QPR fan who has attended more than 1,500 consecutive games shares his memories of supporting the club
PUBLISHED: 17:00 06 April 2020
In his run of 1,503 consecutive QPR games attended, super fan Chris Kemp has seen it all.
From finishing fifth in the Premier League to being relegated to the third tier of English football, Kemp has certainly experienced the highs and lows of being an R’s supporter.
The 52-year-old started attending QPR’s home games in the 1977/78 season and had a season ticket before he started following his side away, with the first game of his impressive run coming away at Manchester City in 1989 - a 1-0 defeat.
Kemp, who grew up in Harrow but now lives in Wanstead in east London, has fond memories of his early years following Rangers and said: “I had a season ticket when I started and then when I started work I got chatting to a friend of mine whose brother is a big QPR fan and he said he goes to all the games home and away and that I should go with him.
“We were quite good at that point. I’d actually missed the first four games of the 1989/90 season because I was on holiday in America with a friend of mine and I look back now and wonder what on earth made me go on holiday during the football season?
“The team we had in 92/93 when we finished fifth in the Premier League, pretty much all of those guys were outstanding for us.”
Kemp’s achievement of 1,500 games, which came at the 0-0 draw away at Nottingham Forest in February, was recently honoured by the club with a half-time presentation of an R’s shirt, as well as a video message from manager Mark Warburton.
He has seen his team play 95 different clubs and has visited 104 different club grounds as well as Wembley Stadium and the Millennium Stadium.
But what are his best memories of supporting the club?
“The Championship Play-Off final at Wembley in 2014 simply because it was the first time I’d seen us play at Wembley and the nature of doing it was just amazing,” he added.
“There’s lots of games that I think because of what they signified at the time like beating Man United 4-1 at Old Trafford on January 1, 1992.
“I’ve also seen us win for the first time ever at Liverpool, Nottingham Forest and Man City.
“When we played Liverpool in the Premier League in 2011/12 we were 2-0 down with 17 minutes to go and we won 3-2 and that essentially kick-started a run of games where we beat Arsenal and Tottenham and Stoke.
“Les Ferdinand was probably the best striker I’ve ever seen play for QPR, I thought he was absolutely outstanding. He had strength, he had pace and he’s a really nice guy who I’ve been lucky to meet on a few occasions.
“Adel Taarabt was probably the most skilful player I’ve seen play for QPR. (Ebere) Eze’s good but Taarabt was something else, there were some amazing things he could do with a football.”
But with the good also comes the bad and Kemp has also experienced his fair share of disappointment in his time following the club.
“The worst was losing on penalties to Vauxhall Motors in the FA Cup,” he recalled.
“We played them and drew 1-1 at home and then lost 4-3 on penalties and that was horrific.
“We’ve conceded seven once in my run and that was away at West Brom under Steve McClaren
“I think what was worse was losing 6-0 at home to Newcastle in a mid-week game in 2016, that was awful.
“Losing the play-off final to Cardiff in Cardiff was also awful because we went all the way there and I honestly thought we were going to win that game.”
Action in the Football League remains suspended for the time being due to the coronavirus pandemic, putting Kemp’s continuing run of games attended on hold for now.
The Hoops super fan is looking forward to returning to games when the time comes and believes his team are on the right track.
He said: “I thought at the start of the season, with the way we finished last season, that we’re in trouble.
“When we went to Stoke, which is never an easy place to go, and won 2-1 at the start of the season, I wasn’t expecting that.
“There’s been disappointing results like losing to Barnsley and we never really lose to them but I think Mark Warburton has brought on the youngsters in the same way that Ian Holloway did and I actually think he’s got the best out of them.
“The beauty of supporting QPR is that you don’t know what’s coming next. You don’t go out and expect to win and you don’t go out and expect to lose, it’s very much that every game could go either way and that to me is what supporting QPR is all about.”
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