You can now follow in the footsteps of Stan Bowles, Rodney Marsh and other QPR legends, as you limber up in the dressing room, stroll down the players’ tunnel and stand at the edge of the pitch, soaking up the atmosphere of the famous Loftus Road Stadium. This stadium tour of Queens Park Rangers FC gives all fans the chance to go behind the scenes at one of the most historic football clubs in London.
Loftus Road is the smallest stadium in the Premier League and has a capacity of around 18,500. The four stands are called the Loftus Road End (often shortened to The Loft), Ellerslie Road Stand, South Africa Road Stand and the School End, which is used by away supporters and accommodates only 3400 travelling fans. The stadium was shared between QPR and neighbours Fulham between 2002 and 2004, whilst Craven Cottage was being reconstructed.
The home of Queens Park Rangers was the first venue to hold non England games, playing host to Australia and Jamaica over the years. The stadium was built in 1904, but QPR moved there in 1917. During the 30s and early 60s QPR moved to the local White City Stadium, but returned to Loftus Road each time soon after.
With the conversion to all seater stadia the capacity of the stadium was reduced from a peak of 35,000. Loftus Road’s highest recorded attendance of 35,353 was in a game against Leeds United on 27 April 1974. The largest recorded attendance since conversion to all seater was also against Leeds United on 7 May 2011. The attendance was 18,234.
Our entourage was able to sit in the director’s box, executive lounge, and keep Joey Barton’s changing room seating area warm for his next visit. The club can improve this part of the tour by ensuring that players shirts are up where they sit. There was also a quick visit to Mark Hughes’ office and a tour of the players’ interview and media rooms. Lakshmi Mittal’s executive lounge cost a mere £500.000 to renovate and is reserved for close friends and family on match days.
The most impressive view of the stadium and any games is from the press seating area.
Some great names have graced the turf at Loftus Road. Players of the calibre of Les Ferdinand, Ray Wilkins, Paul Parker, Stan Bowles, man mountain Darren Peacock, Rodney Marsh, Clive Walker, Andy Impey and Adel Taarabt. Then there’s hell raiser Mark Dennis who after elbowing Ossie Ardiles and receiving an 8 match ban, drove the late David Bulstrode to write to the FA promising to terminate his employment if any more incidents like that happened again.
Described by Ray Wilkins as being “as versatile as an egg,” older fans have also had the pleasure of watching Ned Zelic for a handful of games too.
All in all, a visit to Loftus Road is thoroughly recommended for QPR and non QPR fans. Club staff and personnel are very friendly. There’s absolutely no rush and visitors can savour and enjoy each aspect of the tour.
What’s included on the tour:
Access to the dressing room
Stroll down the players’ tunnel
Access to the dug out
Visit to the Director’s and Executive boxes
Access to the Press conference room
Loftus Road Stadium
South Africa Road
Tel No. 08444 777 007
Fax No. 020 8740 2505
Stan Bowles – The Demon footballer
In the Indy there’s talk of Alan Hudson
Nonpareil Frank Worthington
Stan Bowles the snake charmer
All with less caps than Carlton Palmer
Always one to go in headfirst
Bad boy from Northern Collyhurst
Loftus Road when the winter was harsh
Took the number ten from Rodney Marsh
Toppled the F.A Cup off its perch
Stan defied behavioural research
“Bets” rumours were wide of the mark
Still an Invasion at Roker Park
Brush with Clough and a cruel break up
No final of the European Cup
All of five caps under Alf Ramsey,
Joe Mercer and Donald Revie
“If Stan could pass a betting shop like he can pass a football,
“He would be all right” was Ernie Tagg’s catcall
Allure of the horses caused much strife
So Tagg gave Bowles’ wages to his wife
© Emdad Rahman
In homage to the clubs greatest player