This was a classic QPR team facing us in 1966/67. The one that went on to win the Football League Cup at Wembley.
I can remember looking at the WMN at the bus stop as I waited to go to school in Torquay and being very pleased that we had only lost 2-1. I had been convinced we were in for an absolute hammering. We had played them at home only a month earlier and they were a complete class apart (much like most games at Plainmoor these days although QPR really were good it wasn't just us being bad as is the present day vogue!). Strangely we did manage to get out of our own half a couple of times and scraped a 1-1 draw courtesy of an Alan Kirkman goal.
QPR won the league and strangely after those October and November evenings in the end we were close to going up with them!
I wonder where we would be if we had gone up that season, or the season after when we had a better team. I am not one who thinks we would be watching Champions League football at Stadium Plainmoor in Clennon Valley. We would probably be in the same situation we are now having had a previous experience in the Conference and dreading an unwanted reunion.
What a pity that QPR ditched such an interesting badge for the uninspiring modern versions. That Rangers team certainly is packed with fine players who were to become well known names throughout British football. I'm sure that the graffiti artists of the time who embellished the various 'Jesus Saves' proclamations, with 'But St.John scores from the rebound' also occasionally managed to work Mark Lazarus into the action, just as I was certain it was a reasonably well known fact that El Tel named his late 1970's TV detective after Tony Hazell, (Link - Hazell - TV Detective ) but can find no evidence of that on the Interweb. To reverse Barton's terms, maybe what I thought was common currency is being revealed as my precious fact. Sticking with the biblical theme I see the first episode was titled 'Hazell plays Solomon'
'Mark Lazarus was born in east London to a family that had produced a couple of professional boxers. He had fought as an amateur himself and was once sent off while with QPR for laying out an opposing full-back. Lazarus had three separate spells at QPR with whom he experienced his best career moment – scoring the decisive goal in the 1967 League Cup final as Rangers came back from two down to beat West Brom 3-2. He was in the Crystal Palace side that won promotion to Division One in 1969 but left them that summer for Orient, retiring in 1971 after which he ran Lazarus Removals in Romford and a steam baths in Canning Town. Boxing connections led to another of his post-football jobs, when he was employed as a minder for the stable of snooker players managed by fight promoter, and current Orient chairman, Barry Hearn'.
Ah, Mark Lazarus. A hard bugger apparently - boxing in the family - and another who is mentioned at length in Anthony Clavane's excellent book (alas no mention of Tony Levy). There's a copy going in my local Oxfam shop at this very moment, AJ.