Belgrade to London
    Dear Friends, This is a short story about a couple Superhoop experiences I had as a lad in London and why I have been a QPR supporter for over 30 years . In 1973, my family moved to Chiswick London England after spending a little over a year in Belgrade Yugoslavia. I was only a small boy and was looking for something to attach myself to that would make me feel like I fit in. My mother is from Leeds as are my all of my Mother’s side of the family. Needless to say, they are all huge Leeds United fans. I too have a soft spot for Leeds U. but living in London as a boy, you need a local team. Being that I was just a young boy, I didn’t have a very scientific method of choosing a team to support. Shepherd’s Bush is pretty close to Chiswick, so geography played a part in it. Plus, I thought their uniforms looked very cool and unique. So I started going to every game I could, with either my father or one of my mates fathers. It was great fun but two events really got me hooked. The first was when Red Star from Belgrade came to Loftus Road for a friendly with QPR. My father, a big time Serbian from Kosovo was a hard core Red Star fan. As a boy, whatever my father said, was the word of God. He told me that Red Star was going to teach QPR a lesson, and I belived it. QPR had not been playing well and Red Star was at the top of the division in Yugoslavia. I convinced all of my friends from school that we had to go to the match and see this superior Yugoslav team teach the locals a lesson in football. So my father took me and a couple mates to the match. As you can imagine, it was quite humiliating for me and my father as QPR filled the net with goals, finally ending 4-0 to QPR. As Red Star left the pitch, there were a few other Serbians around along with my father. They made it clear to the Red Star players in very colourful terms, how disgusted they were with their performance. One of them responded to my father’s remarks by saying, "who gives a fuck, it’s just a friendly". To that, my father had some other not-so-kind things to say to the Red Star players which would probably be left unsaid. I was humiliated and my mates didn’t let me forget what I had said about the superiority of another team towards the mighty R’s. About a month later, I finally got to go to a match without adult supervision. I felt so grown up. My parents let me go, because the team we were playing was in a lower division from up North somewhere. They assumed there was no chance of any agro so they let us go alone. When we got to Loftus Road, it was really crowded. There were loads of the oppositions supporters around. I’m afraid I don’t remember the name of the team, but I do remember they were all ugly bastards. We enjoyed the match only so much because it was extremely cold that night and we were scared of what might happen to us if we fell in the wrong group of supporters. We won the game, which really seemed to aggravate the guests from up North. As we made our way out of Loftus Road, the worst scenario unveiled. We got pushed by the crowd into a group of about 100 opposition supporters. We quickly removed our QPR woolly hats and tried to tuck our blue and white scarves under our coats. They were all singing some stupid songs and we mumbled as if we knew the words so they would think we were one of them. We were petrified. I remember for a few brief moments I thought, what on earth am I doing here. Then we heard bottles breaking and you could hear swearing and there were fights starting all around us. My mate and I held hands and grabbed each others jackets so that we wouldn’t get separated. Once we moved away from the group we were in, we put our hats back on as our ears were about to fall off due to the cold. There was some serious fighting going on and it seemed where ever we went, people started fighting. At one point, we started running to get away from some hooligans from up North and ended up right smack in the middle of a huge group of Superhoops. A couple Superhoop supporters grabbed us and said "stay here lads, your safe with us". At that moment I has King Kong, it didn’t seem cold any longer, were weren’t scared any more and I knew I would never support another club like QPR. I knew we were in a special place. We enjoyed the experience and with several hundred QPR supporters behind us, we started yelling obscenities and threats to the other team’s hooligans. We were safe, happy, WE WERE QPR.

    Written by Novak
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