City travel to Loftus Road tomorrow to take on the league leaders Queens Park Rangers. It will not be an easy trip for the Sky Blues who face a team that has lost only three league games all season and have only lost once at home (to Watford). They travel however with the knowledge that they have not lost in their last five trips to the ground, winning three and drawing two, since September 2004 when they lost 4-1. That was an horrendous night for Peter Reid’s team and was their fifth game without a win leaving them 18th in the table. Jamie Cureton scored a hat-trick and former Sky Blue Paul Furlong the other with Graham Barrett replying. Reid’s team that night makes interesting reading:
Steele: Carey, Staunton, Sherwood, Mills, Shaw, Jorgensen, Doyle, John, Morrell, Barrett. Subs: Suffo, Whing, Johnson.
Of the 14 on duty that night, eight of them had gone by the start of the following season and Sherwood and Mills only played one more game for the club. Reid managed to survive until the New Year when he was sacked with City in 20th place and heading for relegation.
Since that dreadful night the results have gone City’s way:
1-0 (McSheffrey pen), 1-0 (Adebola), 2-1 (Mifsud & Kyle), 1-1 (Fox), 2-2 (Best & Wood).
QPR are currently heading for their best finish in the division since they were promoted from League One in 2004. In the last six years their best finishing position is 11th and over that period their record is not dissimilar to the Sky Blues. Now of course they have wealthy owners who have allowed Neil Warnock to invest considerable sums in the squad and promotion back to the Premiership for the first time since 1996 looks a distinct possibility.
Last week’s obituary on Jack Kendall prompted some correspondence. Alan Blackwell, a close friend of Jack’s, sent me the picture below of Morris’ cricket team from around 1960, a team captained and coached by Jack (centre of front row). The football team picture shown last week prompted John Beardow to contact me. He was a friend of Jack's for 48 years. Jack had shown him the team photo some years ago. He knows the match was played on GEC's Copsewood ground (where City trained in those days) and the photo was taken there but he cannot remember the circumstances of the game.
Peter Barratt pointed out that his grandfather Dick Hill, City’s trainer for many years was in the photo on the far right of the back row. Diamond Club member John Green pointed out that the referee (middle row, far left) was Dai Evans. John worked with him at AWA Baginton in the late 1950s and early 1960s and says: ‘Being much older than myself I never suspected he was involved in any sport. Now having reached four score years myself I realised what opportunities young folk miss by not questioning their seniors’.