|Date of birth||5 December 1938|
|Place of birth||Stepney, London, England|
|1960–1961||Queens Park Rangers||37||(19)|
|1962–1964||Queens Park Rangers||81||(28)|
|1966–1967||Queens Park Rangers||88||(29)|
|Wingate & Finchley|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Mark Lazarus (born 5 December 1938) is an English, retired, professional footballer.
He played as a right winger and made more than 400 Football League appearances, scoring over 100 goals. A prominent Jewish player, he initially chose football over boxing and followed manager Alec Stock first to Leyton Orient and then Queens Park Rangers. He transferred to Wolverhampton Wanderers for a club record fee, but due to a clash with manager Stan Cullis, he moved back to QPR after only nine games. He then played for Brentford before signing again for Queens Park Rangers. In his third stint with QPR he scored the winning goal for the club in the 1967 League Cup Final. He moved to Crystal Palace in December 1967. He moved back to Leyton Orient, before moving onto non-league football where he saw out his football career.
Lazarus, who was Jewish, was born on 5 December 1938 in Stepney, London. He said, of growing up in a Jewish family, "There was no antisemitism in the East End – that came later when we moved to Chadwell Heath, in Essex, when I was six. We were the only Jewish family in the area and I had fights every day on the way to school." Two of his brothers were boxers, one of whom, Lew Lazar, fought for the British title at welterweight and middleweight. He initially followed his brothers into boxing, having fought a few amateur fights. At the request of his father Isaac, he became an apprentice upholsterer in order to ensure that he had a trade once any potential sporting career ended.
He was also a schoolboy player for both Fulham and Chelsea. He also played football for his school and district sides, and played in the same Saturday team as Jimmy Greaves. In 1953 when he was 15 years old he joined Wingate Football Club, which was all Jewish.
Lazarus began his career with Barking, before becoming a professional in 1958 with Leyton Orient. He was spotted by Orient manager Alec Stock, who two years later took Lazarus from Orient to Queens Park Rangers after the manager had moved clubs first.
After playing for QPR, he was transferred to Wolverhampton Wanderers for a club record fee of £27,500, but only went on to play nine games for the club. He didn't get on with Wolves manager Stan Cullis and the two suffered from a clash of personalities. The transfer made Lazarus become the first "big name" Jewish footballer. He transferred back to QPR, and then onto Brentford a couple of seasons later for £8,000 plus George McLeod.
He moved back to QPR once more, who were in the Football League Third Division. Lazarus was involved in the cup run the team went on in the League Cup. In the fifth round, he set up both the QPR goals as they defeated Carlisle United 2–1. He scored the third goal against Birmingham City in the first leg of the semi final, which was also the first time QPR had won in an away match in the League Cup. The two legged semi-final win took them to the final of the 1967 League Cup where they faced cup holders West Bromwich Albion. Having gone two goals down by half time, the QPR team staged a comeback during the second half. With nine minutes of the game remaining, Ron Hunt collided with the WBA goalkeeper, knocking the ball loose. Lazarus latched onto the loose ball and slammed it into the back of an empty net, his team winning the match and trophy 3–2. A £15,000 offer was placed by Reading for the player's services, but he decided not to move clubs. He spent a further year at QPR before being transferred to Crystal Palace for £10,000 in December 1967. Like Rangers, Palace were aiming for promotion at the time and manager Bert Head convinced Lazarus to move clubs. Lazarus made 39 appearances in season 1968–69, in which Palace achieved promotion to the top flight for the first time. His three spells at QPR set a record at the time for occasions a player had transferred back to the same side. After he moved back to Orient for a fee of £8,000, in October 1969 the club were promoted out of Division Three as winners during the 1969–70 season. Lazarus was fined £75 in January 1971 for receiving five yellow cards whilst playing for Orient over a 12-month period. He finished his career in non-league football, with Folkestone, Ilford and Wingate & Finchley.
After his footballer career was over, he became a minder for snooker players, including Steve Davis at the time of his loss to Dennis Taylor in the 1985 World Snooker Championship final. As of 2007, he ran a haulage firm in Romford.
Lazarus was named in a list of the top 100 Queens Park Rangers players of all time, constructed by the club's historian in 2007.
- Queens Park Rangers
- Crystal Palace
- Football League Second Division (runners-up): 1968–69
- Leyton Orient
- Football League Third Division: 1969–70
- Mike Purkiss & Nigel Sands. Crystal Palace: A Complete Record 1905–1989. p. 332. ISBN 0907969542.
- Stanford, Peter (22 September 2013). "Why are there so few British-born Jewish players in England's top flight?". The Independent. London.
- Yaffe, Simon (2011). "Footballing Legend of 50 Years Ago Cost £27,500". Jewish Telegraph. Retrieved 28 January 2012.
- Macey, Gordon (2009). Queens Park Rangers: The Complete Record. Derby, UK: Breedon. pp. 223–224. ISBN 978-1-85983-714-6.
- "Sport: Q & A - The many returns of Lazarus . . . and keeping it in the family". The Independent. London. 12 December 1993. Retrieved 28 January 2012.
- "Q.P.R. Survive Pressure". The Times (56809). 8 December 1966. p. 5.
- "Composed Ability Takes Q.P.R. Nearer Wembley". The Times (56842). 18 January 1967. p. 5.
- "Successful Gamble on Wembley". The Times (56882). 6 March 1967. p. 6.
- "Top 10 League Cup Finals". Sky Sports. Archived from the original on 6 April 2011. Retrieved 28 January 2012.
- "Lazarus May Move". The Times (57102). 18 November 1967. p. 6.
- Mike Purkiss & Nigel Sands. Crystal Palace: A Complete Record 1905–1989. p. 231. ISBN 0907969542.
- "Ron Davies Named but Doubtful". The Times (57691). 15 October 1969. p. 13.
- "£75 Fine for Lazarus". The Times (58083). 27 January 1971. p. 10.
- Trelford, Donald (25 April 2005). "What sparked Taylor's revival?". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 28 January 2012.
- Haynes, Graham; Coumbe, Frank (2006). Timeless Bees: Brentford F.C. Who's Who 1920-2006. Harefield: Yore Publications. p. 57. ISBN 0955294916.
- Mark Lazarus at Post War English & Scottish Football League A–Z Player's Database