The connections between Albion and QPR.
Queens Park Rangers’ home kit from 1989 to 1991 made by Influence, was one of the first-ever kits in the Football League to include fluorescent yellow. It was only a horizontal pinstripe, mind you. In 2015/16, Brighton and Hove Albion did the full works with a plain fluorescent yellow Nike away shirt. Like QPR, the Albion have also had many black and red away kits down the years, from the AC Milan striped style design of 1972/73 to a similar effort in 1999 to 2002, whereas the West London side have favoured these colours in hoops.
The FA Cup Finals
Both Brighton and QPR reached the FA Cup Final for the only time in their history during some heady days in the 1980s. In 1982, Queens Park Rangers overcame West Bromwich Albion 1-0 at Highbury in the Semi-Final. A year later, the Seagulls rocked up in the same stadium at the same stage in the competition to overcome Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 thanks to goals from Jimmy Case and Michael Robinson. In their respective finals, both clubs scored late equalisers to earn replays. QPR’s Terry Fenwick’s header set up a second clash with Tottenham. Then in 1983, a Gary Stevens goal from a short corner made it 2-2 against Manchester United.
Rodney Marsh made his QPR home debut in a 6-1 victory over Millwall in March 1966, scoring twice. It was an astonishing result over the eventual Division Three runners-up. The West London side missed out on promotion by finishing third, but were runaway champions the following campaign. Marsh’s brilliance helped his side to a 3-0 victory over Brighton on Boxing Day 1966. However, the following day, on Tuesday 27th December, 50 years before the match at the Amex, a young John Templeman made his Albion debut with a specific job of shutting down the danger posed by Marsh. The youngster did a superb job and helped his side gain a highly creditable 2-2 draw at the Goldstone.
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Dave Sexton was an inside-forward who played for Brighton from 1957 to 1958 before going on to become a highly-respected coach. He managed QPR to a runners-up spot in the First Division in 1976, going top after completing their 42 games, before being edged out by Liverpool’s final result. In between two spells in charge of the Seagulls, Alan Mullery had a short stint in the QPR hotseat in the mid-1980s. He said: “My job at Rangers was basically that of a coach. And that wasn’t really the way I like to operate at a football club. I had the title of manager over my door but it didn’t really mean that. I couldn’t get involved in any of the other decisions concerning the club which I think a manager should know about.” His time with Brighton was more successful, guiding the club from the Third Division to the First in his first spell, and then keeping the cash-strapped club out of the relegation zone in 1986/87.
Dean Wilkins began his playing career with QPR before having two playing spells with Brighton & Hove Albion, scoring at Wembley in the 1991 Play-Off Final against Notts County. He was the Seagulls’ manager from 2006 to 2008. His older brother Ray scored for Manchester United against Brighton in the 1983 FA Cup Final. After spells with AC Milan, Paris Saint-Germain and Rangers, Ray began his first spell at Loftus Road in 1989. He left to become player-coach at Crystal Palace in 1994, before moving back to QPR as player-manager later on in the same year.