[I'd also be remiss in not also taking note (and paying homage!) to the truly-incredible Bushman Photo Archives on the QPR Report Messageboard which cover QPR over the decades - including the period covered in Brian Belton's booklet.
Queen’s Park Rangers have never been the biggest club in London – Chelsea, Tottenham and Arsenal vie for that honour – but it has always been one of the most flamboyant and illustrious. Legendary player such as Rodney Marsh, Phil Parkes, Stan Bowles and Gerry Francis lit up the league with their skill and flair. And managers such as Dave Sexton and Terry Venables have over the years made sure that QPR could always punch their weight.
It is one of the great names of English football – and a team that inspires fierce loyalty among its fans. But where did it all begin?
QPR have one of the most fascinating histories of any major football club. In 1886, a team called St Jude’s merged with Christchurch Rangers and Queen’s Park Rangers – named after the park in north- west London where most of the players came from – were born. Over twenty different stadia were tried out before the team finally settled in Loftus Road in 1917. For many years an underdog, the team clawed its way through the league – before eventually claiming their rightful place alongside its elite.
In ‘West London Born: The Early Years of QPR’, the leading football writer and historian Brian Belton tells the story of those early years – the triumphs, the setbacks, and the hardships to be overcome.
It is a must-read for every QPR fan – and every devotee of the beautiful game.
Brian Belton is the author of 'Bolton Born: The Early Years of Bolton FC', 'When magpies First Flew: Newcastle FC The Early Years' and numerous books on the history of football. His books on the game are primarily a study and celebration of this global congregation, the life carnival of soccer splendor.