1975–76 Queens Park Rangers F.C. season

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Queens Park Rangers
1975–76 season
Chairman Jim Gregory
Manager Dave Sexton
Stadium Loftus Road
First Division 2nd
FA Cup Third round
League Cup Fourth round
Top goalscorer League: Don Givens (13)
All: Don Givens (13)
Highest home attendance 31,002 v Leeds United (24 April 1976)
Lowest home attendance 16,759 v Birmingham City (17 January 1976)
Average home league attendance 23,850

These are the results of the 1975–76 season for Queens Park Rangers F.C. when they competed in the English Football League First Division. Rangers enjoyed the best season in their history, finishing second in the First Division, a point behind champions Liverpool.

Season summary[edit]

Following promotion to the First Division in 1973, Rangers had spent two years gradually building a strong squad, and now announced themselves as one of the most skillful, attractive and entertaining sides in the country, under the stewardship of former Chelsea manager Dave Sexton.

Rangers began the season in superb style by beating Liverpool 2-0 at Loftus Road, with the opening goal by Gerry Francis epitomising the free-flowing football the team would play throughout the season - a pass from Frank McLintock to Stan Bowles, a deft flick through the legs to Francis, a one-two with Don Givens and a low shot despatched past goalkeeper Ray Clemence. BBC Match of the Day viewers would later vote it their 'Goal of the Season.' The following weekend, Rangers produced an even more impressive result by beating reigning champions Derby County 5-1 on their own ground (Bowles scoring a hat-trick), and four matches later they ended Manchester United's unbeaten start with a 1-0 win at Loftus Road. Indeed, it was not until their eleventh match that Rangers themselves lost for the first time, going down 2-1 at Leeds United, although they bounced back in their next match by thrashing Everton 5-0.

Four defeats in six matches straddling the New Year saw Rangers slip from top of the table to fifth, but a 2-0 win at Aston Villa in late January set in motion an extraordinary run of 11 wins and a draw that pushed them right back into contention for the League title. By the second weekend in April they were once again top of the table, a point ahead of Liverpool with three matches to play. Crucially, Rangers lost their next match 3-2 at Norwich City on 17 April, allowing Liverpool to reclaim the advantage by beating Stoke City. Both teams then won their penultimate fixtures, and after beating Leeds 2-0 on the final Saturday of the season, 24 April, Rangers were left with an agonising wait as Liverpool did not complete their fixtures until 10 days later on 4 May, at relegation-threatened Wolverhampton Wanderers. Liverpool's superior goal average meant they needed just a draw to become champions, but when Steve Kindon fired the home side into a first-half lead after 15 minutes, Rangers' dream was very much alive. The score remained 1-0 until the final quarter of an hour, but Kevin Keegan scored a dramatic equaliser and two further Liverpool goals handed them the title by a margin of just one point.

Rangers qualified for their first season in Europe, but have never since come close to emulating that fine side.

Results[edit]

First Division[edit]

Date Opponents H / A Result
F – A
Scorers Attendance
16 August 1975 Liverpool H 2–0 Francis, Leach 27,113
19 August 1975 Aston Villa H 1–1 Francis 21,986
23 August 1975 Derby County A 5–1 Thomas, Bowles 3 (1 pen), Clement 27,590
26 August 1975 Wolverhampton Wanderers A 2–2 Givens 2 19,380
30 August 1975 West Ham United H 1–1 Givens 28,408
6 September 1975 Birmingham City A 1–1 Thomas 27,305
13 September 1975 Manchester United H 1–0 Webb 29,237
20 September 1975 Middlesbrough A 0–0 24,867
23 September 1975 Leicester City H 1–0 Leach 19,292
27 September 1975 Newcastle United H 1–0 Leach 22,981
4 October 1975 Leeds United A 1–2 Bowles (pen) 30,943
11 October 1975 Everton H 5–0 Givens, Masson, Francis 2, Thomas 23,022
18 October 1975 Burnley A 0–1 20,409
25 October 1975 Sheffield United H 1–0 Givens 21,161
1 November 1975 Coventry City A 1–1 Givens 17,845
8 November 1975 Tottenham Hotspur H 0–0 28,454
15 November 1975 Ipswich Town A 1–1 Givens 25,540
22 November 1975 Burnley H 1–0 Bowles 17,390
29 November 1975 Stoke City H 3–2 Masson, Clement, Webb 22,328
6 December 1975 Manchester City A 0–0 36,066
13 December 1975 Derby County H 1–1 Nutt 25,465
20 December 1975 Liverpool A 0–2 39,182
26 December 1975 Norwich City H 2–0 Masson, Bowles 21,774
27 December 1975 Arsenal A 0–2 39,021
10 January 1976 Manchester United A 1–2 Givens 58,312
17 January 1976 Birmingham City H 2–1 Masson 2 16,759
24 January 1976 West Ham United A 0–1 26,677
31 January 1976 Aston Villa A 2–0 Hollins, Francis 32,223
7 February 1976 Wolverhampton Wanderers H 4–2 Givens 2, Thomas, Francis (pen) 17,153
14 February 1976 Tottenham Hotspur A 3–0 Givens, Francis 2 28,200
21 February 1976 Ipswich Town H 3–1 Wark (og), Webb, Thomas 22,593
25 February 1976 Leicester City A 1–0 Thomas 24,340
28 February 1976 Sheffield United A 0–0 21,949
6 March 1976 Coventry City H 4–1 Thomas, Francis, Givens, Masson 19,731
13 March 1976 Everton A 2–0 Bowles, Leach 25,186
20 March 1976 Stoke City A 1–0 Webb 22,848
27 March 1976 Manchester City H 1–0 Webb 29,883
3 April 1976 Newcastle United A 2–1 McLintock, Bowles 30,134
10 April 1976 Middlesbrough H 4–2 Francis 2 (1 pen), Givens, Bowles 24,342
17 April 1976 Norwich City A 2-3 Thomas, Powell (og) 31,231
19 April 1976 Arsenal H 2–1 McLintock, Francis (pen) 30,362
24 April 1976 Leeds United H 2–0 Thomas, Bowles 31,002
Pos Club Pld W D L F A GA Pts
1 Liverpool 42 23 14 5 66 31 2.13 60
2 Queens Park Rangers 42 24 11 7 67 33 2.03 59
3 Manchester United 42 23 10 9 68 42 1.62 56

Pld = Matches played; W = Matches won; D = Matches drawn; L = Matches lost; F = Goals for; A = Goals against; GA = Goal average; Pts = Points

Football League Cup[edit]

Date Round Opponents H / A Result
F – A
Scorers Attendance
9 September 1975 Second Round Shrewsbury Town A 4–1 Webb, Masson, Thomas, Leach 11,250
7 October 1975 Third Round Charlton Athletic H 1–1 Bowles 20,434
13 October 1975 Third Round Replay Charlton Athletic A 3–0 Thomas, Masson, Bowles 31,583
11 November 1975 Fourth Round Newcastle United H 1–3 Leach 21,162

FA Cup[edit]

Date Round Opponents H / A Result
F – A
Scorers Attendance
3 January 1976 Third Round Newcastle United H 0–0 20,102
7 January 1976 Third Round Replay Newcastle United A 1–2 Masson 37,225

Squad[edit]

First Division appearances[edit]

Name Nationality Year of birth Apps. Goals
Goalkeepers
Phil Parkes England 1950 42 -
Derek Richardson England 1956 - -
Richard Teale England 1952 - -
Defenders
Ron Abbott England 1953 6 -
Dave Clement England 1948 40 2
Tommy Cunningham England 1955 - -
Ian Gillard England 1950 41 -
Steve Jones England 1957 - -
Frank McLintock Scotland 1939 35 2
Keith Pritchett Scotland 1953 - -
Tony Tagg England 1959 4 -
David Webb England 1946 38 5
Midfielders
John Beck England 1954 5 -
Martyn Busby England 1953 - -
Gerry Francis England 1951 36 12
John Hollins England 1946 30 1
Mick Leach England 1947 31 4
Don Masson Scotland 1946 42 6
Forwards
Steve Adams England 1958 - -
Stan Bowles England 1948 37 10
Peter Eastoe England 1953 - -
Don Givens Republic of Ireland 1949 41 13
Phil Nutt England 1958 3 1
Dave Thomas England 1950 41 9

Notes and references[edit]