FRANK SIBLEY's Birthday: Turns 72 Dec 4, 2009 7:32:30 GMT
Post by QPR Report on Dec 4, 2009 7:32:30 GMT
Frank Sibley Turns 72 Today
[As I wrote a few years ago...
- Born December 4, 1947, Frank Sibley was QPR's Youngest-ever first Team Player, making his QPR debut at 15 in the 1963/64 season, in September 1963, against Aldershot in the League Cup. QPR lost 3-1. The QPR team that day - names from a very different era - Peter Springett, Brady, Whittaker, P.Brady, Graham, Keen, Leary, Mcquade, Malcolm, Bedford, Sibley). Sibley made his League debut later that season, in March 1964 away to Bristol City.
- When Rodney Marsh made his QPR debut, away to Peterborough, March 19, 1966:...Sibley was in the team. (The team for Marsh's debut: Peter Springett -Langley, Hunt Sibley Watson - Lazarus, Keen, Roger Morgan, Allen, Collins Marsh.)
- Sibley played either as a defensive midfielder or center-back and at times captained the team. Sadly had numerous injuries and had to END his career at 23. Was called up for the England Under-23 squad, but didn't play.
- Sibley was part of the 1966/67 League and Cup team.
Frank Sibley Photo 1 (front row, next to Terry Venables or Sibley Photo II ( back row, one from right)
Sibley played his last game came in the 1970/71 season - March 1971, home to Norwich, which QPR lost 1-0 when Gordon Jago was Caretaker Manager (having replaced Les Allen.) The team: Parkes, Clement, Hunt, Sibley Hazell, Venables, Francis, I. Morgan, Leach, Marsh, Ferguson.
- Sibley subsequently became a coach to Jago and Dave Sexton. Sibley became QPR's Youngest-ever Manager (and at the time, the youngest manager in the First Division) when he took over from Sexton at age 29 in 1977/1978. He remained in charge for a year before resigning (to be replaced by Alec Stock temporarily; and then Steve Burtenshaw who took QPR down!)
- Sibley was also at various times at QPR, coach and Assistant Manager and Acting-manager (such as when he replaced Alan Mullery as manager). Sibley returned as coach under Venables. Then when Alan Mullery was sacked, Sibley was Caretaker manager for the second half of the season. Sibley was coach under various subsequent QPR managers up to and including Ray Wilkins. For several years, Sibley was Chief Scout at Watford.
- In an interview earlier this year, Frank Sibley revealed that he had Parkinsons. It would be nice if the club would remember and assist and reach out its hand to such a loyal QPR servant who more than almost other player truly exemplified the QPR that rose from being a little third Division Club to being Champions (almost) of England.
- March 2008 QPR Official Site Interview with Frank Sibley
QPR Official Site - March 13, 2008 - BLAST FROM THE PAST
- In our latest instalment of exclusive past player interviews on www.qpr.co.uk, R's legend Frank Sibley comes under the spotlight. Frank Sibley (1963-1971)
Frank Sibley is such a modest man that he was almost embarrassed to receive our request for an interview.
"I was hardly a QPR legend," he said.
But we beg to differ. The facts show that Sibley was the youngest ever R's First Team player. He went on to become an important member of our 1967 League Cup winning side and Frank later managed the R's on three separate occasions - although he never wanted the job!!
It was back on September 4th 1963 that Sibley made his debut for the Hoops in a League Cup tie at Aldershot. He was aged 15 years and 275 days.
"I seemed to cope with it quite well," said Sibley.
"It was just the people around me that thought it was something special for me to play at 15 years-old. But looking back, I suppose it was a little out of the ordinary. I was the second youngest lad ever to start a first team match anywhere in the whole country at that time.
"I just remember Manager Alec Stock saying beforehand 'You'll be in the side tomorrow. Do your best and get on with it.' It was a great experience for me, although it could have been at a better place than Aldershot! I played outside right in the game, but I was a central defender for most of my career."
Sibley graced the Rangers shirt a total of 168 times. His favourite season was in 1966/67 when we won the Third Division Championship and the League Cup.
He said: "That was a fantastic period for everyone involved and I think it really started QPR on the road to the top. The Final at Wembley was definitely the highlight of my playing career.
"We came from behind to beat West Bromwich Albion 3-2. To be truthful, we knew it was going to be a hard game. I think the occasion got to us quite a bit early on. But Alec Stock didn't panic or anything.
"Alec said at half-time 'Look we're 2-0 down but we should have taken our chances in the first half. If we get in there and get a goal after the break then West Brom will fade. And that's exactly what happened.
"There was a great camaraderie at Rangers in those days. We weren't paid very much and a number of lads came up though the youth set up with me - Roger Morgan, Ian Morgan, Micky Leach and Ronnie Hunt.
"We all broke into the First Team around the same time and we formed a good blend with the more experienced players like Jim Langley, Rodney Marsh and Les Allen. There were really good blokes in that side - both on the pitch and off it."
Unfortunately, injuries brought Sibley's career to a premature end. He retired from playing in 1971 after several years of pain.
"My problems started shortly after we won the League Cup. I got called up for the England Under-23 squad that summer for a tour of Bulgaria, Turkey and Greece. I didn't play in any of the games but I did well in the training sessions and I was told that I would get my chance eventually.
"When I got back home, there was a telegram waiting which asked me to report for a pre-season tour with the QPR team in Spain. So I travelled over and played in a friendly. In the very last minute, this fellow went right over the top of the ball on me.
"I remember being in terrible agony but they didn't know what the injury was because the swelling was so enormous. It wasn't until I returned to England that I discovered I had torn cartilages and ligaments.
"I was out of action for quite a while but I worked hard to get myself fit and I got back in the R's side. Then every couple of months, I'd go into a block tackle and the problems would flare up again.
"This went on for several years. I was in and out of the team and I never really recovered. I struggled to regain my pace and heading ability, which were my main strengths as a defender.
"I went to see a specialist and he said 'If you don't pack in football now, you're going to be a cripple by the time you're 30'. So we made a decision that I was going to finish."
After hanging up his boots, Sibley continued to have a long association with Rangers. He was Manager in 1977/78, Caretaker Manager in 1984/85 and (briefly) in 1996, as well as serving in other coaching positions. "The first time I was in charge came was when I took over from Dave Sexton in 1977. I had a year of it and we avoided relegation in the penultimate game of the season.
"That was a 0-0 draw against Leeds United at home. We needed a point against them and that sent West Ham down. Although I remember Tony Currie was playing for Leeds and he hit the underside of our crossbar in the last minute!
"I also had a temporary role in 1984 following Alan Mullery's departure. Then I filled in for a couple of weeks when Ray Wilkins left in 1996.
"But I never wanted to be the manager of QPR. I decided that during my first spell in charge. I was only 29 and I was the youngest boss in the League. I just thought at the time that everything that went wrong was all down to me.
"It affected my home life and it wasn't very good for my children. So I said I would never be a permanent manager again and that was the way it went. I subsequently had some nice years on the coaching staff at QPR and I worked with a lot of really good people."
Sibley still lives locally in Hillingdon. He's no longer involved in football, but continues to be a big Rangers supporter.
"My last role was as a scout for Watford a couple of years ago. But I'm not very well now to be honest. I've got Parkinson's disease and you never know when it is going to hit you.
"I continue to get about and I had a party in December for my 60th birthday. Jim Smith and Ray Wilkins both turned up so that was very pleasant.
"And I keep abreast of events at Loftus Road. The Club where you started out and where you had the most success always stays with you the rest of your life. All of my kids are QPR supporters too.
"I think the new investment is very exciting for Rangers. So I am going to have a little bet on the R's getting promoted next season!" QPR
- SEE ALSO - - QPRNet Interview with Frank Sibley -
December 8, 1984: Frank Sibley's First Game in Charge: QPR drew 0-0 at home to Everton.
QPR's team versus Everton:
Neil Wicks McDonald Dawes -
Gregory Fenwick Waddock Stewart -