QPR 3-2 West Bromwich Albion
Roger Morgan (63); Rodney Marsh (75); Mark Lazarus (81)
Clive Clark (7); (36)
‘So we walked into the Lancaster Gate hotel the night before – and in the foyer were these Swedish birds with dresses up to their bums.”
They must have been good, because Frank Sibley can see them in his mind's eye 47 years later.
The man who would later manage Rangers briefly as well as assist at Fulham under Ray Wilkins and Kevin Keegan, was left-half in the old ‘W’ formation at Wembley that day. And apart from the unique luxury of a hotel stay (‘we’d never been away before’) plus the female distraction, it was plonking his disappointed backside on the dressing room bench at half time that came to mind.
“We played so well leading up to the final, and in that first half, we were not very good,” said the man still living in Hillingdon, not a couple of miles from where he was born in Uxbridge 66 years ago.
Top tier West Brom led 2-0 against the side from the equivalent of League One.
But, this was the stuff of fairy tales and manager Alec Stock galvanised his troops at the break, with one Rodney Marsh playing a vital part in the magnificent 3-2 win.
Rangers captain Mike Keen hoisted the cup aloft at the end - the first third tier winner of a major knockout cup in modern times.
The white shirts worn that March 4 day were the result of losing the toss on who played in their home kit.
Albion’s blue-and-white stripes and Rs hoops of the same colour demanded the toss losers come up with a different strip.
“Real Madrid were the team of the day, and we thought we were them,” said Sibley with a chuckle, who made his Rs debut at the age of 15 in 1963.
Not that Rangers had a chance to mix it in foreign parts.
They were denied from entering the following season’s Inter-Cities Fairs Cup - now the Uefa Cup - by an archaic rule that forbade an entry to teams outside the first tier.
That 1967 QPR side had its fair share of veterans. Jim Langley at left-back was a venerable 38, Les Allen, father of Clive, was almost 30, and Mark Lazarus, scorer of the winner on 81 minutes, was nudging 29.
It’s that mixture of experience and youth Sibley believes will get Rangers over the line against Derby.
“You need big players for the big occasion,” he said. “Sure, when you’re a young side like Derby you fear no-one. But when you come back into a bit of form like Rangers, and you’ve got Charlie Austin, I think they’ve got enough to handle it better.”
Sibley is away this Saturday, but his two season-ticket holding sons will be at Wembley in Rangers colours along with grandson Cormack.
“I think he could be one for the future,” added Sibley, ‘that would be nice.”
Just one question: what happened to the leggy Swedes?
“We all had a meal together, and Alec said we should have a beer or two before going to bed,” remembered Sibley, who battles Parkinson’s Disease with medication.
“The girls? They were nowhere to be seen - and no, they weren’t in Rodney’s room.”
QPR: Peter Springett; Tony Hazell; Mike Keen, Ron Hunt, Jim Langley; Frank Sibley, Mark Lazarus, Keith Sanderson, Roger Morgan; Les Allen, Rodney Marsh; sub: Ian Morgan; manager: Alec Stock