By Lars Norlin
Chapters: Updated: Extra:
The Amateur Days - Intro 12 Jan 2023 62,000 at the Stadium 1912
QPR Grounds 1882 -1917 9 Nov 2022 QPR-Land Map
QPR Shirts 1885 - 1903 9 Nov 2022 QPR-Land Historic Football Clubs
Christ Church Rangers FC 12 Jan 2023 Should Have Been London Football Map
The Origin & St Jude's Institute 5 Dec 2022 QPR Extended Badges
The Complicated Merger Issue 12 Jan 2023  
QPR Matches 1888-98 9 Nov 2022 Contact
QPR Players 1888-98 Future Blogg - Discussion: Future
West London FC / Outshoots Future MAIL
The Complicated Merger Issue

Before 1948 there was no merger story and the history was all about St Jude's Institute as the forerunner of Queens Park Rangers and nobody had heard about Christ Church Rangers FC.

It was in Reg Hayters "The official history of Queens Park Rangers" from 1948 the story became a history of a merger of two clubs: St Jude's Institute and Christ Church Rangers. And this is today the official history although 1882 is used in badge as origin date of Christ Church Rangers.


Fig 1. QPR - CCR 1889

When I was looking through Newspaper via British Newspaper Archve I found a game 1889 between QPR and Christ Church Rangers. This could not have been a complete merger. I had to find out more what have happend.

Fig 2. The plauge at present St Jude's Hall


THE QPR foundation dates has changed through history. There are often 2-3 year dates. The first year date in table below is primary often on badge / match programme, secondary date is often found in official history.

Year used: Foundatioon year dates
1899-1905: 1882
1905-1960: 1885
1960-1968: 1885 and 1882
1968-1975: 1885, 1886 and 1882
1975-1982: 1885, 1882 and 1886
1982-1990: 1882
1990-       : 1882 and 1886


First I am going to analyze The Hayter Story and Wodehouse Sr part of the story- This has to be compared with player statistics of QPR, St Jude's Institute and Christ Church Rangers. More analysis as players residence etc has also to be done.
The Hayter history

Reg Hayter was a well known football journalist who had written a lot of club histories.The main sources for the oldiest history was Club Director Wodehouse Jr, who had been told by his father G. J. Wodehouse Sr.

The red numbers is statements which are analysied here. Blue numbers is unique for Hayeters which are analysed all together at the bottom of this section or together with another number.

1) The Christ Church Rangers FC is frequently mentioned in contemporary newspapers. The club is manage by the cousins Captain HG Handover and Club Secretary Alfred George. This is not a youth club but a well organised club with both first and second teams. They probably had a youth team also which Wodehouse could have been one of the first members.

The first reported match was in October 10 1883 The parish itself was formed in the spring of 1882. Christ Church Rangers was not a club with members from the parish but a club more likely started by the church with a wider catchment-area.

The first vicar Wrangler-Clarke was a sportsman, a cricketer himself. The youth club could have been formed in 1883 when Harrow Institute did a huge commitment on the youth of the porly Notting Dale area. Bill Law, Old Harrovians footballer and curator of the mother parish of Kensington was also responsible for the mission.

2) Wodehouse family had their roots in Norfolk and moved to Paddington were George James were born.
1868, Barnsdale Road, Paddingto.,
Notable is that QPRs Fred Weller was from Berkshire.

4) John Mcdonald and Fred Weller as founders of St Judes Institute follows Woods history. In other historics only John Mcdonald or John Mcdonald with help from teacher John Wrightson is mentioned as initiator to the club.

5) Boys Brigade of St Jude’s Church. This is an incorrect statement. The Boys Brigade was associated with the free-church and not Church of England. First brigade in London was at Kilburn 1886. There was also the Church Lads of Church of England but the first lads was from 1891.

6) Albert Pearsall born 1874 and was a player already as 14 years old in 1888. There is no records of him in the newspapers.

9) The new name Queen's Park Rangers had forerunner in Queen's Park Athletic used before St Judes Institute. Queens Park is a obvious name and Rangers from Christ Church Rangers. This is the best explanation of the name Rangers. See chapter below.

10 and 8) The not-complete merger story seemed to has vanished through times and is not given such great importance today, especially in short compacted historics, where it's often says it's a merger and no more. Hayter sayes in plain terms:"some of the Christchurch Rangers players joined St Jude's" and "This was not a complete amalgamation of the clubs".

11) Tape Crossbars is also mentioned in Wood's history. In terms of wording, it is very similar to Wood's text, probably taken from there. At the time it was not uncommon for tape, but modern crossbars had begun to be used by the better teams.

12) The information about riding pants is unique for Hayter. It is also confirmed by the first photo where the players' pants look like white riding pants.

13) This is a copy of Woods write in his history from 1805. But Gordon Young first begun in the parish as curator in 1887 long after the creation of the club. More in Conclusion section.

14) This is also exactly as in Woods history from 1805. The correct name is Welfords Home Farm as it's says in contemporary newspapers and also by Woods himself in an intervue. "Fields" could be some sort of typo.

Fig 3a. The Official History of QPR 1948, part one

Fig 3b. The Official History of QPR 1948, part two

Unique information in Hayter:

- The merger story
- The year of merger 1886
- Riding pants as first shorts / trousers
- Gordon Young as a player - dashing forward
- "Case is Altered" was Behind Welfords Fields. Case is Altered was used as                dressing room, according to Mark Shaouls history from 1990.

George Wodehouse Sr

George James Wodehouse was born 1868 in Paddington. Parents James and Rosalie Wodehouse came from Norfolk and the family settled at Barnsdale Road in Paddington, adjacent to the Queen’s Park Estate.

The most important part of Hayter's history is based on Wodehouse's story. The idea of ​a merger had arisen in a time when the family lived in Berkshire. I haven’t found the family in any census for 1891 and 1901 but in 1911 they lived in Maida Hill, Paddington. This leaves room for a possible Berkshire move. There is also a George Woodhouse working as a stableman in Windsor, Berkshire. Admittedly with the wrong year of birth, but the profession is correct as the father, in addition to having been a carpenter, also worked with horses. George Wodehouse then came to work as a plumber.

There is no newspaper record of Wodehouse playing for Christ Church Rangers or QPR. However, in his orbitorium there is information that he played for St Jude's Institute.Fig 4. It seems more likely that he played for St Jude's Institute as his residence in Paddington was considerably closer than Christ Church Rangers across the canal. Nearby to Wodehouse, however, lived a one year older Christ Church player George H. Syms who may had significance for the choice of club.

Wodehouse became a director at QPR in 1924 and came to work with the reserve team. Perhaps he has played in QPR's reserve team, which could explain why there is lack of information about him in the newspapers. I have not been able to verify the information that he participated in the vote for professionalism The voting was made by a special Committee and not among all the club's members. (This info has to be checked).


Fig 4 George J Wodehouse obituary


Fig 5 George Jams Wodehouse
Player analyses

QPR players compared with Christ Church Rangers players

In contemporary newspapers there is information on the names of the players. When comparing Christ Church Rangers named players from 1883-1886 Fig 7, none of these are in any of the QPR's 3 teams in 3 November 1888,Fig 6. Admittedly, it is relatively rare that the names are reported, but the core of the team will be certainly reported, including the team captain and the club secretary.


Fig 6 QPR played with 3 teams in 3d of November 1888. North Paddington was a strong team also in the Paddington area.

CCR-table

It’s actually remarkable that none of CCR's players feature in any of QPR's three teams. Therefore, it’s interesting to make a closer analysis of CCR's players. This table shows the age of the players as well as when they started and in which years they played for the club. Black for players before 1886 and gray for players who started in 1886 and later.

As for the age of the players, it’s 17-21 years old when the club started around 1882-83. The common for the players to stay on is only a few seasons. Some players stand out by having played for almost all seasons during the 1880s as Alfred George and Robert Child have. St Jude's Institute was a pure youth team where the most were born around 1867-1871. It’s very rare that youth teams are reported in the newspapers, therefore information on named players is only found in told historic. Christ Chucrch has a youth team according to Wodehouse in Hayter book (Boys club) in which players besides Wodehouse also probably included HG Handover born in 1868, the same age as both Wodehouse and McDonald from QPR. He debuts in CCR 1886. Other players from the youth team may have been Newling, Ling, Salter as well as the Arscott brothers.

 


Fig 7. CCR players.Table shows age when they started and in which years they played for the club. Black for players before 1886 and grey for players who started in 1886 and later.

QPR Table

This table shows the history based on the age of the players and when they started playing and for how long. The blue fields show when the players went to school. It’s included to get a view when the club was formed, which should have been just after most of the players left school. This would be 1882, which is also mentioned in the first history from 1899.

It’s only from 1888 onwards that there are names of players in the match reports. Until 1885, the club was a pure youth club. In 1885 and 1886 the club can be counted as an adult club. This club is called St Jude's Institute. It appears that during 1886-87 there are 3 players who are not mentioned in the narrative history: Millar, Why and House. They could be new players to St Jude's Institute or maybe come from Christ Church Rangers? A result of a merger perhaps?


Fig 8.QPR table of players

Fig 9. Map of Queen's PArk Estate, North Paddington and North Kensington with location of QPR and CCR players.


QPR Map


The analysis continues by plotting the players on a map. The dark and light-blue markings shows where QPR players had lived, the dark-blue indicates players before 1886 and light-blue 1886 and later. Likewise for Christ Church Rangers players. Black for the time before 1886 and gray for the time after that.

It’s interesting to note that CCR's players appear in some clusters. In North Kensington's north-west corner near Christ Church itself. Then in Paddington in Westbourne Green area. Somewhat surprising is to find quite a few younger players in a cluster in Notting Dale. They may have had their football upbringing at the nearby Harrow Mission, founded in 1883 and run by Reverend William Law also a footballer at Old Harrovians. Among them is A. Salter.

The map also shows that there could be QPR players have their origins in North Kensington, namely Thomas Saunders, William Why and Walter R. Millar. In Westbourne lived E. K. House and William Miles in Westbourne, Paddington. It’s actually possible Christchurch Rangers players. Especially Walter R Millar / Miller is interesting. He lives both in Kensal New Town and in Queens Park Estate where he acts as the club's first secretary. It’s usually stated in the told story to be Charles Lynch, but maybe he had been secretary before.

According to Booth poverty maps and some told stories, there was a great difference between the Queens Park Estate on one side of the canal and Kensal New Town on the other side. Even the bridge between the areas had a fee. It was called "the two penny bridge". Kensal New Town was most likely a catchment area for Christ Church Rangers as the club secretary Alfred George and his brother Albert lived there in 1882.



Fig 10

Origin of QPR players in first team 1888 and 1886-87

This is an attempt to derive where the players previously could have played based on where they lived. The football team had rather strict catchment area in the 1880s and it was considered ugly if you "recruited" a player from another residential area. Such a recruitment QPR did with goalkeeper
A.J. Schnedian from Putney 1889 and the club got massive criticism in the newspapers.

On the whole, it could be as in the table above, but in detail every item is unsure. It may have been 3-4 players who had joined from Christ Church Rangers. Walter R Millar lived in both Kensal New Town and Queen's Park Estate.


The name Rangers

Fig 11a, "The Mate", Athletic News 1906

Fig 11b, "The Mate", Athletic News 1906


Fig 11c, C. J. Young, Letter to Letter, QPR Programme 1983.

Figure 11a from "the Mate"s article tells us it's not clear where the name is derived from.

The name Rangers is a strong evidence of a merger between the two clubs. In the 1906 years history by "The Mate", the author is wondering where the Rangers was taken from the two Glasgow clubs Queen’s Park and Rangers proberly on suggestion by the QPR founder John McDonald, himself from Tradeston, Glasgow rather near both clubs. Fig 11b

Other explanation has been mentioned in the Ranger to Ranger letter meaning the playerswas ranging to much and therefore the name Rangers. Fig 11c. To me, both of these explanations seem to be afterthoughts . The best explanation is the name came from Christ Church Rangers either via a merger or some other way.

Conclusions - the complicated merger


Fig 12. Timelie for the earliest QPR as we know it so far. Queens Park Athletic and St Judes Institute could have been used at same time? There are also examples of early football clubs where first team and second team played with diffirent names simultaneously

 

According to the official history based on Hayter's history, the Queen's Park Rangers were formed in 1886 by the amalgamation of St Jude's Institute and Christ Church Rangers. The three new post-1886 players: Millar, Why and Heal come from the Christ Church Rangers catchment area. But also the club they play for is called St Jude's Institute and not Queen's Park Rangers. It cannot be proven that they come from CCR but it cannot be ruled out that there has been an influx of players from Christ Church Rangers. In support of the players from Christ Church Rangers, the name Rangers can be added. This is the best explanation of the name Rangers.

Here we have a contradiction to deal with, a merger but at the same time the name St Judes Institute which was confirmed in the spring of 1886 by gathering all the sports units in St Judes Institute into one Athletic club, Fig 17. According to Hayter, the merger also took place in the spring of 1886 when the Queens Park Rangers were formed. The year 1886 is also mentioned in the oldest history in the handbook 1899, where the change of name to Queens Park Rangers is stated. I always thought it was a incorrect. But when two sources say almost the same information, it becomes extra interesting.

A possibly explanation to resolve the contradictions, is that in early spring 1886, Hayter's description of some Christ Church Rangers players joining the St Jude's Institute football team is correct, Fig 13. The St Judes Institute team can also be called, as in the oldest photo, Queen's Park Athletic Fig 15 and then the name change becomes natural to Queens Park Rangers. But when Sydney Bott in May directs the sports activities in St Jude's Institute to a single club: St Jude's Institute AC Fig 17, which will then also apply to the football team. In January 1887 (It's possible some time before), Gordon Young comes to the club and makes big contributions, e.g. by acquiring the Welfords Home Farm ground and also the football shirts. It is only in 1888 after Gordon Young left the church that the footballer broke with St Jude's Institute and became completely independent again with the name Queen's Park Rangers.Fig 14.

If you read Hayeter carefully, Fig 13 is evident from the key sentence "Some of the Christchurch Rangers Joined St Juda's Institute" that there are not two clubs merged but an influx of players from one club to the other club. Furthermore, it cannot be argued that it's a whole new organization, two years after the influx they called the club St. Juda's Institute and over time the entire event was forgotten, except for a single person G. J.  Wodehouse Sr.


Fig 13 The Key sentences in Wodehouse Sr story. Paddington existed to 1900.

Fig 14 Name change from St Jude's Institute to Queen's Park Rangers

Fig 15.Queen's Park Athletic.
Fig17 St Judes Institute Athletic Club founded 1886

Fig 16. Gordon Young mentioned in the Balance Sheet that shows his personal interest in the club.