Macca's last minute cup winner - History
Thursday, 6th Feb 2020 17:31 by Clive Whittingham
Ahead of the trip to Huddersfield on Saturday, we look back to an FA Cup Third Round replay from 1997 where Alan McDonald sent Rangers through with a last minute header.
Huddersfield 1 QPR 2, FA Cup Third Round replay, Tuesday January 14, 1997
QPR had already won at Huddersfield in the First Division in late December when they visited for an FA Cup Third Round replay in January. A dreadful start to the club’s first season outside the top flight in more than a decade had seen Ray Wilkins leave as manager and Stewart Houston take an absolute age to get settled and start winning. The R’s had in fact dipped as low as fourteenth in the league at one stage during a run of just three wins from 15 matches and a second consecutive relegation was starting to look a distinct possibility.
Houston, belatedly, started to address the situation. He’d sat quietly assessing his team rather than adding to it during a prolonged run of poor results, much to new chairman Chris Wright’s chagrin in a strange role reversal. Board member Nick Blackburn told A Kick Up The R’s: “Stewart was that he was a remarkably honest and decent man, and I think he was a very good coach, But he was very slow to make decisions. We had Matt Jackson on loan at the time, who I thought was a decent player, and Stewart said, ‘I’m not going to sign him until I’ve watched him a few more times.’ So Matt said, ‘I’m not going to stay here on trial’ and went back to Everton. I always remember, Stewart started quite well and then the club slipped down the table, yet he had money available. But he just wouldn’t sign anyone. Chris was away and he rang me up one day and said, ‘Tell Stewart, if he doesn’t sign anybody, I’m going to sign some fucking players’, because we were still slipping down the table.”
Eventually new blood was injected with the big money acquisitions of Chelsea pair John Spencer and Gavin Peacock. They hit the ground running, both scoring freely in a run of six wins and a draw from eight matches that included a 2-1 success at what was then called the McAllpine Stadium in Huddersfield. A bad tempered match had been settled by a free kick on the stroke of half time from Danny Dichio and then a close range effort from a Spencer cross by Matthew Brazier immediately after the break.
Bad blood lingered from that fixture. Rufus Brevett had somehow escaped any punishment whatsoever for sprinting the length of the field to punch Kevin Gray in the face during a melee and both sides could probably have done without the subsequent FA Cup draw which paired them together at Loftus Road.
Rangers had played superbly in a 3-2 win at home to Norwich on Boxing Day to climb to seventh, but then collapsed to a 4-1 New Year defeat at West Brom since the league meeting. The defensive frailties prevalent in both games were prevalent again when Aussie full back Andy McDermott gave the ball away deep in his own half and veteran midfielder Gary Crosby stole in on the subsequent cross to open the scoring for the Terriers in the cup. The equaliser came in the last minute, a 20 yard curler from the much maligned Mark Hateley – his first goal of the season.
A 3-1 home league win against Barnsley followed with Spencer grabbing a perfect hat trick. That set up the Tuesday night replay with the Terriers. Things didn’t start well for the visitors when Rob Edwards bundled his way through first a limp challenge from Karl Ready and then an amateurish piece of goalkeeping from Tony Roberts to open the scoring with just seven minutes played. But Houston’s team fought back to equalise before half time when Gavin Peacock slipped past his man and seized a John Spencer pass to fire in an equaliser.
That looked like being enough to take the game to extra time until the very final minute of time added on at the end of the game when Alan McDonald, one of only four men QPR had committed into the penalty area for a late corner, defied the efforts of a two man marking team to rise into the night sky and thump home a winning header with essentially the last kick of the game.
Rangers then beat Barnsley for the third time that season in the fourth round thanks to the famous Trevor Sinclair goal and took a 10,000+ travelling support to Premier League Wimbledon in round five only to be beaten 2-1. The home league game against Huddersfield that season incidentally was played in March and won 2-0 by the R’s with goals from McDermott and Spencer.
Huddersfield: S Francis, S Jenkins, P Reid, D Bullock, J Dyson , W Burnett, L Makel, G Crosby, M Stewart (I Lawson, 72), A Payton , R Edwards (S Collins, 77)
Subs: D O'Connor
Goals: Edwards 7
Bookings: Dyson, Payton
QPR: T Roberts, M Graham, A McDonald, K Ready, R Brevett, P Murray, G Peacock, M Brazier, T Sinclair, J Spencer (D Dichio, 75), M Hateley
Subs: D Maddix, J Sommer
Goals: Peacock 26, McDonald 90
Bookings: Ready, Sinclair
QPR 1 Huddersfield 1, Saturday August 10, 2019, Championship
Grant Hall scored a late headed equaliser to win QPR a deserved point from the first meeting between these sides this season. Rangers played quite nicely against the newly relegated Terriers but conceded straight after half time when a typically rash Yoann Barbet tackle led to a penalty converted by Karlan Grant. That looked like it might be the winner until Hall headed home a Ryan Manning assist with two minutes of normal time remaining.
QPR: Lumley 6; Rangel 6 (Kane 71, 7), Hall 7, Barbet 7, Manning 6; Cameron 7, Amos 5 (Wells 82, -); Eze 6, Scowen 5 (Chair 55, 7), Osayi-Samuel 6; Hugill 6
Subs not used: Pugh, Ball, Kelly, Leistner
Goals: Hall 82 (assisted Manning)
Yellow cards: Barbet 48 (foul, penalty concession), Osayi-Samuel 90+2 (foul)
Huddersfield: Grabara 6; Hadergjonaj 6, Elphick 6, Schindler 7, Kongolo 6; Bacuna 5 (Kachunga 45, 6), Hogg 6, O’Brien 6, Diakhaby 6 (Quaner 76, 5), Pritchard 6 (Stankovitch 90+5); Grant 7
Subs not used: Bockhorn, Koroma, Brown, Schofield
Goals: Grant 48 (penalty, won Kachunga)
Yellow cards: Diakhaby 2 (diving), Bacuna 43 (foul), O’Brien 69 (foul), Quaner 79 (foul), Grant 90+2 (foul)
QPR 1 Huddersfield 2, Saturday February 11, 2016, Championship
QPR started well, finished strongly, but ultimately proved no match for David Wagner’s swashbuckling promotion chasers when last these two sides met at Loftus Road in February 2016. Conor Washington struck a post via fine save from Danny Ward, and Ryan Manning blazed a good chance wide as Ian Holloway’s team looked to take it to the Premier League-bound side early. But a quickfire double at the end of flowing moves by Izzy Brown and Nahki Wells gave the visitors a two goal half time lead. Luke Freeman pulled a goal back on the hour in emphatic fashion to set up a grand stand finish in which Ward saved brilliantly with his hands from Matt Smith and with his feet from Mass Luongo as he fired through a crowd of players late on.
QPR: Smithies 6; Wzsolek 6 (Ngbakoto 80, -), Perch 6, Onuoha 5, Bidwell 5 (Lua Lua 53, 6); Hall 6, Manning 6, Luongo 5; Mackie 5 (Freeman 53, 7), Smith 7, Washington 6
Subs not used: Goss, Ingram, Furlong, Sylla
Goals: Freeman 60 (unassisted)
Bookings: Manning 45+1 (foul), Hall 58 (foul), Luongo 85 (foul)
Huddersfield: Ward 8; Cranie 6 (Smith 80, -), Hefele 7, Schindler 6, Lowe 6; Mooy 7, Hogg 6 (Billing 20, 8); Kachunga 6, Brown 8, van la Parra 6 (Lolley 79, 6); Wells 7
Subs not used: Payne, Quaner, Stankovic, Coleman
Bookings: Brown 62 (dissent)
Huddersfield Town 2 QPR 1, Saturday September 17, 2016, Championship
Shell shocked QPR headed north to Huddersfield for the first meeting that season just days after being annihilated 6-0 on their own ground by Newcastle. With Town having lost only one of their first seven games they were strong favourites and, in truth, their victory was far more comfortable than a 2-1 scoreline suggests. Kasey Palmer and Ellias Kachunga headed goals for the home team either side of half time and although Tjaronn Chery set Idrissa Sylla up for a back post header to halve the deficit late on the Town win never looked under serious threat.
Huddersfield: Ward 6; Smith 7, Hudson 6, Schindler 6, Lowe 6; Mooy 8, Hogg 6; van La Parra 7, Palmer 8 (Whitehead 86, -), Kachunga 8 (Bunn 81, -); Wells 7 (Hefele 90+1, -)
Subs not used: Scannell, Coleman, Cranie, Payne
Goals: Palmer 14 (assisted van La Parra), Kachunga 62 (assisted Smith)
Bookings: Hogg 21 (unsporting), Hudson 44 (foul)
QPR: Smithies 6; Onuoha 4, Caulker 5, Hall 5, Bidwell 4; Henry 4 (Borysiuk 46, 6), Luongo 4; Cousins 5, Chery 5, Shodipo 5 (Sylla 73, 7); Washington 4 (Polter 46, 6)
Subs not used: Lynch, Ingram, Wszolek, El Khayati
Goals: Sylla 76 (assisted Chery)
Bookings: Chery 21 (unsporting), Polter 87 (repetitive fouling), Borysiuk 90+1 (foul), Sylla 90+3 (Unsporting)
QPR 1 Huddersfield 1, Monday December 28, 2015, Championship
These sides fought out a dire 1-1 draw at Loftus Road over Christmas 2015, as Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink continued to struggle to make an impact after taking over at QPR. It looked like he might get his first win as Rangers manager when Seb Polter bundled in the opening goal amidst a scramble from a long throw ten minutes from time. Matt Phillips had earlier missed an absolute sitter when played clear through on Joe Murphy in the Huddersfield goal. But the visitors deserved a point and won it with four minutes to go as Nahki Wells was able to beat Robert Green with a free kick from somewhere over by White City tube station.
QPR: Green 6; Onuoha 6, Hall 6, Hill 6, Konchesky 6; Tozser 4, Sandro 4 (Polter 65, 7); Phillips 5 (Emmanuel Thomas 77, 5), Henry 5, Hoilett 6, Fer 4 (Chery 69, 6)
Subs not used: Faurlin, Luongo, Smithies, Angella
Goals: Polter 80 (assisted Emmanuel Thomas/Onuoha)
Huddersfield: Murphy 6; Smith 6, Hudson 6, Cranie 6, Davidson 6 (Chilwell 60, 6); Hogg 6, Huws 7, Bunn 6, Carayol 5 (Lolley 60, 7); Paterson 5 (Scannell 73, 6), Wells 7
Subs not used: Allinson, Lynch, Billing, Bojaj
Goals: Wells 86 (free kick won Lolley)
Yellow Cards: Hudson 79 (foul), Huws 89 (foul)
Huddersfield 0 QPR 1, Saturday August 29, 2015, Championship
QPR ground out a 1-0 win from a scrappy game when these sides met for the first time that season on August Bank Holiday weekend. Twice in the first half low crosses from Matt Phillips almost forced own goals from Huddersfield players, the in the second he drew a save from home keeper Brian Murphy, but the game looked to be drifting off to a 0-0 draw. That was until Tjaronn Chery slid onto a low cross at the back post and converted the only goal of the game from close range with eight minutes left.
Huddersfield: Murphy 6; Smith 5, Hudson 6 (Cranie 45, 6), Davison 6, Lynch 7; Whitehead 7, Butterfield 8, Hogg 6, Scannell 7(Lolley 72, 5); Miller 6, Wells 5 (Carayol 80, 6)
Bookings: Hogg 62 (foul)
QPR: Green 6, Perch 5, Onouha 8, Hall 7, Konschesky 7, Doughty 6, Faurlin 6, Phillips 7, Chery 6, Luongo 6, Austin 6
Subs not used: Emmanuel-Thomas, Hoilett, Smithies, Blackwood, Furlong, Comley, Kpekawa
Goals: Chery 84 (assist Luongo)
Bookings: Konchesky 63 (foul), Perch 90 (foul), Phillips 92 (ungentlemanly conduct)
QPR 2 Huddersfield 1, Saturday January 18, 2014, Championship
QPR overcame a sluggish start to record a narrow 2-1 victory against Huddersfield at Loftus Road in January of the 2013/14 promotion season. Ward twice went through on Rob Green and Oliver Norwood had a free kick well saved by the keeper inside the first 12 minutes but with the scoreline still deadlocked, Charlie Austin made the Terriers pay for their profligacy. The striker finished powerfully from just inside the area after half time and then, after Nahki Wells had headed Town level from Adam Hammill’s cross, headed home a late corner from close range to seal the win.
QPR: Green 7; Simpson 7, Dunne 6, Hill 6, Assou-Ekotto 7; Kranjcar 6, Carroll 5, Henry 6, O’Neil 5 (Phillips 45, 7); Johnson 6 (Traore 81, 7), Austin 7
Subs not used: Wright-Phillips, Onuoha, Diakite, Zamora, Murphy
Goals: Austin 55 (assisted Johnson), 79 (assisted Assou-Ekotto)
Bookings: Johnson 43 (foul), Hill 45+2 (foul), Carroll 86 (foul)
Huddersfield: Smithies 6; Wallace 6, Gerrard 6, Smith 6; Dixon 6, Hogg 7, Clayton 7, Norwood 6 (Scannell 67, 7), Hammill 7 (Gobern 78, 6); Ward 5 (Vaughan 51, 6) Wells 7
Subs not used: Woods, Bennett, Lolley, Holmes
Goals: Wells 68 (assisted Hammill)
Huddersfield 1 QPR 1, Saturday August 10, 2013, Championship
QPR flexed their Premier League quality, without ever really threatening to cut loose, in the first away game of that league season at Huddersfield in August. The home team took the lead ten minutes before half time when James Vaughan aggressively attacked a fine Oliver Norwood cross and powered home, but Junior Hoilett bundled in an equaliser almost immediately. In the second half Rangers had much the better of it but goalkeeper Alex Smithies was in fine form, denying Shaun Wright-Phillips with a decent save, and Charlie Austin hit the bar with a close range header. In the end both sides were happy with their shared points.
Huddersfield: Smithies 8, Clarke 6, Lynch 6, Gerrard 6, Norwood 6, Carroll 6 (Hunt 63, 6), Hammill 5 (Ward 72, 6), Gobern 6 (Scannell 82, -), Clayton 7, Vaughan 7, Paterson 6
Subs not used: Bennett, Wallace, Crooks Stead
Goals: Vaughan 35 (assisted Norwood)
Bookings: Lynch 73 (foul)
QPR: Green 6, Simpson 6, Hill 6, Onuoha 7, Suk-Young 6, Barton 7, Granero 5 (Wright-Phillips 70, 6), Henry 5 (Jenas 84, -), Hoilett 7, Johnson 6, Austin 7
Subs not used: Murphy, Dunne, Ehmer, O’Neil, Zamora
Goals: Hoilett 38 (assisted Suk-Young)
Bookings: Granero 15 (foul)
Huddersfield 0 QPR 3, Tuesday March 4, 2003, Second Division
The last time these sides met prior to that the 2002/03 season when QPR were destined for play-off final heartbreak against Cardiff, while the Terriers were fighting an ultimately fruitless battle against relegation to the fourth tier. That gulf in class showed in both meetings, particularly in the midweek game in West Yorkshire in March. Rangers had endured a torrid autumn featuring the infamous defeat by Vauxhall Motors in the FA Cup, but had come out fighting over the winter with seven wins from ten matches catapulting them into the play off reckoning. That resurgence had been led from the front by the much maligned Paul Furlong and although a draw at home to Mansfield and heavy defeat to Sam Parkin-inspired Swindon had stalled progress in the lead up to this game, it took the former Chelsea man just five minutes to stride through on goal and emphatically open the scoring. Danny Shittu doubled that lead before half time with a typically powerful header from a corner. The victory was sealed in injury time when Furlong added a third in front of the hardy travelling fans behind the goal.
Huddersfield: P Senior, K Sharp (G Labarthe Tome, 73), T Heary, N Brown, A Moses, M Smith, K Irons (J Worthington, 56), D Mattis, S Baldry, A Booth, J Stead (J Thorrington, 56)
Subs not used: P Scott, A Jeffery
Bookings: Stead, Sharp
QPR: C Day, T Forbes, C Carlisle , D Shittu, G Padula , M Bircham , R Langley , S Palmer, L Cook (T Williams, 75), P Furlong , K Gallen
Subs not used: B Angell, D Oli, M Bean, L Griffiths
Goals: Furlong 5, 90, Shittu 38
Bookings: Carlisle, Bircham, Langley, Furlong
QPR 3 Huddersfield 0, Tuesday September 17, 2002, Second Division
The horrors of Vauxhall Motors and similarly disastrous defeats to Notts County, Cardiff and a draw with nine man Luton were all still to come when the teams met for the first time that season. At that stage it looked as though Ian Holloway’s men were a very good bet for promotion with four wins and two draws from their first nine matches. That was soon extended to eight wins and two draws from 12 as an emphatic home success against Huddersfield – with first Danny Shittu and later Clarke Carlisle exposing their weakness from set pieces – sparked a run of five wins from six games. Perennial QPR loanee Tommy Williams scored the second goal from open play between the two set piece strikes although he would finish the season best known for failing to pass the ball in a gilt edged chance in the play-off final, instead taking on a shot and missing before Cardiff won the game with a late strike.
QPR: S Royce, T Forbes, D Shittu, C Carlisle, T Williams, M Rose (D Murphy, 89), R Langley, S Palmer, K Connolly, K Gallen, D Oli (R Pacquette, 83)
Subs not used: F Digby, Doudou, A Thomson
Goals: Shittu 4, Williams 32, Carlisle 74
Huddersfield: S Bevan, S Jenkins, N Brown, E Youds (A Booth, 18), K Sharp, D Mattis, K Irons, C Holland, J Thorrington (S McDonald, 79), K Gallacher (J Worthington, 79), D Schofield
Subs not used: P Senior, S Baldry
Previous ResultsHead to Head >>> Huddersfield wins 12 >>> Draws 9 >>> QPR wins 13
2019/20 QPR 1 Huddersfield 1 (Hall)
2016/17 QPR 1 Huddersfield 2 (Freeman)
2016/17 Huddersfield 2 QPR 1 (Sylla)
2015/16 QPR 1 Huddersfield 1 (Polter)
2015/16 Huddersfield 0 QPR 1 (Chery)
2013/14 QPR 2 Huddersfield 1 (Austin 2)
2013/14 Huddersfield 1 QPR 1 (Hoilett)
2002/03 Huddersfield 0 QPR 3 (Furlong 2, Shittu)
2002/03 QPR 3 Huddersfield 0 (Shittu, Williams, Carlisle)
2001/02 Huddersfield 1 QPR 0
2001/02 QPR 3 Huddersfield 2 (Thomson, Rose, Palmer)
2000/01 Huddersfield 2 QPR 1 (Thomson)
2000/01 QPR 1 Huddersfield 1 (Connolly)
1999/00 Huddersfield 1 QPR 0
1999/00 QPR 3 Huddersfield 1 (Darlington, Kiwomya, Peacock)
1998/99 QPR 1 Huddersfield 1 (Baraclough)
1998/99 QPR 0 Huddersfield 1*
1998/99 Huddersfield 2 QPR 0
1997/98 Huddersfield 1 QPR 1 (Jones)
1997/98 QPR 2 Huddersfield 1 (Quashie 2)
1996/97 QPR 2 Huddersfield 0 (McDermott, Spencer)
1996/97 Huddersfield 1 QPR 2* (Peacock, McDonald)
1996/97 QPR 1 Huddersfield 1* (Hateley)
1996/97 Huddersfield 1 QPR 2 (Dichio, Brazier)
1983/84 Huddersfield 2 QPR 1* (Gregory)
1972/73 Huddersfield 2 QPR 2 (Francis, Leach)
1972/73 QPR 3 Huddersfield 1 (Givens 2, Thomas)
1969/70 Huddersfield 2 QPR 0
1969/70 QPR 4 Huddersfield 2 (Marsh, I Morgan, Bridges, Venables (pen))
1967/68 QPR 3 Huddersfield 0 (Marsh 2, Legg og)
1967/68 Huddersfield 1 QPR 0
1948/49 Huddersfield 5 QPR 0*
1948/49 QPR 0 Huddersfield 0*
1931/32 Huddersfield 5 QPR 0*
* - FA Cup
ConnectionsKevin Gallen >>> QPR 1994-2000 >>> Huddersfield 2000-2001 >>> QPR 2001-2007
Kevin Gallen’s time away from QPR between 2000 and 2001 was brief and unhappy, but it included one of the most memorable moments at Loftus Road in recent times.
Gallen’s time at Loftus Road had rather petered out, with manager Gerry Francis preferring Rob Steiner and Chris Kiwomya in attack. Gallen wanted first team football, and Rangers wanted to cut costs so although he signed off with a goal in a 3-1 win at Portsmouth on the final day of the 1999/00 season it did prove to be the last of his first spell with the club. A shame not only because of his connection with the club, but also because Steiner subsequently suffered a career ending injury.
By the time he came back to Loftus Road for the first time his former team were struggling badly. The plot line was fairly predictable, and sure enough Gallen took just eight minutes to hook home a spectacular opening goal. But there was a twist still to come. Rangers equalised through Karl Connolly before half time but should have lost the game when the visitors were awarded a penalty at the Loft End in the second half. Gallen, who had missed his previous penalty at that end of the ground in a Premier League game with Leeds, stepped up determined to hammer another nail in the coffin of his former club. Veteran Czech goalkeeper Ludek Miklosko plunged low to his left and saved it.
Gallen had been one of the most exciting youth prospects at QPR in years in the early 1990s. He’d broken scoring records in the South East Counties youth leagues that had stood since Jimmy Greaves’ day and helped the Rangers juniors to league and cup success. When he finally did make it into the first team, on the opening day of the 1994/95 season at Old Trafford, it was probably overdue. The 18-year-old scored that day, but a linesman’s flag meant he had to wait for the opening home game of the season to open his account – a seventy ninth minute winner against Sheffield Wednesday at the Loft End was a fitting way to start.
Gallen struck up a formidable partnership with Les Ferdinand that season but struggled somewhat the following year when Sir Les moved to Newcastle for £6m without adequate replacement. Ray Wilkins entrusted his old pal Mark Hateley with filling Ferdinand’s boots but he was a long way past his best by this stage and even turned up on the pitch for his unveiling prior to a home match with Spurs on crutches. Gallen finished the season with eight, but didn’t score at all until December 23 when he headed home a winner at home to Aston Villa. He and former youth team strike partner Danny Dichio battled valiantly to make it work, but their youth and inexperience caught up with them and QPR were relegated.
Gallen, who had been linked with Man Utd, was tipped to be a star at the lower level and when he scored in an opening day win at home to Oxford and followed it up with an early goal in a Friday night televised game at Portsmouth there didn’t look to be any stopping him. Sadly, in the act of scoring a late winner, he ruptured his cruciate knee ligaments and didn’t play again until the opening day of the following season. Gallen adapted his game post-injury from out and out goalscorer to hold up and lay man. He scored just four times in 31 appearances in 1997/98 as QPR, under first Stewart Houston and then Ray Harford, struggled badly. He scored eight goals the following year when the R’s needed a 6-0 win against Palace on the last day to survive but by then Gerry Francis, who had given Gallen his debut, had returned to the club and didn’t seem to rate his former protégé as highly any more.
Gallen went to Huddersfield under Steve Bruce, and scored ten goals in 2000/01 including the one against QPR. Bruce though was sacked and Gallen wasn’t offered a deal at the end of the season. He trained with QPR, now a Division Two side managed by Ian Holloway, that summer but when no deal was forthcoming accepted a two-year contract at Barnsley. He scored twice in his first five appearances for Tykes but then found, again, that the manager who brought him in, Nigel Spackman, left the club changing Gallen’s situation.
In an interview with Indy R’s Gallen recalled the situation.
He said: “I don’t think I was treated that badly. At the end of the 99/00 season, if I wasn’t playing that was the manager’s decision obviously. Gerry had his way of playing, I’ve got the utmost respect for Gerry, I love Gerry, I think he’s the greatest QPR player ever. I’ve got no problem with Gerry thinking that Chris Kiwomya, Sammy Koejoe and Rob Steiner were ahead of me, that’s no problem, but at the time I thought that I needed to get away. They were ahead of me in the pecking order but that was the manager’s decision. That’s why I left because I knew that I wasn’t going to play. We never fell out over that but that was the situation, I didn’t think that I was ever going to play. He didn’t say that I was in contention but he wanted me to stay as well. If I hadn’t left at that time, I probably wouldn’t have come back. I would have left the following year and that would have been the end because what happened with the administration situation, everything might of happened differently.
“I went up to Huddersfield under Steve Bruce who I thought was a good manager. I was only under him for three or four months and then he got sacked. I met some new people, a different way of life from London. I enjoyed my time but a year was enough really. I would like to clear up another thing, when during the following year when Ian Holloway was in charge, I went back training with QPR and I read somewhere along the lines of that they offered me a contract, which they didn’t. I went to Barnsley, no contract was offered to me at QPR that summer. The first contract I was offered was from Barnsley and Nigel Spackman was the manager. It was a decent contract, so I took it. QPR didn’t offer me a contract until I came back in November that year.”
Gallen’s return to W12 came at a difficult time for Rangers who’d been decimated by relegation and administration and recently beaten 4-0 in the cup by Third Division Swansea. Gallen signed straight after the game, made his debut that Tuesday and scored in a 4-0 win against Swindon in Shepherd’s Bush.
Gallen scored 14 goals the following year, 2002/03, as QPR made the Second Division play-off final but lost to Cardiff. Despite the defeat, his partnership with veteran Paul Furlong offered great promise. He scored 17, his best haul in a single season, in 2003/04 while Furlong managed 16. The pair both scored on the final day of the season in a memorable 3-1 win at Hillsborough against Sheffield Wednesday to seal promotion.
At the higher level Holloway often used Gallen in the middle of midfield and he was a key part of the team that went on a seven match winning run shortly after promotion that threatened to take Rangers all the way into the Premier League. He scored in three of those games – 3-2 wins against Plymouth and Brighton and a 1-0 win at Stoke City. Along with fellow boyhood QPR fan Marc Bircham he became the heart and soul of a lively, spirited dressing room that played a big part in QPR being able to compete in the Championship despite being strapped for cash.
When Holloway left, and the money really started to become an issue, Gallen once again fell out of favour. He struggled with hamstring injuries and was ignored by the manager at the time John Gregory. He told Indy R’s: “I have to say that the way I was treated by John Gregory at the end of my QPR career still makes me a little angry really. The way I was pretty much banished, it wasn’t a nice time. I was glad to be out of that situation. I never got the chance to say goodbye, that’s a bit sad. Those weeks leading up to that – it was a case of, ‘I’ve got to get out of here’, it was difficult, speaking to my parents, my mum crying, we were really sad about it.”
Holloway had him again, on loan at Plymouth this time, but he didn’t want to uproot his family and so spells with MK Dons, where he won League Two and the JP Trophy, and Luton Town followed as well as a brief loan with Barnet. He scored his first ever professional hat trick in April 2010 for Luton against Grays in a 6-0 win.
Now retired, Gallen has turned out in non-league for Braintree, Leverstock and Aylesbury and is a regular at Loftus Road, and on the Open All R’s QPR podcast. He has scouted for MK Dons and more recently Crystal Palace. A QPR man through and through, and great servant to the club, one Huddersfield goal notwithstanding.
Others >>> Nahki Wells, QPR (loan) 2018-2020, Huddersfield 2014-2017 >>> Alex Smithies QPR 2015-2018, Huddersfield 2007-2015 >>> Neil Warnock, Huddersfield (manager) 1993-1995, QPR (manager) 2010-2012 >>> Damien Delaney, Huddersfield (loan) 2002, QPR 2008-2009 >>> Fraser Digby, Huddersfield 2000, QPR 2000-2001 >>> Leon Knight, QPR (loan) 2001, Huddersfield (loan) 2001-2002 >>> Michel Ngonge Huddersfield (loan) 2000, QPR 2000-20001 >>> Steve Yates, QPR 1993-1999, Huddersfield 2003-2005 >>> Peter Eastoe, QPR 1976-1979, Huddersfield (loan) 1983 >>> Ted Goodier, Huddersfield 1922-1923, QPR 1931-1935
Pictures – Action Images
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