500 not out!
Thanks to social media, fans get a lot more information straight away. I noticed a fan , who, this Saturday will be at his 500th consecutive game, that really does take some doing!
I asked the fan in question to write a few words about what is to me a great achievement.
Below is what John Brownhill told me.
It was only after nagging from friends who have been amused over the years by my dedication to watching QPR that I finally sat down to work out how many games in a row I had been on the road with the Rs. A run that began on 29 December 2002 now notches its 500th consecutive league game on Saturday 5 April at Bournemouth. Add to that the fact I travel from Cheshire for every game then even I am still wondering whether it's an achievement or a sign of madness.
I regard myself as privileged and fortunate to have been able to have seen all these games. I am not a bigger fan than anyone and it makes my blood boil to hear people claim ‘nobody love this club as much as I do’. There are scores of children and adults that would love to follow their team week in week out and are at home avidly following the score in whatever way they can. I remember being 14 years old and, if lucky, being able to go to one game a season whilst otherwise having to follow on the radio every Saturday afternoon. I always remember Les Ferdinand scoring against Manchester United (the team I hated with a passion in my childhood) and running around the house in sheer excitement with Alan Green bellowing about his strike. The fact Rangers lost 3 - 2 in the end was a great lesson for being a fan, we get excitement, brilliance, despair and hard luck in equal measure at Loftus Road !!
So many stories, lots of days out where you can vividly remember certain goings on which are etched in your mind forever.Sweet moments like the roar when Furlong scored against Oldham in the play off second leg, the dignity that was shown by fans from not just QPR but also Burnley and Southampton after the death of Ray Jones, the bucket collections to keep the club afloat and I dare say the futile days when you lose at home to Scunthorpe and the notion that one day you will grace the top flight of the game seems totally far removed.
If two moments can sum up the feeling of 500 consecutive games then I would say firstly it would be Brighton at the Withdean Boxing Day 2005. All night coach to London, sleep on a bench at Heathrow and then supporters bus down. Lose 1 - 0. When you make it on the pitch six years later to celebrate promotion to the Premier League then such experiences are worth it. Similarly March 2012 when out of nowhere QPR beat Liverpool 3 - 2 after being 2 down with 15 minutes left and being totally outplayed. I had broken up a trip to Scotland just to come down and watch before getting the overnight sleeper back again. My head was absolutely throbbing after over celebrating the winner and I did not sleep a second. No regrets though.
Will I make it to 1000? Probably not and in some ways I hope I don’t. It's been a heck of a ride though