Bournemouth’s £12m signing Mepham another local gem missed by QPR

Chris Mepham of Brentford
Wales international Chris Mepham has impressed for club and country. [Picture: Tim Goode/PA Wire]

Chris Mepham has become the latest player sold for big money by Brentford – and is another local player QPR did not pick up despite him being under their noses.

The Hammersmith-born Mepham, who has joined Bournemouth for £12m, was an R’s supporter as a boy and had a trial with the club. But Rangers opted not to snap him up.

The defender is in good company. West Londoners like Lee Cook and Martin Rowlands were initially missed by QPR – and previously some of England’s top players also grew up in the area and were not picked up before eventually making their name in the game.

Albert Adomah

QPR fan Adomah scored both Aston Villa’s goals in their 2-1 win at Loftus Road last season, having gone under Rangers’ radar as a youngster despite being on their doorstep.

Adomah played non-League football with Harrow Borough and was picked up by Barnet before spells at Bristol City, Middlesbrough and now Villa.

Stuart Pearce

Born in Shepherd’s Bush, Pearce was a huge QPR fan in his youth and trained with the club for five months but was not signed. He played non-League football for Wealdstone and was later picked up by Coventry before establishing himself as England left-back during a 12-year spell at Nottingham Forest.

John Barnes

Barnes grew up in Shepherd’s Bush and, like Pearce, was a QPR fan who felt crushed by the club’s failure to sign him after a trial but went on to establish himself as one of the country’s top players. In Barnes’ case he was picked up by Watford, who sold him to Liverpool in 1987.

Les Ferdinand

QPR’s director of football – ironically now with overall responsibility for improving local scouting – made his name at Rangers but only after being signed from Hayes in 1986 by the then manager Jim Smith, who also signed the likes of David Seaman and Paul Parker. Ferdinand had initially gone under the radar despite having been born and raised in the local area.

Dennis Wise

A childhood friend of Ferdinand, Wise was a fanatical QPR fan who also grew up a stone’s throw from Loftus Road. But he too went elsewhere, joining Southampton before making his name at Wimbledon and returning to west London with Chelsea, where he became a club legend.