United where he was fit to play just six times in the first three months of the season – needless to say, without scoring a goal.
By the time he came back to W12, Wilkins had left the club in acrimonious circumstances. The new chairman Chris Wright had thrown money at the likes of John Spencer and Gavin Peacock to bolster the attack, and recruited Arsenal coach Stewart Houston as his first manager. Hateley was used sparingly (mercifully) but did notch a fine late equaliser in an FA Cup Third Round tie against Huddersfield at Loftus Road. He responded to this by racing across to the South Africa Road side of the ground cupping his ear at the supporters who'd previously been heckling him, as if one goal against Huddersfield made up for the previous 12 months.
He subsequently scored in a league game at Swindon and then - the pinnacle of his time with the club - banged in a flying header in the fifth round of the cup at Wimbledon when 12,000 QPR fans had taken over Selhurst Park for the day. On both occasions, he goaded the QPR supporters with his ear cupping celebration. Such brash arrogance of a man who was paid handsomely by QPR despite being physically incapable of doing his job properly hardly endeared him to the Shepherd's Bush public any further and there were street parties and dancing on tables aplenty when QPR managed to not only get him a permanent deal back at Glasgow Rangers, but also got £300,000 miraculously slung into the bargain. On his second debut for Rangers, against bitter rivals Celtic, he was sent off for headbutting Stewart Kerr.
The second spell at Ibrox ended that summer, after four appearances and one goal. He moved back south of the border to join Hull City, then in the Third Division, as a player manager.
Hull, playing at a crumbling Boothferry Park stadium, had been in the doldrums for some time. Destitute and on the brink of bankruptcy off the field, and drearily managed by Terry Dolan on it, the Tigers were circling the drain and had been for some time. When former tennis pro David Lloyd, who'd made an apparent fortune with his leisure clubs since retiring, bought the club and neighbouring rugby league outfit Hull FC in 1997 he promised a bright new era for both, playing in a shiny new shared stadium in the city.
He spent big appointing Hateley and Billy Kirkwood as the best paid managerial team in the bottom two divisions. Given the size of the rebuilding job required at City, fans seemed happy enough to give the pair a free ride in 1997/98, Hateley's first full season as a manager. Just as well really, because Hull were every bit as bad as they'd been under Dolan and arguably worse. They finished third bottom, saved from relegation out of the Football League by the collapse of Doncaster Rovers who finished dead last with 20 points and a goal difference of -83. Doncaster lost 8-0 to Forest, 5-0 to Peterborough , 5-1 to Darlington, 4-0 at Scarborough, 8-0 to Leyton Orient and 7-1 to Cardiff . They won just four games all season, only one of them away – the final victory of those four was a 1-0 success against Hateley's Hull at Belle Vue snapping a run of eight straight defeats in which they'd conceded 25 goals. Hateley played 14 times that season scoring none.
Anyway, 1998/99 was Hateley's second stab at the job and big things were expected. They stated with a home defeat by Rotherham and a loss at home to Darlington before drawing 2-2 at Chester . Their first win of the season, and Hateley's only goal for the club at Boothferry Park (he only managed only three in total), came against Peterborough at the end of August. The goal came from the penalty spot, and the victory owed more to the fine form of goalkeeper Steve Wilson. A more detailed recollection, and some dodgy highlights, available at the excellent Amber Nectar blog.
When the plans for the ground were not backed by the council – wary of handing money for a significant asset straight to Lloyd – and things did not go right on the field for ether club, Lloyd was hounded out by both sets of supporters, locking them out of their grounds as he went. Not a man who should drop into the Silver Cod for a swift half any time soon. A consortium led by Tom Belton bought the club from Lloyd in October by which time Hateley's side had won three and lost 11 of their first 19 matches. Following a home defeat by Leyton Orient in November, Belton's first act as chairman was to sack Hateley and appoint experienced midfielder Warren Joyce in his stead. Hull finished fourth bottom in 1998/99, four points ahead of relegated Scarborough.
Still he tried to plough on. A spell with mighty Ross County at the start of 1999/00 in the Scottish second division brought two appearances, no goals and an early release.
Still sporting ridiculous hair, even more ludicrous earrings, and a strong sense of self worth and importance, Hateley can now be found in television studios mouthing off about how other people in football should be doing their jobs.
Others >>> Jay Simpson, QPR (loan) 2009-2010, Hull 2010-2013 >>> Damien Delaney, Hull 2002-2008, QPR 2008-2009 >>> Rowan Vine, QPR 2007-2012, Hull (loan) 2010 >>> Simon Walton, QPR 2007-2008, Hull (loan) 2008 >>> Jason Jarrett, Hull (Loan) 2006, QPR (loan) 2007 >>> Adam Bolder, Hull 1998-2000, QPR 2007-2009 >>> Dean Marney, QPR (loan) 2004, Hull City 2006-2010 >>> Nick Culkin, Hull (loan) 1999-2000, QPR 2002-2005 >>> Wayne Brown, QPR (loan) 2001, Hull 2007-2009 >>> Ernest Shepherd, Hull 1948-1950, QPR 1950-1956 >>> Terry Peacock, Hull 1952-1956, QPR 1956-1958 >>> John Collier, Hull 1920-1925, QPR 1926-1927
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