The Hillsborough promotion - History
Friday, 3rd May 2019 10:16 by Clive Whittingham
With QPR once again finishing a season away to Sheffield Wednesday, there really is only one game we can look back on from history this week - fourteen years, almost to the day, since Ian Holloway led Rangers to promotion on this ground.
Sheffield Wednesday 1 Queens Park Rangers 3, Saturday May 8, 2004, Second Division
In 2001, QPR were at one of the lowest points in their entire history.
The brave new Chris Wright era, intended to drive the club back into the Premier League on a golden chariot of Chrysalis cash, had turned sour with mismanagement of the team and amateurish book keeping digging a financial black hole alarmingly quickly. Wright bailed out, recouping some of his money via the sale of the club’s training ground, and leaving Rangers facing the third tier and administration.
The 2000/01 relegation season was a miserable one in which the R’s conceded five goals in three separate away games at Sheff Wed, Wimbledon and Preston. Gerry Francis left halfway through to be replaced by Ian Holloway but come May QPR had been relegated, were in administration, and had just eight professionals on their books of which two – Richard Langley and Clarke Carlisle – were already ruled out for the whole of the following season with cruciate knee ligament ruptures picked up within ten minutes of each other in a home game against Fulham. When your luck’s out…
Thankfully these were the days before transfer embargos applied to clubs in admin, so despite a chronic lack of funds Holloway was able to piece together some semblance of first team. Pre-season friendlies in 2001 saw the likes of Aziz Ben-Askar, Terrell Forbes and Alex Bonnot introduced to each other in the dressing room before matches. Some decisions Holloway got wrong – signings like Dave McEwen, Leroy Griffiths and Hamid Barr didn’t work out while players he spurned like Mamady Sidibe and Martin Bullock went elsewhere and excelled – but overall it was a miracle just to get QPR to the starting line that season.
More importantly, Holloway restored a feel-good factor to Loftus Road almost immediately, a 3-1 pre-season friendly victory over Chelsea’s lavishly furnished first team kick started things in that respect. Over the coming three years Rangers built back into a formidable, committed team to be proud of. Holloway staffed up well, bringing in Kenny Jackett as an assistant manager from Watford and picking off a number of his former Vicarage Road charges to form the backbone of the team – Steve Palmer and goalkeeper Chris Day were particularly influential. Newly recruited Mel Johnson led a scouting operation that Rangers hadn’t seen the likes of since Bobby Gould’s time with the club, and have never once got close to replicating since – Danny Shittu, Martin Rowlands, Lee Cook and others were snaffled for a pittance. And Holloway rarely passed up the opportunity to sign a QPR player for his team – Marc Bircham, Cook and Kevin Gallen all came in. There was a mixture of experienced old pros like Paul Furlong, Richard Edghill and Gareth Ainsworth, and younger, up and coming talent like Shittu, Rowlands and Forbes. Cracks were papered over in the loan market – a Thursday afternoon injury to Day wasn’t a problem with Johnson on the payroll and Lee Camp was collected by the team coach a day later on the way up to Hartlepool.
There was plenty of rough with the smooth, and Holloway was lucky to hold onto his job through to the end of the 2002/03 season when Rangers were thrashed at Notts County and by Cardiff, and drew 0-0 at nine man Luton as well as being knocked out of the FA Cup, infamously, by Vauxhall Motors. But having kept faith with their man, the makeshift board at Rangers was rewarded by a play off final appearance that term and then, when defeat by Cardiff in Cardiff condemned Rangers to a third year in the Second Division, a concerted promotion push in 2003/04.
Rangers lost just seven out of 46 games that year, and remained unbeaten at home through 23 matches which included 16 victories. But as the season wore on they lost Clarke Carlisle to personal problems, Danny Shittu to a ruptured cruciate ligament and Chris Day to an unfortunate incident where physio Prav Mathema and Day tried to do a DIY job on a boil on his shin. Plymouth took advantage, beating Rangers 2-0 at Home Park with two games left to play sealing the league title.
That left the R’s locked in a tense battle for second with Bristol City who had strung together an extraordinary 11 consecutive wins through January and February to surge into contention. Thankfully, their captain Brian Tinnion chose that moment to give an ill-advised interview saying City had Plymouth and QPR running scared and could have the title “all over bar the shouting” before Easter. They promptly lost five and drew one of the next seven, and Tinnion’s words have gone down in modern day QPR folklore.
Neck and neck going into the penultimate weekend, Rangers went first and sealed a tense 1-0 home win against fellow promotion hopefuls Swindon Town at Loftus Road thanks to an early goal from Player of the Year Martin Rowlands. City played at Barnsley a day later but kept the fight alive with a 1-0 win of their own.
And so it all came down to the very final day of the season: QPR away at Sheffield Wednesday, with 7,000 of their faithful massed in the Leppings Lane End of the ground; Bristol City at home to Blackpool, who had nothing to play for and were as good as a gimme.
To a man, the QPR players involved that day have all said the same thing – dropping down into the play offs after all that effort would have been a deflation too difficult to cope with. It was shit or bust for Holloway’s men. The Bristolian revved them up with an inspirational pre-match speech about how, as a player, his Bristol Rovers side had held off a similar challenge with six consecutive wins at the end of the season. He asked his players to trust each other, stay cool, stay calm, and go out onto the field to do a job.
Sheffield Wednesday, for a change, were in midst of one of their frequent crisis. A black balloon protest was staged against chairman Dave Allen with Chris Turner’s woeful side fortunate not to have been sucked into a relegation battle. In an executive box halfway up the main stand, Ken Bates surveyed the club he felt was almost his.
Wednesday were still in the mood to poop the QPR party. Down in Bristol Christian Roberts, an objectionable tattooed mouth on legs who’d scored against Rangers at Ashton Gate in what felt like a crucial 1-0 City win the month before, scored twice in quick succession midway through the first half to put Danny Wilson’s side in the driving seat. Now a draw was no longer enough for the Super Hoops. Sheffield Wednesday displayed the latest score on the electronic board in the corner of the ground and three sides of Hillsborough cheered Rangers’ misfortune. It seemed needlessly petty, and potentially very damaging to Rangers’ mood and chances.
But this was a determined team, full of character and togetherness. They cared about the club and each other and the taunting from the home fans only served to spur them on further. Richard Edghill crossed from the right, Kevin Gallen shielded the ball in the penalty area and then fed it wide to Ainsworth, Ainsworth teed up Furlong at the near post and although he lost his footing the old Birmingham warhorse still had it within him to move the ball on one more, back into the path of Gallen who slammed it past Kevin Pressman for the opening goal.
Half time, half a job done, and the First Division was within touching distance when, 60 seconds after the break, Furlong brought Bircham’s cross down expertly on his chest and then swivelled to convert his sixteenth goal of a wonderful season in the grand manner. Behind the goal 7,000 QPR fans, a good many of them now in tears, and at least a thousand others trying to keep quiet in the home end, could barely contain themselves.
Things are rarely easy for QPR though are they? Despite being 2-0 up against a lousy team with nothing to play for they contrived to concede a goal on the hour – Jon Shaw rifling in from the edge of the area when a loose ball broke his way – that halved the deficit and set nerves jangling.
But in times of need, the R’s have often been able to rely on an own goal to save their skin. Jamie Pollock’s masterful effort had kept QPR up and condemned his Manchester City team to the drop instead back in 1998 an the club’s first ever promotion into the top flight back in 1968 was sealed in the final minute of the final game of the Second Division campaign when Aston Villa’s Keith Bradley put through his own net at Villa Park.
And so Chris Carr, who’d been on trial at Loftus Road earlier in the season only to be released after a reserve game where his performance, according to the handful in attendance, was so bad it had to be seen to be believed, wrote his name into the Rangers history books as well. Martin Rowlands, magnificent all season but only cleared to take up his position on the left wing by a late fitness test, whipped a ball into the near post that Carr got in a complete tangle with and ended up turning into the roof of his own net. Wednesday, and Bristol City, were beaten this time, and once a post-match flare up as pitch invaders from both sides clashed on halfway had cooled down, QPR were left to celebrate their elevation on the pitch, together, as one.
Ian Holloway, the man who’d shown such pride and passion in rebuilding a club he’d previously served admirably as a player in happier times, was carried aloft in front of the away end by his adoring players.
Maverick winger Gareth Ainsworth said: “I can’t describe it. I’ve had 14 years in the game, I was nearly in tears there at the end. I’ve never had a feeling like it. This club has taken me to their hearts, I’m so pleased the gaffer brought me here. I ran until I dropped today knowing there were ten other lads out there who will run until they drop for me. That’s what this club is about. We’re going to go into that division next season and give it a right good go. We’re a good team, we’ve got some great players here, the fans are fantastic. This club deserves bigger, and we’re going to give it bigger.”
Ian Holloway said: “It’s a tremendous feeling. We’ve had such hardship. The place needed sorting out, everybody has worked so hard to come from having seven fit players and no goalies at all, we’ve put something together. From the board down to the fans, we’ve become Queens Park Rangers united. These boys have worked their socks off. I can’t tell you what this means to them. I’m so proud of them. Some of these people will go down in QPR folklore, in fact all of them well. And some of them really deserve to.”
Sheff Wed: K Pressman, D Geary, B Barry-Murphy, D Smith (C Carr, 45), R Wood, P McLaren, L McMahon, T Cooke, C Brunt, M Robins, J Shaw
Subs not used: O Tidman, K Olsen, A Chambers, R Mustoe
Goals: Shaw 59
Bookings: Geary, Cooke
QPR: L Camp, G Padula, C Carlisle (A Gnohere, 45), M Rose, R Edghill, G Ainsworth, M Bircham, R Johnson, M Rowlands (J Cureton, 81), P Furlong, K Gallen
Subs not used: T Thorpe, S Palmer, C Day
Goals: Gallen 35, Furlong 48, Carr og 69
Bookings: Padula, Edghill
Attendance: 29,313 (7,360 QPR fans)
QPR 3 Sheff Wed 0, Tuesday October 23, 2018, Championship
One of several autumn high points in a season that has since dramatically unravelled came at home to Sheff Wed in October. Although the visitors were denied a pretty blatant penalty when Pudil had his head split by a high boot from Rangel, Rangers played well and were thoroughly good value for a 3-0 win. Tomer Hemed converted a Pawel Wszolek assist to open the scoring before half time and the R’s moved off into the distance after half time with a rare headed goal from Luke Freeman and a fine first goal for the club from Nahki Wells. Joel Lynch got man of the match. What a night.
QPR: Lumley 7; Rangel 7, Leistner 7, Lynch 8, Bidwell 6; Cameron 8, Luongo 7; Wszolek 8, Eze 8 (Scowen 84, -), Freeman 8 (Cousins 88, -), Hemed 7 (Wells 65, 7)
Subs not used: Ingram, Hall, Smith, Osayi-Samuel
Goals: Hemed 35 (assisted Wszolek), Freeman 65 (assisted Wszolek), Wells 83 (assisted Eze)
Sheff Wed: Dawson 5; Baker 6, Hector 6, Pudil 6 (Thorniley 62, 6), Fox 5; Pelupessy 5 (Penney 75, 6), Bannan 7, Reach 7, Onomah 6; Joao 5 (Fletcher 75, 6), Nuhiu 5
Subs not used: Palmer, Lees, Wildsmith, Kirby
QPR 4 Sheff Wed 2, Tuesday April 10, 2018, Championship
Fresh from a 4-0 battering at Hull on the Saturday, QPR flew out of the blocks against Sheff Wed on the Tuesday and were 3-0 up inside a quarter of an hour. A beautifully crafted volleyed finish by Paul Smyth got things underway on eight minutes and Jake Bidwell stabbed home at the second attempt two minutes later. With visiting keeper Joe Wildsmith enduring his own personal nightmare, Darnell Furlong crossed brilliantly for Idrissa Sylla to head home at the far post on the quarter hour. A typically flamboyant penalty conversion from Sylla straight after half time made it four before Forestieri and Nuhui pulled two quick goals back for Wednesday to make the finale a lot more nervous than it ever really should have been.
QPR: Smithies 7; Furlong 7, Baptise 7, Robinson 6, Bidwell 8; Cousins 7, Scowen 6 (Manning 67, 7), Freeman 6; Osayi-Samuel 7 (Wszolek 77, 6), Sylla 7 (Smith 68, 6), Smyth 7
Subs not used: Ingram, Kakay, Eze, Washington
Goals: Smyth 8 (assisted Bidwell), Bidwell 10 (assisted Sylla), Sylla 15 (assisted Furlong), 53 (penalty won Osayi-Samuel)
Bookings: Scowen (foul play)
Sheff Wed: Wildsmith; Palmer, Lees, Pudil, Thorniley; Pelupessy, Jones, Reach, Forestieri (Boyd 80); Joao (Matias 64), Nuhui (Rhodes 83)
Subs not used: Dawson, Baker, Butterfield, Nielsen.
Goals: Forestieri 61 (assisted Joao), Nuhui 69 (assisted Palmer)
Bookings: Pudil (foul play)
Sheff Wed 1 QPR 1, Saturday August 12, 2017, Championship
QPR took one point and probably should have had all three when these sides met at Hillsborough on the second weekend of the new season. Jamie Mackie stormed through on goal to give the R’s a 1-0 half time lead but, as has happened all too often this season, a goal straight after half time pegged Rangers back – Sam Winnall capitalising on a mistake by Nedum Onuoha on this occasion. That’s how it looked like staying until right at the death Kazenga LuaLua burst clean through on goal only to sidefoot a very presentable chance wide of the post.
Sheff Wed: Westwood 6; Hunt 6, Lees 6, Loovens 6 (Winnall 27, 7), Pudil 6; Wallace 5, Hutchinson 6 (Jones 13, 6), Bannan 6, Reach 6; Hooper 6, Rhodes 5 (Fletcher 87, -)
Subs not used: Palmer, Boyd, Wildsmith, Abdi
Goals: Winnall 48 (assisted Bannan)
QPR: Smithies 6; Perch 6, Onouha 6, Lynch 6; Wszolek 7 (Furlong 90+3, -), Bidwell 6; Scowen 7, Freeman 7 (Manning 80, 6), Luongo 7; Mackie 6 (Lua Lua 79, 5), Washington 6
Subs not used: Ingram, Smith, Baptiste, Borysiuk
Goals: Mackie 23 (assisted Freeman)
Yellows: Lynch 40 (foul), Bidwell 66 (foul), Scowen 80 (foul)
QPR 1 Sheff Wed 2, Monday April 17, 2017, Championship
Rangers lost 2-1 at home to Sheff Wed on Easter Monday 2017 as part of their second six-match losing run of the campaign. That was despite Idrissa Sylla scoring one of the oddest goals every seen at Loftus Road – the ball flying up inside a towel hung in the back of the net by Kieron Westwood meant it disappeared completely from view and three sides of the ground didn’t realise it had gone in – to equalise James Reach’s early opener. Wednesday weren’t great either as they laboured towards the play-offs but they had more than enough to beat QPR and scored again through Pudil before half time to win 2-1.
QPR: Smithies 6; Perch 5, Lynch 4, Bidwell 4; Petrasso 4 (Lua Lua 45, 6), Robinson 6 (Washington 62, 6); Freeman 6, Luongo 6, Manning 5 (Smith 75, 5); Mackie 5, Sylla 5
Subs not used: Goss, Ingram, Wszolek, Ngabakoto
Goals: Sylla 20 (assisted Mackie)
Bookings: Perch 76 (foul)
Sheff Wed: Westwood 6; Palmer 6, Lees 6, Loovens 6, Pudil 8; Wallace 6 (Semedo 67, 6), Jones 6, Bannan 6, Reach 7; Rhodes 7 (Nuhiu 76, 4), Hooper 6 (Forestieri 67, 6)
Subs not used: Wildsmith, McManaman, Fletcher, Sasso
Goals: Reach 12 (assisted Pudil), Pudil 31 (assisted Wallace)
Bookings; Reach 61 (Repetitive fouling)
Sheffield Wednesday 1 QPR 0, Saturday October 22, 2016, Championship
Gary Hooper made the most of a shot mishit in his direction by David Jones just before half time to bang in the only goal of the game when these sides met at Hillsborough in October that season. QPR were probably worth a point, with Wednesday’s young stand in goalkeeper Cameron Dawson enduring a nervous afternoon. He saved twice from Tjaronn Chery from long range in the first half, the first after he’d miscued a clearance straight to him, and was twice grateful to defenders clearing off the line in the second. When Chery rounded him in stoppage time a point looked to be Rangers’ but, again, Wednesday massed up on the goal line.
Sheff Wed: Dawson 6; Hunt 6 (Palmer 70, 6), Lees 6, Hutchinson 7, Pudil 6; Bannan 7, Jones 6, Lee 7 (Wallace 87, -), Reach 6; Forestieri 5, Hooper 6 (Fletcher 74, 6)
Subs not used: Kean, Loovens, Nuhui, Buckley
Goals: Hooper 40 (assisted Jones)
Bookings: Pudil 77 (dissent)
QPR: Smithies 6; Perch 6, Onuoha 6, Caulker 6, Hamalainen 6; Borysiuk 7 (Shodipo 80, 7); Gladwin 5 (Wszolek 74, 6), Luongo 6, Chery 6, Washington 6; Sylla 6 (Polter 64, 5)
Subs not used: Ingram, El Khayati, Kakay, Henry
Bookings: Borysiuk 13 (foul), Gladwin 17 (foul), Onuoha 85 (foul), Hamalainen 90+1 (foul)
Sheffield Wednesday 1 QPR 1, Tuesday February 23, 2016, Championship
A goal from an unlikely source, and the standard penalty save from Alex Smithies, won QPR a point when they visited Hillsborough in February 2016. Smithies dived left to save easily from Nuhiu early in the second half after Nedum Onuoha had fouled Gary Hooper in the box. It looked like it might be Rangers’ night when a similarly rank piece of defending at the other end of the field allowed the much maligned Daniel Tozser to fire in a composed volley from 20 yards. But QPR were real draw specialists – then and now – and had to share the spoils when Nuhiu atoned for his miss with a late towering header to equalise. It could have been worse still – a late challenge in the box by Grant Hall on Kieran Lee looked a stick on shout for a second Wednesday spot kick.
Sheff Wed: Westwood 6; Hunt 6, Lees 7, Sasso 6, Pudil 6; Wallace 7, Lee 7, Bannan 6, McGeady 5 (Jao 62, 6); Hooper 6, Nuhiu 5
Subs not used: Loovens, McGugan, Bennett, Helan, Lopez, Price
Goals: Nuhiu 63 (assisted Pudil)
Bookings: Wallace 72 (foul)
QPR: Smithies 8; Onuoha 5, Hall 6, Angella 7, Perch 6; Phillips 5, Tozser 7, Henry 6, Luongo 6, El Khayati 7 (Mackie 79, 6); Washington 6 (Polter 73, 6)
Subs not used: Chery, Hoilett, Ingram, Petrasso, Diakite
Goals: Tozser 57 (unassisted)
Bookings: Phillips 76 (foul)
QPR 0 Sheffield Wednesday 0, Tuesday October 20, 2015, Championship
QPR were left cursing the form of visiting goalkeeper Keiron Westwood, but grateful to the finishing ability of Barry Bannan and refereeing of Andy Haines when these sides drew a blank at Loftus Road in October that season. Westwood saved well from Emmanuel-Thomas in the first half, and brilliantly from Tjaronn Chery in the second, while Bannan twice found himself in space in the Rangers' penalty area only to thrash poor shots over the bar. But it was Haines who drew the most attention, inexplicably failing to award a free kick against Clint Hill when he brought down Modou Sogou as the striker raced through on goal before half time with a tackle so severe the striker was stretchered off with a dislocated shoulder. A red card would surely have followed, but Haines bizarrely waved play on. He did likewise deep into the second half when Lucas Jao appeared to be tripped in the area for a penalty kick.
QPR: Green 6; Onuoha 6, Hall 6, Hill 6, Konchesky 6; Tozser 5, Sandro 6; Phillips 4, Luongo 6, Chery 5; Emmanuel-Thomas 5 (Fer 69, 5)
Subs not used: Doughty, Faurlin, Henry, Hoilett, Smithies, Angella
Bookings: Sandro 8 (foul)
Sheff Wed: Westwood 6; Palmer 6, Loovens 6, Lees 6, Wiggins 6; Sougou 6 (Wallace 42, 6), McGugan 6 (Lee 69, 6), Semedo 6, Bannan 5; Forestieri 5 (Lucas João 45, 7), Nuhiu 4
Subs not used: Wildsmith, Pudil, Sasso, Hutchinson
Sheffield Wednesday 3 QPR 1, Tuesday March 18, 2014, Championship
QPR's worst performance of 2013/14 came at Hillsborough against Sheff Wed on a long Tuesday night for the travelling faithful. Sporting a long injury list, and harshly robbed of Richard Dunne for a professional foul in the first half, there were still few excuses for a shambolic performance and deserved thrashing from the mid-table Owls. Chris Maguire scored the penalty resulting from Dunne's foul and with Joey Barton on a one-man mission to get a red card of his own, second half goals from Leon Best and Lewis Buxton followed as the R's capitulated. The result was o0ne of several meek defeats through March and April as Rangers played out a number of essentially dead rubbers, with automatic promotion out of reach but a play-off spot secured.
Sheff Wed: Martinez N/A; Buxton 7, Helan 6, Loovens 7, Onyewu 7; Palmer 6, Lavery 7 (Prutton 84, -), Lee 6; Best 7 (Johnson 74, 6), Nuhiu 6, Maguire 7 (Afobe 84, -)
Subs not used: Davies, Coke, Mattock, Llera
Goals: Maguire 35 (penalty won Best), Best 51 (assisted Onyewu), Buxton 71 (unassisted)
Bookings: Buxton 28 (foul)
QPR: Murphy 5; Onuoha 4, Dunne 4, Hill 4, Hughes 3; Henry 4 (Kranjcar 45, 5), Barton 3; Hoilett 5 (Suk-Young 45, 4), Morrison 4, O’Neil 2 (Carroll 83, -); Zamora 2
Subs not used: Keane, Benayoun, Lennox, Maiga
Red Cards: Dunne 35 (professional foul, one match ban)
Queens Park Rangers 2 Sheffield Wednesday 1, Saturday August 3, 2014, Championship
Things didn’t look good for QPR 20 minutes into the first meeting between these sides that season either. After such a colossal turnover in personnel during the summer, and a Premier League season that brought just four paltry wins, nobody knew quite what to expect of the new look Rangers back in the second tier and when Wednesday’s debutant Albanian striker Atdhe Nuhiu lashed in from the edge of the box things did not look promising. The visitors had two very decent shouts for a penalty waved away by referee Scott Mathieson either side of half time as well but ultimately two quick fire first half goals won the points for Harry Redknapp’s side. Nedum Onuoha tapped home after a corner broke to him at the far post, then Andy Johnson volleyed in a fine second after keeper Chris Kirkland had saved an initial effort.
QPR: Green 6, Simpson 6, Onuoha 6, Hill 6, Traore 4, Barton 7 (Wright-Phillips 79, 6), Henry 6, Faurlin 6, Hoilett 7 (Jenas 87, -), Zamora 5 (Austin 68, 6), Johnson 7
Subs not used: Murphy, Dunne, Suk-Young, Derry
Goals: Onuoha 40 (assisted Hoilett), Johnson 43 (assisted Barton)
Bookings: Barton 56 (foul)
Sheff Wed: Kirkland 8, Zayatte 6, Gardner 6, Mattock 6 (Maghoma 37, 7), Palmer 6, Johnson 6, Prutton 6, Coke 6 (McCabe 69, 6), Antonio 5, Helan 6, Nuhiu 7 (Madine 76, 6)
Subs not used: Davies, Semedo, Taylor, Llera
Goals: Nuhiu 19 (unassisted)
Bookings: Palmer 19 (foul), Maghoma 57 (diving)
Queens Park Rangers 1 Sheffield Wednesday 1, Saturday April 3, 2010, Championship
QPR were in something of a mess when these sides met at Loftus Road back in April 2010. A promising start to the season under Jim Magilton had given way to a winter of complete chaos following his sacking. Brief spells in charge for first Paul Hart and then Mick Harford had seen Rangers drift from play off contenders into the relegation battle. Under fire owner Flavio Briatore had decided to take a back and seat and hand the day to day running of the club to Amit Bhatia and Neil Warnock had been poached from fellow financially crippled Crystal Palace. That arrested the side slightly, a run of seven defeats and two draws giving way to two consecutive wins following Warnock’s arrival but the R’s then found themselves drawing too many matches – this was their fifth tie in six matches – which kept them dangerously close to the relegation places. It could easily have been a win – Ale Faurlin fired in his first goal for the club midway through the first half – but a dire second half saw Wednesday fight back and equalise through Tom Soares. A subsequent Easter mauling at Leicester had alarm bells ringing but Rangers subsequently won at Palace which meant late season victories over Barnsley and Watford cemented their place in the Championship. A year later, Warnock had them promoted as champions. Wednesday meanwhile were relegated on the final day when they failed to beat Palace at home, the side immediately above them.
QPR: C Ikeme, P Ramage, D Stewart, M Hill, K Gorkss, M Leigertwood, H Ephraim (L Cook, 81), A Taarabt yellow card, A Faurlin, T Priskin (R Vine, 89), J Simpson (A German, 73)
Subs not used: J Oastler, A Balanta, A Buzsaky, R Cerny
Goals: Faurlin 23
Sheff Wed: L Grant, D Purse, L Buxton, T Spurr, M Beevers, D Potter (L Clarke, 72), L Varney (J Johnson, 69), T Soares, E Nolan, J O'Connor, M Tudgay
Subs not used: R Hinds, M Gray, F Jeffers, R O'Donnell, F Simek
Goals: Soares 77
Sheffield Wednesday 1 Queens Park Rangers 2, Saturday November 7, 2009, Championship
Jim Magilton’s QPR side continued their play off push with a 2-1 victory against Sheffield Wednesday in November 2009. Rangers had been in spectacular form leading up to the match, playing sumptuous football to sweep aside Barnsley (5-2) before embarking on a memorable seven day period where they beat Preston, Reading and Derby scoring 12 goals in the process – four in each. This was a much less fluent performance and although Arsenal loanee Jay Simpson finished across Lee Grant to give the visitors an early lead, Wednesday equalised immediately through Jermaine Johnson and were the better team for long periods. With the game apparently set for a draw, Rangers found a late winner thanks to an emphatic header from Latvian centre back Kaspars Gorkss who powered home a late Ale Faurlin corner in front of the travelling faithful behind the goal. Sadly a damaging defeat at Doncaster Rovers followed a week later and the season collapsed with subsequent thrashings by Watford and Middlesbrough leading to Magilton leaving the club under a cloud of controversy after an alleged dressing room attack on midfielder Akos Buzsaky.
Sheff Wed: Grant 6, Simek 6 (Richard Wood 72, 5), Buxton 7, Hinds 6, Spurr 6, Johnson 8 (Clarke 76, 5), Miller 7(McAllister 72, 6), Potter 6, O'Connor 7, Tudgay 5, Varney 6
Subs Not Used: O'Donnell, Sodje, Esajas, Beevers
Goals: Johnson 13 (assisted Potter)
QPR: Cerny 6, Leigertwood 4, Hall 4 (Connolly 27, 7), Gorkss 7, Ramage 5, Buzsaky 6 (Faurlin 68, 8), Mahon 6, Watson 6, Routledge 6,Taarabt 7 (Vine 88, -), Simpson 7
Subs Not Used: Heaton, Agyemang, Alberti, Ephraim
Goals: Simpson 10 (assisted Taarabt), Gorkss 82 (assisted Faurlin)
Head to Head >>> Sheff Wed wins 30 >>> Draws 17 >>> QPR wins 22
2018/19 QPR 3 Sheff Wed 0 (Hemed, Freeman, Wells)
2017/18 QPR 4 Sheff Wed 2 (Sylla 2, Smyth, Bidwell)
2017/18 Sheff Wed 1 QPR 1 (Mackie)
2016/17 QPR 1 Sheff Wed 2 (Sylla)
2016/17 Sheff Wed 1 QPR 0
2015/16 Sheff Wed 1 QPR 1 (Toszer)
2015/16 QPR 0 Sheff Wed 0
2013/14 Sheff Wed 3 QPR 0
2013/14 QPR 2 Sheff Wed 1 (Johnson, Onuoha)
2009/10 QPR 1 Sheff Wed 1 (Faurlin)
2009/10 Sheff Wed 1 QPR 2 (Simpson, Gorkss)
2008/09 QPR 3 Sheff Wed 2 (Mahon, Vine, Stewart)
2008/09 Sheff Wed 1 QPR 0
2007/08 Sheff Wed 2 QPR 1 (Delaney)
2007/08 QPR 0 Sheff Wed 0
2006/07 QPR 1 Sheff Wed 1 (Rowlands pen)
2006/07 Sheff Wed 3 QPR 2 (Blackstock 2)
2005/06 Sheff Wed 1 QPR 1 (Bircham)
2005/06 QPR 0 Sheff Wed 0
2003/04 Sheff Wed 1 QPR 3 (Gallen, Furlong, Carr og)
2003/04 QPR 3 Sheff Wed 0 (Palmer, Thorpe, McLeod)
2000/01 Sheff Wed 5 QPR 2 (Crouch 2)
2000/01 QPR 1 Sheff Wed 2 (Peacock pen)
1995/96 Sheff Wed 1 QPR 3 (Barker 2, Goodridge)
1995/96 QPR 0 Sheff Wed 3
1994/95 Sheff Wed 0 QPR 2 (Maddix, Ferdinand)
1994/95 QPR 3 Sheff Wed 2 (Ferdinand, Sinclair, Gallen)
1993/94 Sheff Wed 3 QPR 1 (White)
1993/94 QPR 1 Sheff Wed 2 (Ferdinand)
1993/94 QPR 1 Sheff Wed 2 (Meaker)*
1992/93 QPR 3 Sheff Wed 1 (Allen 2, Ferdinand)
1992/93 Sheff Wed 1 QPR 0
1992/93 Sheff Wed 4 QPR 0*
1991/92 QPR 1 Sheff Wed 1 (Wilkins)
1991/92 Sheff Wed 4 QPR 1 (Bailey)
1989/90 QPR 1 Sheff Wed 0 (Clarke)
1989/90 Sheff Wed 2 QPR 0
1988/89 Sheff Wed 0 QPR 2 (Falco, Allen)
1988/89 QPR 2 Sheff Wed 0 (T Francis 2 (1pen))
1987/88 QPR 1 Sheff Wed 1 (Coney)
1987/88 Sheff Wed 3 QPR 1 (Bannister)
1986/87 Sheff Wed 7 QPR 1 (Peacock)
1986/87 QPR 2 Sheff Wed 2 (Bannister, McDonald)
1985/86 Sheff Wed 0 QPR 0
1985/86 QPR 1 Sheff Wed 1 (James)
1984/85 Sheff Wed 3 QPR 1 (Fillery)
1984/85 QPR 0 Sheff Wed 0
1982/83 Sheff Wed 0 QPR 1 (Flanagan)
1982/83 QPR 0 Sheff Wed 2
1981/82 QPR 2 Sheff Wed 0 (Stainrod, Flanagan)
1981/82 Sheff Wed 1 QPR 3 (Stainrod 3)
1980/81 QPR 1 Sheff Wed 2 (Stainrod)
1980/81 Sheff Wed 1 QPR 0
1973/74 QPR 8 Sheff Wed 2* (Givens 2, Leach 2, Bowles, Francis, Mullen og, Cameron og)
1972/73 Sheff Wed 3 QPR 1 (Leach)
1972/73 QPR 4 Sheff Wed 2 (Francis, O’Rourke, Givens, Leach)
1971/72 Sheff Wed 0 QPR 0
1971/72 QPR 3 Sheff Wed 0 (Marsh 2 (1 pen), Francis)
1970/71 QPR 1 Sheff Wed 0 (Marsh)
1970/71 Sheff Wed 1 QPR 0
1968/69 Sheff Wed 4 QPR 0
1968/69 QPR 3 Sheff Wed 2 (Wilks, Bridges, leach)
1966/67 Sheff Wed 3 QPR 0**
1951/52 Sheff Wed 2 QPR 1 (Muir)
1951/52 QPR 2 Sheff Wed 2 (Addinall, Smith)
1949/50 QPR 0 Sheff Wed 0
1949/50 Sheff Wed 1 QPR 0
1948/49 QPR 1 Sheff Wed 3 (Heath)
1948/49 Sheff Wed 2 QPR 0
* - League Cup
** - FA Cup
Simon Stainrod >>> QPR 1980-1985 >>> Sheff Wed 1985
Simon Stainrod was the QPR number ten during the club’s revival in the early 1980s, led by manager Terry Venables.
He was also one of those rare players who turned out for both Sheffield clubs. Having been born in the Steel City he came through the ranks at Bramall Lane initially, signing professional terms in 1975 and scoring 14 goals in almost 67 appearances through to 1979 when he embarked on a spell on the other side of the Pennines with Oldham Athletic.
His time at United didn’t start well – his debut came in a 5-0 defeat at Spurs which sealed the Blades’ relegation to the Second Division. Given that they lost 14 and drew one of their first 16 league matches that season the demotion wasn’t a great surprise. Stainrod scored on his second appearance against Norwich a week later though – that 3-1 win was their first away maximum of the season just five games before the end of the campaign, and only their third win in total. Bizarrely the Blades actually won four and drew one of their last six.
Despite forging a good striking partnership with Keith Edwards during the following seasons Stainrod was sold to Oldham for a club record fee of £60,000 in March 1979. His debut for the Latics was somewhat better than his Sheffield United bow as he scored the second goal in a 2-0 home win against Blackburn. He was the top scorer for Oldham in the 1979/80 season with 11 goals but is better remembered by some for his antics in a game against Sheffield Wednesday where his play acting saw the Owls legend Terry Curran sent off and violent clashes on the terrace as a result.
Nevertheless, Venables spent £270,000 on him in November 1980. The former QPR midfielder didn’t get much wrong during his managerial reign in W12 and Stainrod proved to be an inspired signing as well, becoming the top scorer and focal point of the attack as the R’s reached the FA Cup final as a Second Division team in the 1981/82 campaign. Stainrod played in every round as Rangers fought through replays with Blackpool and Middlesbrough, then beat Grimsby and Crystal Palace, and finally defeated West Brom 1-0 at Highbury in the semi-final thanks to a goal from Clive Allen at the North Bank end. Stainrod played both the final and the replay against Spurs at Wembley – Rangers were of course eventually beaten 1-0 having drawn the first game 1-1.
Prior to the final Stainrod gave a bullish interview in the press about his side’s chances. Transcribed by Steve Russell on Indy R’s, Stainrod said: “Over the last few weeks we’ve proved that we have the players capable of winning the trophy. Some of our performances have been fantastic. We’ve annihilated some teams as we’ve tried for the Cup and promotion double. This is the best footballing side I’ve ever had the privilege of playing for. We combine hard work and determination with skill. As well as myself and Clive Allen, the team has so many other players who can score goals and turn the game on their own.
“I’ve always had confidence in my own ability and I know that I’m good enough to play at the top level. Wembley gives me the chance to prove to people I’m right. But I’m not going out there to show the world how good I am. I’ll just be doing my very best to win the game for Queen’s Park Rangers. I want to play a good game for the team. If I get a chance to shine then all well and good. At the end of the day the most important thing is victory.
“Many people are surprised to see us at Wembley, but I had a sneaking feeling that we’d reach the final. During all the controversy about the synthetic pitch at Loftus Road and rumours that we wouldn’t be allowed to play an FA Cup-tie at home, I said to the lads that we’d win the cup this year. It’s just the sort of ironic thing that happens in life.”
A year later Venables led QPR to promotion and Stainrod made 33 appearances. He found goals a little harder to come by than the previous campaign, despite bagging two in an early 4-1 win at Derby and another a week later against Fulham. He missed nine matches midseason and finished the campaign with nine goals.
Stainrod appeared 60 times in the top flight for Rangers, scoring 16 goals in 45 appearances in the first year after promotion. The R’s finished fifth and qualified for the UEFA Cup, but Venables left to manage Barcelona and was replaced by Alan Mullery who turned out to be a disaster for the club. Stainrod scored one of the six goals the R’s managed in a home tie against Partizan Belgrade – actually played at Highbury because of the plastic pitch at Loftus Road – but they were beaten 4-0 in the away leg and went out on away goals.
John Byrne arrived from York City after he’d impressed against Rangers in the League Cup and as he struck up a partnership with Gary Bannister, Stainrod was deemed surplus to requirements. In December 1984, shortly after Byrne’s arrival Rangers sold Stainrod for £250,000.
Oddly, he moved to Sheffield Wednesday, who he claimed to have supported his whole life despite starting with Sheffield United, scoring freely against the Owls when in hoops, and putting in that less than savoury performance against them back in his Oldham days. The Wednesday fans doubted his credentials, needless to say. He finished his QPR career with 62 goals in 143 starts and two sub appearances.
His stay at Hillsborough was short and bitter, lasting just 15 matches before a fall out with manager Howard Wilkinson sent him on his way to Aston Villa for £370,000. Although he scored four times on his debut, in a League Cup tie with Exeter, Stainrod’s time at Villa Park was also unhappy and ended when they were relegated. Villa cashed in by selling him to Second Division Stoke City.
His time at the Victoria Ground was not a particularly successful one either as he’d started to suffer with injuries by this stage
He then played for Strasbourg and Rouen in France before returning to these shores as player manager of Falkirk where he won the First Division and later Dundee and Ayr – famously scoring a goal directly from the kick off for Falkirk against St Johnstone in the SPL. More recently he’s been working in football agency.
Others >>> Kieran Lee, Sheff Wed 2012-present, QPR (loan) 2008 >>> Jay Bothroyd QPR 2011-2013, Sheff Wed (loan) 2012 >>> Leon Clarke, QPR 2006 (loan), 2010-2011, Sheff Wed 2007-2010 >>> Giles Coke, QPR 2003-2005, Sheff Wed 2010-2013 >>> Adam Bolder, QPR 2007-2009, Sheff Wed (loan) 2008 >>> Ben Sahar, QPR (loan) 2007, Sheff Wed (loan) 2008 >>> Jimmy Smith, QPR (loan) 2006-2007, Sheff Wed (loan) 2008-2009 >>> Leon Knight, QPR (loan) 2001, Sheff Wed (loan) 2002-2003 >>> Frankie Simek, QPR (loan) 2004, Sheff Wed 2005-2010 >>> Marlon Broomesm QPR (loan) 2000, Sheff Wed 2001-2002 >>> Danny Maddix, QPR 1987-2001, Sheff Wed 2001-2003 >>> Andy Sinton, QPR 1989-1993, Sheff Wed 1993-1996 >>> Trevor Francis, QPR 1988-1990, Sheff Wed 1990-1995 >>> Gary Bannister, Sheff Wed 1981-1984, QPR 1984-1988 >>> Chris Woods, 1979-1981, Sheff Wed 1991-1996 >>> Andy McCulloch, QPR 1970-1972, Sheff Wed 1979-1983 >>> Vic Mobley, Sheff Wed 1961-1969, QPR 1969-1971 >>>Steve Burtenshaw, Sheff Wed (manager) 1971-1974, QPR (manager) 1978-1979 >>> >>> Peter Springett, QPR 1963-1967, Sheff Wed 1967-1975 >>> Ron Springett, QPR 1953-1958, 1967-1969 >>> Mike Pinner, Sheff Wed 1957-1959, QPR 1959-1960 >>> Peter Baker, Sheff Wed 1957-1960, QPR 1960-1963
Pictures – Action Images
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