QPR vs Lincoln City 1948/49
Updated: May 23, 2020
The 1948/49 programmes for Q.P.R featured a 'cut-out' image of a Rangers player - perfect, as we can see here, for a young fan to get an autograph and collect throughout the season. Not entirely sure of this autograph to be honest as it looks very scrawled and childish. But let's give it the benefit of the doubt.
As you'll see from the match report below, it wasn't much of a match but the home fans still saw a win for the Rangers and the first senior goal for John Gibbons.
John, who also turned out for Spurs and Ipswich, was a prolific goalscorer for the 'stiffs', but with appearances limited by a constant shuffling of the front line for QPR during his time there, notching up only 1 other senior goal. That was away at Leeds United in another win for Rangers a few weeks later.
This contrasts with the scorer of the first Rangers goal of the afternoon, Cyril Hatton. He hit 93 in 208 games between 1942 and 1953.
Both Rangers and Lincoln (see below) were punching above their weight at this period but the newly promoted home side did finish a creditable 13th that season (despite scoring the 2nd fewest goals), while Lincoln City, finishing bottom, slipped into the 3rd division with only 8 wins from their 42 games.
Also worth noting the match report stating that the 19,000 attendance was 'small'.
Interesting notice on the front cover of a match against Willesden the following Saturday. Willesden are noted as QPR's nursery club - a phenomenon unusual now but likely to make a return?
postscript - John Gibbons is currently 95 years young and may even be reading this.
Lincoln City - 1948 AND DIVISION 2 (taken from Vital Lincoln City) City kicked off the season with the team that had took the third division title the previous term. From the beginning the step up in class was very apparent and early results were not encouraging. Most of the team were still part time, we scraped 3 points from the first 3 games, before losing the next three, all away, one of them a real hammering against West Brom 5-0. This was not part of the script that the supporters had envisaged but it was something we had to get used to as the season unfolded. The return home fixture saw the debut of a player called Bett, a forward that we had signed. He was quite skilful but of a very slight build and after making about a dozen appearances drifted out of the first team. Match number 12 of the season saw the arrival of one Ephraim (Jock)Dodds, for a mind blowing £ 6,000. How we ever got this colossus of a player to sign for Lincoln was a testimony to Mr Anderson, who had played with him at Sheffield United. He arrived with a reputation as a goal scorer and believe me he was not about to disappoint anyone. He made his debut at Grimsby Town in front of a 22,000 crowd and scored both our goals in a 2-2 draw. Personnaly, my first view of him was the following week, a home to Notts Forest when he scored in a 3-1 defeat. He was clearly a player of immense talent and class and must surely have wondered what on earth he had signed up to. I don't have much to say about the team performance except that the aging defence just wasn't good enough at this level and eventually Anderson started to break it up. Half way through the season, out went Moulson and Tom Johnson, replaced by Arthur Jepson Doug Wright and, eventually, Tony Emery. But, it was too little too late and Lincoln were destined to return to the Third North. I want now to mention some of these players in more detail. Clearly Dodds was a prolific goal scorer, as he scored 17 goals in 22 games in a struggling side. To this day I have never seen anyone strike a dead ball as hard as he could and many of them were from free kicks outside the box. I many a time thought that if any goalkeeper was daft enough to get his body in the way they would have been propelled into the net as well. But there was a lot more to Jock than his power. He was a big chap but seemed to just glide across the grass, and he also had this unique skill that allowed him to put in a couple of very short strides as any defender was about to tackle him. This had the effect of putting him two yards behind the tackler and off in a different direction, and it happened too many times to be a fluke. Now to move on to Doug Wright, and I will say straight away that had we had him in the side from the seasons beginning there would have been no fears of relegation. Like Dodds, Doug Wright had played in Wartime Internationals for England, as opposed to Jock playing the same for Scotland. Its often been said class players always seem to have so much time on the ball and, in Doug, we were privileged to see the living proof.The talent of this man won’t be found in any coaching manual, its just something you are born with. We only got him at City because he had a gammy leg, he regularly proved that pace wasn`t everything, as he walked about the field without breaking sweat. So many times would he have some speed merchant forward bearing down on him, and he would just drop a shoulder and suddenly he was in space to clear the ball when it suited him. Clearly we had unearthed a gem, as future seasons would prove. To conclude this article I have to make mention of the late Tony Emery. Tony had made the odd appearance the previous season but this was his break through season and he went on to be one of the best defenders ever to don a City shirt. Over the coming years he played against some of the finest Centre Forwards in the land, but in most cases he dominated them including the great John Charles. The only ones he had a problem with was the little guys like Jessie Pye and Charlie Wayman but, he was in good company as many years later, in the seventies, my work took me to Derby one Saturday morning and, on reading that the England manager of the day was going to Derby to run the rule over Roy Mc Farland. They were playing Manchester City and up front for them was Francis Lee, so I decided to stay over and go to the game. Franny spent the whole game with his back to Roy and nothing was ever played up to him above chest high, which he duly controlled and despatched to a teammate. I don`t recall who the Man City manager was that day but he had clearly done his homework, and Roy was not selected.