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Bowles and Givens down Cardiff - History
Thursday, 29th Oct 2020 18:44 by Clive Whittingham

Back to 1972 for this week's column ahead of Saturday’s visit from Cardiff - goals from Stan Bowles and Don Givens beat the Welsh side as the new-look Loftus Road starts to take shape.

Memorable Match

QPR 3 Cardiff City 0, Saturday September 30, 1972, Second Division

QPR’s meteoric rise from Division Three to Division One, via a memorable League Cup Final win against West Brom, had ground to a shuddering halt in their first ever top-flight campaign. Climbing too high too soon, and losing talismanic striker Rodney Marsh to injury for the start of the 1968/69 campaign made the going tough – it took them 13 games to register a win and they only managed three more all season after that.

Alec Stock had been the mercurial manager to oversee that ascent, but political infighting at the club saw him resign without every selection a First Division team at Loftus Road. The R’s rattled through Bill Dodgin, Tommy Docherty and player manager Les Allen on their way to finishing dead last.

Gordon Jago was the man to pick up the pieces, and he set about building a QPR team not only capable of going back into the First Division on a more competitive footing, but also good enough to be considered the club’s finest ever starting 11. By 1972/73 the team was ready. Jago added a young Stan Bowles from Carlisle in August, Gerry Francis, Terry Venables and Phil Parkes were already in place and Burnley’s flying winger Dave Thomas would soon follow. The good times were about to roll.

Cardiff came to Loftus Road on the final Saturday of September. Fourth bottom the year before, they’d survived relegation on goal difference alone from third bottom Fulham. That despite losing three of their final four games, including a 3-0 loss at Loftus Road on the final day. Rangers were about to meter out similar punishment all over again.

In front of a building site down one touchline as the new Ellerslie Road stand began to take shape, bottom-placed Cardiff, with only two wins to their name, were rather Welsh lambs to the slaughter.

In true QPR style, there was an early scare at the wrong end. Bell crossed deep into the area and with Parkes on his line Clement became embroiled in an unseemly tangle with Reece. Cardiff appealed for a penalty as the pair hit the ground but Clark wasn’t hanging around to ask questions and his powerful effort was blocked away at point blank range.

Rangers tried to break out and counter but they were ragged. With 20 minutes played it seemed Cardiff were on top, the QPR defence scrambling around and lunging into desperate sliding tackles on the edge of the box. But the potential quality of the side was shown shortly after, when Bowles brought down a punted clearance and used his pristine control and drop of the shoulder to carry him to the edge of the area, past two defenders, before Irwin saved a low poked shot well down low to his left.

Francis was next to test Irwin after linking up well with Venables but the keeper saved well and hung on with Givens hunting any rebounds. Momentum building, Cardiff panicking, a slick passing move ended with Busby crossing low and Phillips coming within a whisker of smacking the ball into his own goal from six yards out under pressure from Francis. Bowles went closer still after Givens flicked Venables long throw into his path at the near post but flicked the ball just too high.

QPR would go close again before half time after Gerry Francis ran clear onto a long ball behind the defence only to be hauled down right on the edge of the penalty box. The free kick was widened for Clement to strike, Irwin saved brilliantly again and Bowles could only steer the rebound into the side netting. The thumb screws were starting to tighten though and a goal mouth scramble almost produced the opening goal after a slick passing move ended with Francis and Leech both bundling in on Irwin as the ball came loose in the red zone.

Cardiff were bang in trouble, and they would fall behind before half time. Leech reached the byline wide on the left and cut the ball back for Don Givens, who stole in front of his man as the Cardiff player lost his footing and thumped in an unstoppable operner.

The lead should have been doubled immediately after the break. Carver, panicking, didn’t play a simple ball back to Irwin when he had the chance and instead ended up conceding possession to Busby with a hospital attempt at a ball inside. Busby drove on but smacked a wild shot wide and high of the goal when the far corner was gagging to be hit.

Busby made amends by freeing Francis moments later and when he set Givens away QPR were in for a second. Givens was chopped down right on the edge of the area for what would in this day and age be an automatic red card. The referee didn’t so much as speak with the Cardiff defender but did award a penalty when it was probably a free kick. Givens took it himself, beating the keeper off to his left for 2-0.

The goal of the game was still to come. Nothing looked on when Busby pumped a long ball forward, but Venables’ deft flick gave Bowles space in the right channel and having checked inside to wrong foot his man he bent a delicious left footed shot around Irwin and into the far corner form 20 yards out. Sumptuous stuff.

A late own goal to make it four was disallowed for a push by Leach but it mattered little. The victory was one of five on the spin from Rangers to set the early pace in the second tier. They’d finish the season promoted in second behind Burnley. Cardiff weren’t quite as fortunate as they’d been before – this time finishing third bottom and going down, a point shy of Carlisle and Preston just above them.

QPR: Parkes, Clement, Evans, Hazell, Gillard, Busby, Venables, Francis, Givens, Bowles, Leach

Subs: McCulloch

Cardiff: Irwin, Carver, Bell, Woodruff, Murray, Powell, Gibson, Clark, Phillips, Reece, Foggon

Subs: Kellock

Classic encounters

LFW regular and AKUTR’s columnist Dave Barton has set up a QPR Memories YouTube channel, with a mixture of clips, classic games, and old highlights packages. His three recent meetings with Preston are embedded below, give him a subscribe on YouTube or follow @QPR_Memories on Twitter.

Recent Meetings:

QPR 6 Cardiff 1, Tuesday January 1, 2020, Championship

The pinnacle of the Mark Warburton era so far, potentially the pinnacle of the Mark Warburton era full stop, came at Loftus Road in the first week of January this year, against first Cardiff and then Swansea. Eleven goals were scored against the South Wales pair, six of them against Cardiff on New Year’s Day. Bright Osayi-Samuel’s torturing of the hapless Jazz Richards – a first and only LFW rating of 1/10 in the history of the website – was a performance for the ages. Ebere Eze’s Crossfield ball that took half the Cardiff team out of the game and allowed Wells to head home without breaking his stride after starting in a different time zone to the rest of the people involved in the move. Osayi-Samuel lashed in a second, then received a Joe Lumley clearance and danced his way through for a third before half time. There was a scrambled fourth from Wells immediately after half time, a goal for Eze to reward all his sublime approach work, and a hat trick completion for Wells via a glaring Aden Flint error. Cardiff scored in injury time, because we’re not allowed clean sheets, but it was one of the genuinely great days at Loftus Road.

QPR: Lumley 6; Cameron 7, Hall 7, Leistner 6, Wallace 7; Ball 8, Amos 8; Osayi-Samuel 9 (Smith 76, 6), Chair 8 (Pugh 66, 6), Eze 8; Wells 9 (Hugill 67, 6)

Subs not used: Kane, Manning, Mlakar, Kelly

Goals: Wells 9 (assisted Eze), 48 (assisted Eze, pre-assist Osayi-Samuel), 64 (assisted Flint), Osayi-Samuel 27 (assisted Wells), 41 (assisted Lumley), Eze 57 (assisted Chair)

Bookings: Leistner 39 (foul), Amos 86 (foul)

Cardiff: Etheridge 2; Nelson 2, Flint 3, Bamba 2 (Peltier 45, 2); Bacuna 3 (Ward 46, 4), Richards 1; Vaulks 5, Pack 4, Tomlin 4; Hoilett 5, Glatzel 4 (Whyte 69, 5)

Subs not used: Morrison, Smithies, Paterson, Madine

Goals: Vaulks 90+1 (unassisted)

Bookings: Tomlin 32 (foul)

Cardiff 3 QPR 0, Wednesday October 2, 2019, Championship

QPR produced the first in what has turned out to be a series of performances in which they held all of the possession and chances but still don’t win the game at Cardiff in October last year. Rangers had 72% of the ball, forced numerous saves from Alex Smithies, hit the post, and missed numerous chances while losing 3-0 to three defensively shambolic goals in three of Cardiff’s four attacks in the game. Sean Morrison, Marlon Pack and Callum Paterson were the beneficiaries on a charitable night from the R’s.

Cardiff: Smithies 7; Peltier 6, Morrison 7, Flint 7, Bennett 5; Bacuna 5, Pack 6; Whyte 5 (Hoilett 87, -), Tomlin 6 (Paterson 65, 6), Murphy 5; Glatzel 5 (Ward 81, -)

Subs not used: Etheridge, Nelson, Mendez-Laing, Coxe

Goals: Morrison 11 (assisted Flint), Pack 45+1 (assisted Whyte), Paterson 72 (assisted Bacuna)

Bookings: Whyte 87 (foul), Paterson 80 (unsporting)

QPR: Kelly 5; Rangel 5 (Kane 66, 6), Cameron 4, Leistner 5, Manning 6; Ball 5 (Wells 63, 5), Scowen 6; Osayi-Samuel 6, Chair 6 (Pugh 80, -), Eze 7; Hugill 5

Subs not used: Lumley, Wallace, Mlakar, Masterson

Bookings: Manning 80 (unsporting)

QPR 2 Cardiff City 1, Monday January 1, 2018, Championship

A star was born on New Year’s Day when these sides met at Loftus Road early in 2018. High flying Cardiff looked to be on course for an away win when Joe Ralls converted a very generously awarded penalty after half time but Ragers subsequently plundered an equaliser when Matt Smith headed straight in from a Jack Robinson long throw. That set the scene for a spectacular winner on debut from young Paul Smyth, who skinned Manga for pace and then fired into the roof of the net over the top of Murphy in goal.

QPR: Smithies 7; Baptiste 8, Onuoha 6, Robinson 7; Cousins 7, Bidwell 6 (Lynch 84, -); Scowen 6, Luongo 6, Freeman 7; Smyth 8 (Oteh 77, 7), Smith 6

Subs not used: Wszolek, Lumley, Chair, Oseyi-Samuel, Sylla

Goals: Smith 62 (assisted Robinson), Smyth 72 (assisted Smith)

Yellows: Smyth 70 (repetitive fouling), Freeman 90+3 (foul)

Cardiff: Murphy 5; Manga 6, Bamba 6, Connolly 5; Peltier 6 (Damour 58, 6), Paterson 6, Ralls 7, Bennett 6; Healey 6 (Mendez-Laing 67, 6), Hoilett 7, Zohore 6

Subs not used: Richards, Tomlin, Pilkington, Halford, Etheridge

Goals: Ralls 54 (penalty – won Paterson)

Yellows: Connolly 18 (foul), Peltier 50 (foul)

Cardiff 2 QPR 1, Saturday August 26, 2017, Championship

QPR lost the first meeting between these sides that season despite surrendering their place in the League Cup to rest players for it back in August. Supposedly refreshed, Rangers took the lead after a quarter of an hour when Matt Smith headed in Luke Freeman’s cross. But two defensive catastrophies, the first from Steven Caulker and Nedum Onuoha letting Junior Hoilett in, the second from an injury time corner that Sol Bamba converted, let Neil Warnock’s side in for the winner.

Cardiff: Etheridge; Peltier, Morrison, Bamba, Bennett; Gunnarsson, Ralls; Mendez-Laing, Damour (Ward 82), Hoilett (Manga 82); Zohore

Subs not used: Richards, Tomlin, Halford, Murphy, Bogle

Goals: Hoilett 22 (unassisted), Bamba 45+1 (assisted Hoilett)

QPR: Smithies 7, Furlong 7, Caulker 3 (Wszolek 72, 6), Onuoha 5, Bidwell 6, Mackie 6 (Sylla 61, 6), Luongo 7. Scowen 7, Freeman 8, Smith 6, Washington 5 (Ngbakoto 70, 5)

Subs not used: Lua Lua, Baptiste, Robinson, Ingram

Goals: Smith 15 (assisted Freeman)

Bookings: Furlong 38 (foul)

QPR 2 Cardiff 1, Saturday March 4, 2017, Championship

QPR came from behind to beat Cardiff at Loftus Road last season on a special day to commemorate the lifting of the League Cup in 1967. Playing in all white, Rangers hit the post early through Conor Washington but were punished for leaving Sol Bamba unmarked at a first half corner when he headed home. The introduction of Yeni Ngbakoto on the hour changed the game. He burst through immediately to equalise then crossed for Matt Smith to head a winner in with seven minutes left for play.

QPR: Smithies 7; Perch 7, Onuoha 6, Lynch 6, Bidwell 6; Goss 6 (Ngbakoto 58, 7), Hall 6, Luongo 5 (Morrison 76, 4); Mackie 6 (Wszolek 81, -), Smith 6, Washington 6

Subs not used: Ingram, Furlong, Sylla, Manning

Goals: Ngbakoto 62 (assisted Mackie), Smith 83 (assisted Ngbakoto)

Bookings: Luongo 40 (foul), Perch 88 (standard Perch shin rattler)

Cardiff: McGregor 6; Connolly 5 (Bennett 86, -), Morrison 6, Bamba 6, Richards 6; Noone 6 (Pilkington 72, 6), Gunnarsson 6 (Halford 90, -), Ralls 6, Harris 8; Hoilett 6, Zohore 6

Subs not used: Whittingham, John, Murphy, Harris

Goals: Bamba 44 (assisted Noone)

Bookings: Morrison 66 (foul)

Cardiff City 0 QPR 2, Sunday August 14, 2016, Championship

Hard to comprehend, given what happened to the two sides over the rest of the season, but when QPR won at Cardiff back in August it put them top of the fledgling table with two wins from two games and no goals conceded. Cardiff meanwhile kicked around the bottom three until Paul Trollope was replaced by Neil Warnock. Goals from Steven Caulker, and a penalty from Tjaronn Chery after Seb Polter had been fouled, secured the points for Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s team. Both clubs have since changed manager.

Cardiff: Marshall; Peltier, Manga, Connbolly, Richards (Noone 77); Whittingham, John, Ralls; Immers (Huws 75), Pilkington, Gounongbe (Zohore 75)

Subs not used: Morrison, Gunnarsson, Moore, Ajayi

Bookings: Ralls 90+4 (foul)

QPR: Smithies 7; Onuoha 7, Caulker 8, Hall 7, Bidwell 6; Cousins 6, Luongo 6, Henry 6, Gladwin 5 (N'Gbakoto 25, 7); Chery 7 (Washington 91, -), Polter 6 (Perch 90+2, -)

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

Goals: Caulker 76 (assisted Bidwell), Chery 85 (penalty, won Polter)

Bookings: Onuoha 8 (foul), Chery 21 (dissent), Luongo 61 (foul), Henry 86 (repetitive fouling)

Cardiff City 0 QPR 0, Saturday April 16, 2016, Championship

Matt Ingram impressed on his QPR debut when these sides met in South Wales in April last year, but an insipid fixture looked destined to finish goalless long before the end and the away following had to make do with taunting one sensitive soul to the right of the away end or most of the second half.

Cardiff: Marshall 6; Peltier 5, Morrison 6, Connolly 6, Malone 6; Noone 6, O’Keefe 6 (Ameobi 66, 7), Ralls 6, Whittingham 5 (Gunnarsson 81, -); Immers 5 (Zohore 80, -); Pilkington 5

Subs not used: Turner, Dikgacoi, Moore, Lawrence

Bookings: Pilkington 13 (diving), Peltier 49 (foul)

QPR: Ingram 7; Onuoha 6, Hall 6, Hill 6, Konchesky 4; Henry 6, Luongo 6, Faurlin 6, Phillips 6 (Washington 84, -); Chery 5 (El Khayati 72, 6); Polter 5 (Gladwin 66, 6)

Subs not used: Lumley, Hoilett, Petrasso, Kpekawa

Bookings: Konchesky 81 (foul)

QPR 2 Cardiff City 2, Saturday August 15, 2015, Championship

QPR contrived to blow a two goal lead in the final half hour of the first meeting between these sides last season, way back in August. Newly-relegated Rangers looked all set to get off to a winning start at home back in the second tier when Clint Hill headed home in first half stoppage time from a corner, then Charlie Austin did likewise before the hour with a heavy hint of handball along the way. But Rangers were slack at marking from set pieces themselves, allowing Morrison to pull once back for the visitors and when the referee missed a foul on Michael Doughty in injury time, Joe Mason was able to volley home a last-gasp equaliser from long range.

QPR: Green 5; Perch 5, Onuoha 7, Hill 6, Konchesky 5; Luongo 7, Henry 5; Phillips 6, Chery 7 (Doughty 55, 6), Gladwin 5 (Emmanuel-Thomas 76, 5); Austin 6 (Polter 68, 6)

Subs not used: Hall, Kpekawa, Faurlin, Lumley

Goals: Hill 33 (assisted Phillips), Austin 56 (assisted Phillips/Hill)

Cardiff: Moore 7; Peltier 5, Connolly 5, Morrison 6, Malone 7; Pilkington 6 (Ameobi 82, -), Dikgacoi 5 (Noone 68, 6), Whittingham 6, Ralls 7; Mason 8, Revell 5 (Jones 59, 7)

Subs not used: Fabio, Doyle, Gunnarsson, Wilson

Goals: Morrison 64 (assisted Whittingham), Malone 90 (assisted Ralls)

QPR 2 Cardiff City 1, Saturday November 27, 2010, Championship

QPR came out on top in the first meeting between these two sides during that promotion season. In a clash between first and second in the Championship, Cardiff drew first blood when a sloppy piece of QPR possession on halfway turned into a total disaster as Kaspars Gorkss lost his footing and presented the ball to Jay Bothroyd. He subsequently played in Craig Bellamy who looked offside but was allowed to continue and just about beat Paddy Kenny for the opening goal. Gorkss swiftly made amends though, planting a powerful header beyond Tom Heaton after meeting Tommy Smith’s well-flighted cross for the equaliser. Rangers went close to taking the lead for the first time midway through the second half when Jamie Mackie’s snap shot from long range was saved by Heaton but from the resulting corner Adel Taaabt regathered possession, rode the tackle of Naylor, and then danced his way into the penalty area before dispatching the ball into the top corner. Cardiff were denied a blatant late penalty when Matt Connolly tripped Jay Bothroyd but QPR should then have had one of their own when Leon Clarke was obviously bundled over in the penalty area while clean through on goal.

QPR: Kenny 8, Walker 7, Gorkss 6, Connolly 6, Hill 6, Derry 7, Faurlin 7, Mackie 7 (Agyemang 90, -), Taarabt 8 (Clarke 87, -), Smith 7 (Hall 90, -), Hulse 8

Subs Not Used: Cerny, Orr, Helguson, Ephraim

Booked: Hill (foul), Clarke (foul)

Goals: Gorkss 18 (assisted Smith), Taarabt 68 (assisted Derry/Smith)

Cardiff: Heaton 7, McNaughton 7, Hudson 5, Blake 6, Naylor 6, Drinkwater 7 (Koumas 57, 5), Whittingham 6, Olofinjana 7, Burke 7 (Chopra 80, -), Bellamy 8, Bothroyd 8

Subs Not Used: Marshall, Gyepes, McPhail, Keogh, Matthews

Booked: Koumas (foul), Whittingham (foul), Bellamy (dissent)

Goals: Bellamy 13 (assisted Bothroyd)

Previous Results

Head to Head >>> QPR wins 36 >>> Draws 14 >>> Cardiff wins 27

2019/20 QPR 6 Cardiff 1 (Wells 3, Osayi Samuel 2, Eze)

2019/20 Cardiff 3 QPR 0

2017/18 QPR 2 Cardiff 1 (Smith, Smyth)

2017/18 Cardiff 2 QPR 1 (Smith)

2016/17 QPR 2 Cardiff 1 (Smith, Ngbakoto)

2016/17 Cardiff 0 QPR 2 (Caulker, Chery)

2015/16 Cardiff 0 QPR 0

2015/16 QPR 2 Cardiff 2 (Hill, Austin)

2010/11 Cardiff 2 QPR 2 (Taarabt 2)

2010/11 QPR 2 Cardiff 1 (Gorkss, Taarabt)

2009/10 QPR 0 Cardiff 1

2009/10 Cardiff 0 QPR 2 (Simpson 2)

2008/09 Cardiff 0 QPR 0

2008/09 QPR 1 Cardiff 0 (Mahon)

2007/08 Cardiff 3 QPR 1 (Agyemang)

2007/08 QPR 0 Cardiff 2

2006/07 QPR 1 Cardiff 0 (Blackstock)

2006/07 Cardiff 0 QPR 1 (Jones)

2005/06 Cardiff 0 QPR 0

2005/06 QPR 1 Cardiff 0 (Nygaard)

2004/05 Cardiff 1 QPR 0

2004/05 QPR 1 Cardiff 0 (Shittu)

2002/03 Cardiff 1 QPR 0 (Play Off Final)

2002/03 Cardiff 1 QPR 2 (Furlong, Langley)

2002/03 QPR 0 Cardiff 4

2001/02 Cardiff 1 QPR 1 (Pacquette)

2001/02 QPR 2 Cardiff 1 (Thomson 2)

1999/00 QPR 1 Cardiff 2** (Peacock)

1999/00 Cardiff 1 QPR 2** (Langley, Fowler og)

1989/90 QPR 2 Cardiff 0* (Wilkins, Wegerle)

1989/90 Cardiff 0 QPR 0*

1988/89 Cardiff 1 QPR 4** (Falco 2, Maddix, Stein)

1988/89 QPR 3 Cardiff 0** (Francis, Fereday, Allen)

1981/82 Cardiff 1 QPR 2 (Allen, Mickelwhite)

1981/82 QPR 2 Cardiff 0 (Stainrod)

1980/81 QPR 2 Cardiff 0 (Fenwick, Langley)

1980/81 Cardiff 1 QPR 0

1979/80 QPR 3 Cardiff 0 (Allen 2, Roeder)

1979/80 Cardiff 1 QPR 0

1976/77 Cardiff 1 QPR 3** (Bowles, Thomas, Clement)

1972/73 Cardiff 0 QPR 0

1972/73 QPR 3 Cardiff 0 (Givens 2, Bowles)

1971/72 QPR 3 Cardiff 0 (Ferguson, O’Rourke, Leach)

1971/72 Cardiff 0 QPR 0

1970/71 Cardiff 1 QPR 0

1970/71 QPR 4 Cardiff 0** (Bridges, Saul, Marsh, Venables)

1970/71 QPR 0 Cardiff 1

1969/70 QPR 2 Cardiff 1 (Gillard, Marsh)

1969/70 Cardiff 4 QPR 2 (Venables, Bridges)

1967/68 Cardiff 1 QPR 0

1967/68 QPR 1 Cardiff 0 (I Morgan)

1951/52 QPR 1 Cardiff 1 (Smith)

1951/52 Cardiff 3 QPR 1 (Gilberg)

1950/51 Cardiff 4 QPR 2 (Shepherd 2)

1950/51 QPR 3 Cardiff 2 (Hatton, Heath, Wardle)

1949/50 Cardiff 4 QPR 0

1949/50 QPR 0 Cardiff 1

1948/49 Cardiff 3 QPR 0

1948/49 QPR 0 Cardiff 0

1946/47 QPR 2 Cardiff 3 (Wardle og, Pattison)

1946/47 Cardiff 2 QPR 2 (Durrant, Hatton)

1938/39 QPR 5 Cardiff 0 (Cheetham 2, Devine, McCarthy, Cape)

1938/39 Cardiff 1 QPR 0

1937/38 Cardiff 2 QPR 2 (Fitzgerald)

1937/38 QPR 2 Cardiff 1 (Cape, Lowe)

1936/37 QPR 6 Cardiff 0 (Charlton 3, Fitzgerald 3)

1936/37 Cardiff 2 QPR 0

1935/36 Cardiff 3 QPR 2 (Crawford, Lowe)

1935/36 QPR 5 Cardiff 1 (Lumsden 3, Cheetham 2)

1934/35 QPR 2 Cardiff 2 (Blackman, Dutton)

1934/35 Cardiff 2 QPR 1 (Farquarson og)

1933/34 Cardiff 3 QPR 1 (Brown)

1933/34 QPR 4 Cardiff 0 (Blake 2, Emmerson, Blackman)

1932/33 QPR 5 Cardiff 1 (Goddard 2, Rounce 2, Collins)

1932/33 Cardiff 2 QPR 5 (Marcroft 3, Goddard, Blackman)

1931/32 QPR 2 Cardiff 3 (Rounce, Haley)

1931/32 Cardiff 0 QPR 4 (Cribb 2, Goddard, Roberts og)

** - League Cup

* - FA Cup

Connections

Richard Langley >>> QPR 1996-2003, 2006-2006 >>> Cardiff 2003-2005

Richard Langley was the last QPR youth team player to graduate from the academy set up and establish himself as a regular first team player.

Viewed by many QPR fans as a superb midfield ball player capable of scoring world class goals and producing killer passes, he was nevertheless somebody whose career never progressed as it threatened to do having suffered two horrendous knee injuries.

Langley made his first team debut for QPR as a sub during a 3-1 defeat to Swindon in October 1998, at only 18 years old. A month later Langley got his first goal for the club in only his second appearance, opening the scoring in a 2-1 win over Barnsley at Loftus Road. Manager Gerry Francis has since said he had tried to get the groundsman to deliberately waterlog the Loftus Road pitch that night to try and get the game off such was his shortage of options but a lack of established first team players gave Langley his chance and he grabbed it with both hands. Langley looked like a great prospect and under Francis and formed an eye catching partnership the following campaign with Gavin Peacock and Stuart Wardley in the centre of the park, in a season where he only missed two league games for the Super Hoops.

Unfortunately the following season was a disappointing one for both Langley and Rangers as the team was relegated to the third tier for the first time since the 1970s. Langley missed the second half of that campaign and the start of the new season after suffering a serious knee injury in a home match against Fulham. While undoubtedly a tragedy for the player, and his team mate and close friend Clarke Carlisle who remarkably suffered the same injury in the same match, it actually did Rangers a favour as the club descended into administration, released the majority of the squad and sold anybody worth selling that summer. Undoubtedly had they been fit Langley and Carlisle would both have been flogged. When they returned to the team Ian Holloway was in charge but he still saw the midfielder as a key part of his Rangers side.

The 2002-03 season was arguably Langley’s best in a QPR shirt. Playing on the right-wing he helped Rangers finish in the top six and make the play-offs, scoring a hat trick in a memorable 3-1 win at Blackpool towards the end of the season. His goal in the semi-final first leg against Oldham vital in seeing Rangers make the final, but a sending off, and another red card earlier in the season in an LDV Vans game with Bristol City, in the same game meant that a gutted Langley would miss the final which the R’s went on to lose 1-0 to Cardiff.

That summer there was plenty of speculation about his future in W12 and although he started the 2003/04 season for Rangers, scoring in the first two games against Blackpool and Cheltenham, the club then accepted an offer just shy of a quarter of a million pounds from Cardiff who had been promoted in our stead. He spent two uneventful seasons in Wales, where the fans never really warmed to him, and won caps for Jamaica before returning to Rangers, now back in the Championship, on deadline day 2005, signing a one-year deal. He played 33 times that season and Rangers finished in the top half but was released that summer and joined Luton Town.

His career curtailed somewhat after that with further horrific knee injuries all but retiring him early. His time at Bristol Rovers was cut short and a subsequent move to Mansfield fell through. Played briefly in Thailand but can now be found summarising QPR games for local radio among other things.

Others >>> Neil Warnock, Cardiff (manager) 2016-2019, QPR (manager) 2010-2012 >>> Junior Hoilett, Cardiff 2016-present, QPR 2012-2016 >>> Steven Caulker, QPR 2014-2017, Cardiff 2013-2014 >>> Matt Connolly, Cardiff 2012-present, QPR 2008-2012 >>> Fabio, Cardiff 2014-2016, QPR 2013-2014 >>> Federicho Macheda, Cardiff 2014-2016, QPR (loan) 2012 >>> Jordon Mutch, QPR 2013-2014, Cardiff 2012-2014 >>> Heidar Helguson, Cardiff 2012/13, QPR 2008-2012 >>> Jay Bothroyd, QPR 2011-2013, Cardiff 2008-2011 >>> Wayne Routledge, QPR (loan) 2011, 2009-2010, Cardiff (loan) 2008-2009 >>> Chris Barker, QPR 2007-2008, Cardiff 2002-2007 >>> Leon Jeanne, Cardiff 2000-2001, QPR 1998-2000 >>> Matt Brazier, Cardiff 1999-2002, QPR 1994-1998 >>> Robbie James, Cardiff 1992-1993, QPR 1984-1987 >>> Wayne Fereday, Cardiff 1994-1995, QPR 1980-1989 >>> Andy McCulloch, Cardiff 1972-1974, QPR 1970-1972

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