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Past legends, future signings and perpetual fans: My day filming at Loftus Road

Blog post   •   Aug 30, 2012 17:29 BST

Amy Carmichael, London. After a relaxing bank holiday weekend, not everyone looks forward to going back to work on Tuesday. But with a day of filming for our new stadium tour at QPR ahead of me, I suspected that I might be in for a fun day!

Ahead of their cup game against Walsall in the evening, we were hoping to catch a couple of QPR names and bigwigs as they arrived at the stadium. We’d heard rumours that legendary player Stan Bowles would be there as well as Chief Executive Philip Beard. One person guaranteed to be at the stadium was broadcaster and Super-fan, Tony Incenzo, who has recently reached the phenomenal milestone of his 1,000th consecutive home match at Loftus Road!

I arrived to meet the wonderful production team, our friends from Create Soho, who were all set up with camera, lights, sound equipment and, of course, essential supplies of Haribo and M&Ms to keep us going through the day (I’ve heard they are the key to successful film-making). We were in box number 16 and had a fantastic view of the pitch as our backdrop for the interviews.

The brilliant Dave Robinson from QPR was looking after us – just one of his innumerable responsibilities that day which included giving a tour of the stadium to an exciting new prospective signing (“no tweeting who you may have just seen!” he warned us with a wink – is it still a secret, Dave?!).

The first interviewee Dave ushered in was the Chief Exec himself. Philip was friendly and relaxed and (after a quick change into a tie and jacket when he saw the cameras) he gave us a great interview. He really got across the long-term and international aims for the club, but without seeming over-corporate. He is obviously very happy to be CE of a club he is so clearly passionate about.

Now, I was excited to meet all our interviewees but I have to say, I had a feeling that the interview with Stan Bowles might be one to remember! After googling him to remind myself what he looked like, the first image that came up was the black and white one above. Evidently, he wasn’t known as “one of the game’s greatest mavericks” for nothing!

Stan did not disappoint! Despite tales of ignoring advice about tactics, staying in the betting shop next door until ten minutes before kick-off and pints with the fans after the game – it was clear that his skill on the pitch meant that no one could deny him. He was still very much a charmer and it is easy to see why he is still so popular even with QPR fans far too young to remember his glory days.

Tony Incenzo reinforced Stan’s reputation and called him “QPR’s greatest ever player” (and he should know!). Tony made his dedication to the club clear, from his first game in 1973 as a 10-year-old lad, to his work today reporting on his club for Sky Sports, Talk Sport and many more. He told us that being a QPR fan takes a special kind of character. The commitment and loyalty in the tough times - when fans have been known to collect money in buckets for a club about to go into administration – will reap great reward in times of triumph.

What a great day! And after their decisive 3-nil win over Walsall that evening, let’s hope QPR are entering another period of glory. I can’t wait to take the finished stadium tour in October!

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