The Petticoat Ranger
This QPR reserve fixture against Spurs was the first pre-war Queen's Park Rangers programme that I ever bought. When I was a teenager my programme collection was begun by a friend of my father's giving me three shirt boxes of programmes from the 60's, primarily Spurs and other London clubs but overall an eclectic mix. My allegiance in those days was to Tottenham, as my father came from that area, and Jimmy Greaves was my idol and role model for playground football.
But after being taken to the 1967 League Cup Final, the atmosphere, the result and the typical Rangers performance was enough to change my loyalty entirely. Jimmy was replaced by Rodney and gradually I began to replace the Tottenham based collection with QPR programmes.
For me this was facilitated, in the days before ebay etc, by a programme stall at the Aldgate end of Petticoat Lane that I somehow became aware of. Being close to Liverpool Street this was easy accessed by train from Rayleigh on a Sunday morning. An early morning walk to the station, a stroll along what was a vibrant market row in those days culminated in a tiny area of boxes of football programmes set into a tiny recess near Houndsditch market. I was soon a regular seeking out as many QPR programmes as possible from the 60s and, where possible before. Obviously Rangers were only just growing in prominence then and their programmes were less than common. Nonetheless the collection grew, the outing into the 'smoke' was exhilarating and capping it off, on the train back home, a couple of excellent jam doughnuts from Kossoff's! Simple but superb times.
I think this programme may have been the only pre-war issue I was ever able to collect from those guys (does anyone have any idea who they were?). In addition to the thrill of owning something this old was the appreciation of the graphic cover. I'm sure it's not the best illustration to adorn a cover but there is a simplicity in it that charms. Sadly, the design was only used for the 1933/34 season - a very difficult one to find even now - but,interestingly, was used for England v Ireland 1932 with the player wearing a red shirt and black shorts.
As was normal for this time period even reserve fixtures produced issues with decent reading material and, despite not being in the league of the Fulham programme I wrote about before, adverts are limited to the middle, team sheet, page.
As this match was played in the Christmas period, you'd expect a degree of buoyancy but with the Rangers first team in second place in their division the programmes notes are very positive (the season ended with a slight slippage to 4th).
"Once again we are all pleased to see the great team-work which is bringing such splendid results and causing much limelight to be directed to both our club and players."
Surprisingly this is a strong lineup with many of the players on display registering solid first team appearances. Bill Mason appeared between the 1ts eleven sticks on 269 occasions and although Alec Farmer was more a QPR legend as a trainer he still notched up 178 games.
No longer my oldest home programme but one of my favourites.