I came across this interesting piece of QPR memorabilia the other day. Bought it some time ago and had forgotten about it.
Not a vintage football programme of course but a bit of vintage history of how the functioned way back in the 1930s.
Sam Abel signed for Queen's Park Rangers from Fulham at the beginning of the 1934/35 season. He joined the club as an 'Inside' forward but by the end of the season he was playing wide right - making a total of 24 appearances and scoring 3 goals in what was a mediocre mid-table campaign for his new club.
Something went wrong for Sam though afterward as 1935/36 saw him play only 8 times (scoring twice) - even though Rangers were now challenging close to the top end of Division Three South.
Basically Abel had slipped down the pecking order and, as this letter from QPR manager William Birrell to the Football League,shows, was on the transfer list leading into 1936/37. Perhaps this was contract renewal negotiations - who knows.
Sam again was a periphery figure - 4 outings - followed by 1 and 5 in the following 2 seasons - now at full-back. His appearances restricted to the 'stiffs' where he was a stalwart.
But like in so many things, the outbreak of World War in 1939 changed everything and Sam Abel's Rangers career took off. 179 times he took the field during those years, scoring 5 times from right or left back.
But as the war ended, Sam Abel, now 37, retired and disappeared from QPR's history.
William (Billy) Birrell - Managed Queen's Park Rangers 1935-39, most noted as the man who signed Tommy Cheetham ( goalscoring phenomenon), narrowly missing out on promotion to Division 2 in 1938 and a move, as the war began, across west London to Chelsea.