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London Masters: The Squad

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Queens Park Rangers take on London`s elite in the Masters tournament this evening, here we profile the Rangers line-up.

It all begins at Wembley Arena this evening at 8.00pm and QPR line-up with a blend of experience and youth (relatively speaking!) as they take on what London has to offer.

TONY ROBERTS

Clubs: Queens Park Rangers, Millwall, St Albans City, Dagenham & Redbridge.

QPR Appearances (Goals): 122 (0)

Welsh international Tony Roberts came through the youth set-up at Loftus Road but was forced to play second fiddle to David Seaman then Jan Stejskal before getting a more regular chance following the Czech stopper`s departure.

In 11 years at Loftus Road he made 122 appearances for QPR, and while he was a steady keeper at the majority of times there was the occasional hiccup that blighted his performances. Blasting the ball into an onrushing Paul Walsh, the striker gleefully turned round to see the ball trickle over the line infront of the buoyant Manchester City supporters.

He proved a steady pair of hands at Loftus Road and eventually received a testimonial game against Charlton Athletic in 2003. He moved to Millwall for a season, making eight appearances for the Lions but was forced to retire from league football owing to a knuckle injury.

A successful spell at St Albans City saw him snapped up by Gary Hill`s Dagenham & Redbridge as he appeared to be in the twilight of his career. In fact he had rejuvenated his career at Victoria Road and remains the only goalkeeper to score in the FA Cup.

Dagenham achieved promotion to the league and Roberts faced a dilemma whether to continue his journey with the Daggers. He chose to pay back his compensation and take on the Football League once again.

He hasn`t looked back since, continuing to appear for Dagenham while taking coaching roles at first Queens Park Rangers and now Arsenal.

STEVE PALMER

Clubs: Ipswich Town, Watford, Queens Park Rangers, MK Dons

QPR Appearances (Goals): 127 (9)

Steve is a rare breed for an English footballer - he has a brain. Educated at Cambridge University he found himself adept at both football and cricket playing alongside Michael Atherton and denying Graham Fowler of a half-century against Lancashire, getting him lbw for 49.

In 1989 he signed professional forms for Ipswich Town and gained several appearances in the Premier League for the Tractor Boys. He amassed 110 games for the blues scoring two goals over six years before making the move south to Watford for 135,000.

He appeared more regularly for the Hornets and became a fans` favourite during his six year spell. In the day before squad numbers Palmer wore every number from 1-14 in the 1997-98 season. In all he made 234 appearances for Watford scoring eight goals.

He was released by the Hornets and was picked up by Queens Park Rangers on the advice of Kenny Jackett. He was named captain and was one of only eight players to start pre-season in 2001-02. He scored on debut against Stoke City and two years and 126 appearances later he helped guide QPR to promotion at Hillsborough.

Following his release he joined Milton Keynes Dons as a player coach and made 34 appearances before retiring and taking up a role as Academy Performance Manager at Tottenham Hotspur.

DANNY MADDIX

Clubs: Tottenham Hotspur, Southend United (L), Queens Park Rangers, Sheffield Wednesday, Barnet.

QPR Appearances (Goals): 348 (18).

Danny started his career as a youngster with Tottenham Hotspur but struggled to make the breakthrough at White Hart Lane. He was loaned out to Southend United in 1986 where he made two appearances for the Shrimpers - eventually however he found home at Loftus Road.

In 1987 Maddix penned a deal with Queens Park Rangers under Jim Smith and never looked back. He played for 13 seasons at Loftus Road making 348 appearances for the club. He experienced the highs and lows with the club with sensational high finishes in the Premier League tempered with the disappointment of relegation in 1996.

He made a solitary appearance for Jamaica during his time with QPR, before moving to Sheffield Wednesday in 2001. He made 50 appearances for the Owls but was released following their relegation to the Second Division.

After seeing out his career at Barnet he assisted Ian Hendon in joint caretaker charge of the Bees following the departure of Martin Allen.

MICHAEL MEAKER

Clubs: Queens Park Rangers, Plymouth Argyle (L), Reading, Bristol Rovers, Swindon Town (L), Plymouth Argyle, Northwich Victoria, Henley Town, Southall Town, Mangotsfield United (2), Hounslow Borough, Bitton.

QPR Appearances (Goals): 34 (1).

Midfielder Michael Meaker came up through the ranks at Loftus Road and was on the periphery of the Premier League set-up. In five years with QPR he managed 24 appearances and will always be remembered for his stunning display against Aylesbury in the reversed F.A Cup tie.

Meaker laid on three of Rangers four goals before rounding off the scoring in the second period in front of the Loftus Road end. During his time at Loftus Road he was loaned out to Plymouth Argyle, a club he would re-join permanently later in his career.

Reading forked out 550,000 for Michael`s services in 1995 and three years and 67 appearances later he was on the move once again to Bristol Rovers. In a difficult spell at the Memorial Stadium he was loaned out to Swindon Town before rejoining Plymouth on a permanent basis in 2001.

Since then he has toured non-league football with Northwich Victoria, Henley Town, Southall Town with a spell at Hounslow Borough sandwiched by two stints with Mangotsfield United. During his time with Hounslow he smashed the club record for goals in a season, bagging 44 goals in total.

BRADLEY ALLEN

Clubs: Queens Park Rangers, Charlton Athletic, Colchester United (L), Grimsby Town, Peterborough United, Bristol Rovers, Hornchurch, Redbridge.

QPR Appearances (Goals): 81 (27)

Allen came from a long line of Allen tradition at Queens Park Rangers with brother Clive and father Les both servants to the R`s as useful strikers. Bradley certainly didn`t disappoint as he burst onto the scene as an exciting prospect in the early 1990s.

His name was cemented in QPR folklore when in November 1993 he bagged a hatrick against Everton at Goodison Park. There were more goals for Allen who was mainly used from the bench, as he bagged 27 goals from 81 appearances for the R`s.

During his time at Loftus Road he made eight appearances for England Under 21`s where he scored two goals for the young lions.

Charlton had a 400,000 bid accepted for the striker who moved in March 1996, but in his three years at the Valley he struggled with injury and only managed 40 appearances for the Addicks. He was loaned out to Colchester United in 1998 where he scored a goal in four starts.

Allen moved north to Grimsby Town and scored a further 15 goals in 80 appearances in another injury blighted spell. He didn`t appear to be in manager Paul Groves` plans and so moved on to Peterborough United in 2002, before a brief spell at Bristol Rovers.

He forayed into non-league football for a while when money-bags Hornchurch came calling before he finally finished his career at Redbridge in 2004. He currently coaches the under 14`s at Tottenham Hotspur alongside another former Ranger Steve Palmer.

ANDY TILLSON

Clubs: Kettering Town, Grimsby Town, Queens Park Rangers, Grimsby Town (L), Bristol Rovers, Walsall, Rushden & Diamonds.

QPR Appearances (Goals): 29 (2)

Tillson started his career with Kettering Town before moving north to Blundell Park and Grimsby Town in 1988. It was here that he was spotted by Don Howe`s transfer mogul Bobby Gould who brought him in alongside Darren Peacock to stem the defensive crisis in W12. Alternatives such as Gus Caeser from Arsenal were tried and failed and Tillson got the nod.

His chances were limited once experienced defenders Paul Parker, Alan McDonald and Danny Maddix had returned to full fitness, and he was subsequently loaned out to former club Grimsby to gain some first team experience. Bristol Rovers came in for the defender and signed him for a record 370,000 transfer fee.

In eight years at the Memorial Stadium he made 252 appearances scoring 11 goals. He had a further spell at Walsall before finishing his career with exciting outfit Rushden & Diamonds. Since retiring he has had roles alongside Ivor Powell at Team Bath before moving to Exeter City to assist manager Paul Tisdale.

TONY THORPE

Clubs: Luton Town (2), Fulham, Bristol City, Reading (L), Luton Town (L)(2), Queens Park Rangers, Rotherham United (L), Swindon Town, Colchester United, Stevenage Borough, Grimsby Town (L), Tamworth, Barton Rovers, Woking, Brackley Town, Stamford.

QPR Appearances (Goals): 41 (10).

An exciting young striker, Tony Thorpe made his name at Luton Town after leaving Leicester City as a midfield player. 50 goals in 120 games for the Hatters alerted ambitious side Fulham who snapped him up, but he couldn`t re-create the form that saw him become a hero at Kenilworth Road.

In the summer of 1998 he signed for Bristol City, and was loaned out to Reading and former club Luton twice before making the grade at Ashton Gate. He suddenly exploded into life in the south-west scoring 51 goals in 128 appearances, but made the move back home to Kenilworth Road in 2002.

Controversy ensued when Thorpe was sold to Queens Park Rangers when he allegedly threatened to invoke a rule which would have allowed him to leave for nothing. He was sold by the administrators at Luton for 50,000 - and received a hot reception from fans when he returned later that season.

He scored 10 goals in 41 appearances for the R`s before initially being loaned out to Rotherham United, then sold to Swindon Town. Since then he has failed to settle at one of a number of clubs including Colchester United, Stevenage Borough and Grimsby Town.

KARL CONNOLLY

Clubs: Wrexham, Queens Park Rangers, Swansea City, Prescot Cables, Newi Cefn Druids.

QPR Appearances (Goals): 80 (12)

The Welsh forward started off life touring the non-league circuit in Liverpool before being spotted by Wrexham boss Brian Flynn and snapped up to play on the left-wing. The departure of forward Gary Bennett saw Karl moved to play upfront and it`s a move that saw him hailed 'King Karl` by fans.

An undoubted highlight of his career was playing a role in Wrexham`s stunning 2-1 win over Arsenal in 1997 where he can be seen chasing goalscorer Mickey Thomas after his thunderous free kick. In 337 appearances for the Welsh outfit he scored 88 goals.

He moved to Queens Park Rangers in 1999 and oversaw their demise and relegation to Division Two under Gerry Francis then Ian Holloway in 2001. He played a key role in helping the R`s remain stable in the first season.

Connolly`s brace against Bristol City at Ashton Gate in 2002 put the R`s temporarily top of the league in a 3-1 win over the Robins. He was transferred to Swansea City then home town team Prescot Cables before finishing his career with Newi Cefn Druids.

ANDY SINTON

Clubs: Cambridge United, Brentford, Queens Park Rangers, Sheffield Wednesday, Tottenham Hotspur, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Burton Albion, Fleet Town.

QPR Appearances (Goals): 161 (22)

Beginning his career at Cambridge United his suffered successive relegation heartbreak before being picked up by Brentford in 1985 for 25,000. After four years at Griffin Park Sinton made 149 appearances netting 28 times and he impressed QPR boss Trevor Francis who paid 350,000 for his services.

His magical wingwork provided Rangers with several creative openings, and gave Les Ferdinand the service he required up front. He chipped in with 22 goals during his time, none more important that the opener at Old Trafford as QPR demolished the Red Devils 4-1 at Old Trafford.

His departure to Sheffield Wednesday left a bitter taste in the mouth as he left for 2.75million in August 1993. His three years at Hillsborough saw him play 62 times scoring three goals. He moved back down south to re-establish his partnership with Gerry Francis at Tottenham Hotspur.

Another three years in London saw him play 83 times for Spurs scoring six times, and in 1999 he moved to the Black Country and Division One Wolverhampton Wanderers. Three goals in 71 appearances for Wolves saw him impress once again but at the age of 36 he left league football and was snapped up by Burton Albion. He has since gone on to manage Fleet Town to promotion.



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The journalist

Writer: Boxer Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday June 20 2009

Time: 2:27PM

Your Comments

Tony Thorpe - now there's a name from the past !
merlin
The very recent past! Is it me or are they all getting younger! And hasn't Darren Caskey suddenly become VERY fat.
Boxer
Oh it's been years since I've gloated Merlin - marvellous.
Boxer
 

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