The night our family hosted QPR’s cup-winning heroes

QPR fans Matthew and Alex Winton explain why the 50th anniversary of Rangers’ 1967 League Cup triumph feels especially poignant…

This weekend’s anniversary of QPR’s 1967 League Cup win brings back happy memories, as we were brought up on stories of that memorable time.

It was a special year for our family. QPR won their only major trophy and the post-match celebrations took place at the Winton Hotel (now the Eden Plaza, on Queens Gate in Kensington).

This has always been a source of immense pride for our family.

Our late dad, Harold, 31 at the time, was front of house at the hotel that evening, and his involvement with QPR in later years saw him serve as a director and the honorary president.

Harold Winton, far left, was QPR’s honorary president

The 1967 squad stayed at the Winton Hotel both the night before and the night of the final – and they were in good company.

Jimmy Hendrix was playing at The London Astoria and was seen attached to the fruit machine in the foyer of the hotel, while singer Fats Domino was also staying at the hotel and even joined in the celebrations with the players.

Those celebrations were hosted by hotel owners Sidney (our grandfather) and Michael Winton (great uncle).

Recent footage shown on the BBC Archive Twitter account shows uncle Mick pouring champagne for the players when they returned to the hotel from Wembley and has footage of Rodney Marsh with the trophy in the hotel.

Those family members have all sadly passed away now, and stories of the evening remain a little shrouded in mystery.

But we do know that Jim Gregory, the then chairman, did not want the players drinking as there was a big league match the following week.

Dad told us Gregory eventually took it upon himself to try and bring the alcohol element of the celebrations to an end, even warning him that if he continued serving any more booze to the players he would be banned from the ground for life!

A compromise must have been reached, because the threat was never acted upon and apparently the booze-up continued.

Harold Winton and his then wife, Louise, around the time of the ’67 final

Dad always had a special place in his heart for that group of players. Rodney, obviously, as well as the likes of Mark Lazarus, Les Allen and the Morgan twins. He had a real soft spot for Tony Hazell too.

So the club commemorating the anniversary this week has made us very proud and very nostalgic.

Dad, who absolutely loved QPR, would definitely have approved!