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44 Years ago, QPR were coming to the end of a truly- humiliating and abysmal season. A season in which the club had gone through four managers (one of them, Tommy Docherty - "The Doc," staying for just 28 Days before walking out on the club.) The number of managers equalled the number of wins the club achieved that season: 4 out of 42 - none of those wins away. The season points total of 18 was then a record low (subsequently "beaten" by Stoke!)
But despite all of this, 1968/1969 was one of the most momentous and unforgettable seasons for QPR fans, with memories seared into their consciousness. From the home opener in which "Little QPR" played their-first-ever game in the FIRST Division (with an unfinished new stand) at home to Leicester, to the humiliation at Old Trafford. The awe of playing Liverpool and Leeds; Manchester City and Manchester United; Arsenal and Tottenham. And finally, in the same division as QPR's arch-rivals: Chelsea!
As the sad season came to anBut neither Club nor Fans gave in or gave up. As the Club posted in their home last game programme (against Stoke - which QPR won!)
As that final programme editorial said:
"....We are no failures; no has beens; and no write-offs and those who believe that Rangers' brief spark of glory is extinguished are in for a rude awakening next season... "We have lost the campaign of the First Divison but we go down with colours flying, bayonets fixed; and of course drums beating. We prefer to think that this is no inglorious retreat but a startegic withdrawal to consolidate our forces for the next assault upon the First Division. And in the words of General Macarthur "'We Shall Return!'"
As an addendum, it might be noted out that four years after this humiliation, QPR were back in the First Division playing "Total Football," with a team which included six future England Internationals, including the future England Captain...and were couple a years off from being the best team in the country. So, one step back; two steps forward and then...onwards and upwards!
And a Flashback to The Season Opener (vs Leicester) -
- QPR's 1968/1969 Season in Photos (from the Bushman Archives)