QPR1st Supporters’ Trust mourns the loss of former QPR forward John O’Rourke, who has died at age 71 from cancer. QPR1st extends our very deepest condolences to his family
O’Rourke joined QPR from Coventry in late 1971 for 65,000 pounds; signed by Gordon Jago to boost QPR’s promotion push and to assist Rodney Marsh with the goalscoring needs.
For a variety of reasons, including injuries, O’Rourke didn’t quite accomplish those goals; but in his time at QPR, he still managed to score an average of one goal every three games. After Marsh’s March 1972 move to Manchester City O’Rourke was a regular for the rest of the season. O’Rourke started the 1972-73 (Promotion) season with few crucial goals (playing alongside Don Givens). Then QPR signed Stan Bowles; O’Rourke got injured and was kept out for team by the brilliant forward line of Bowles, Givens and Thomas. O’Rourke subsequently moved on to Bournemouth where he finished his football league career.
O’Rourke came close to being a QPR player a few years earlier than he did. In early 1968, Alec Stock had almost brought O’Rourke to QPR from Middlesbrough to bolster our First Division promotion push. Unfortunately Club and Player couldn’t agree terms, so O’Rourke instead joined Ipswich (who were promoted with QPR that season.)
(Ironically, QPR then signed Frank Clarke from Shrewsbury and a couple of years later, when O’Rourke went from Ipswich to Coventry; Clarke joined Ipswich from QPR)
Starting as a Youth with Arsenal and Chelsea, O’Rourke’s finest years were as a prolific goalscorer at Luton Town in the early 1960s with some 64 Goals in 84 Games; and then at Middlesbrough 38 goals in 64 games where he was capped for the England U-23 Team. O’Rourke then went on to score 30 goals in 69 games at Ipswich. 17 goals in 54 games at Coventry before coming to QPR.
RIP: John O’Rourke