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Nothing new at QPR
When I wrote A History of QPR in 1969 the book had the unusual distinction of being three managers out of date when it was published. Quite a blow for a writer who prides himself on being first with the news.
I reckon that anyone writing a 2010 history of Rangers, the whirlwind way they seem to be changing managers, could well top my record for being out of date. A copy of my book, by the way, can be seen today as available on Amazon for £32 so it obviously retains some historical interest for those with Rangers at heart.
When I was writing the book Alec Stock was the manager. He was replaced by the coach Bill Dodgin, who walked out when Rangers appointed Tommy Docherty. Tommy's reign lasted 28 days - and he was replaced by Les Allen, who was not mentioned in the book. Is history repeating itself today?
Former Newcastle United and Wimbledon manager Joe Kinnear, who I have known since he was a stylish right back with Spurs, was linked with a role at the troubled Championship club in a national paper last week.
Joe was a guest at the Barnet FC home game against Lincoln City at the weekend and the topic of Rangers came up. Woody, who passed the fit and proper person test last year to marry my daughter Claire, is a QPR fan and she had rung to say he was impressed that my name came up among the 130-plus messages on the We are the Rangers Boys website that day.
One writer labelled me "old school" - I think that's a compliment - and another "proper Rangers", even though accepting that my allegiance these days is to Barnet.
Another wrote: "We were all one, yes we punched above our weight but we all stood together. We shattered some big egos, Arsenal, Spurs, Chelsea ... you name it".
I was chief executive and a director of QPR, then in the old top flight oFirst Division, and worked alongside manager Jim ("Bald Eagle") Smith. Jim was a larger than life Yorkshireman who greeted every turbulent incident in our daily routine by saying "That's one for the book".
If I had written a follow-up History of QPR based on that season we could have had a best seller of unpublished anecdotes!
By contrast with the high flying life of visiting the likes of Old Trafford, Anfield and other temples of the game, my introduction to Brentford as general manager in the Sixties was stark.
The national papers announced my appointment on a Thursday ... two days later we travelled to Peterborough United, lost 3-0 and were relegated to the Fourth Division. Not many can match that record of making such an instant impact.
We may not have made a great impact as a team but we matched the Arsenals, Chelseas and Tottenhams for column inches in the papers. One day I launched a story in the old London Evening News saying that visitors to Griffin Park would collect the old Green Shield stamps.
I met the chairman in the lobby of an hotel. "What the heck do you think you are doing? he asked. "You'll make us look a laughing stock".
In the lift going up, a fellow chairman, holding a copy of the paper, said: "What a brilliant idea". My chairman replied:"I think so".
We never saw the stamps, but the story led the back page and created much interest if not queues to get into the next game.
Going back to books - you can get one of the Tottenham Hotspur books I wrote in the Seventies on Amazon for £28.80. Brian Lowy, who helps host the directors' lounge at Barnet games, took in two Spurs books for me to sign at the weekend.
One of them had a picture of a young Joe Kinnear alongside a chapter I'd written about him. Joe signed on the photo and Brian told him it was a book I'd written.
"You can't believe anything he says", joked Joe. He read a couple of paragraphs and said: "He always was brilliant that Dennis".
PS: Amazon say a copy of my best-selling Pictorial History of Soccer can be snapped up for 1p. Must be a misprint.