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WHERE 'R' THEY NOW? GERRY FRANCIS

THE below Where 'R' They Now? feature appeared first in the Hoops matchday programme against Stoke City (20/04/13).


What are you up to nowadays?

I have been first team coach at Stoke City for five years. That’s a long time considering I was originally only going to do it for a season. It has been a very exciting period in terms of Stoke reaching the FA Cup final and playing in Europe. It has been a good five years. We have become an established Premier League club. It has enabled us to gradually improve our squad, training facilities and academy during that period. Maybe QPR can eventually do the same, but Rangers will need a new stadium and a new training ground to help build the club up.


You have been a top football manager in the past. What is the difference for you now being a coach?

Obviously, as a manager you are head of your staff and make the final decisions on everything. Your staff are very important to you in terms of what you want done. Being a coach is not the same situation as you don’t make those final decisions. I probably drive 60,000 miles a year from my home in the South East, but I’ve enjoyed my five years with Stoke.


You still have family links with QPR as your sons are young players here. How are they getting on?

Adam is 19 and out on loan at Woking in the Conference at the moment, while Jake is still playing for the Under-16s. 


Do you enjoy coming back to Loftus Road to watch matches when you can?

Yes, although I don’t get back very often I’m afraid. But I do spend time travelling around the country to watch QPR youth and Under-21 team fixtures, so that I can follow my sons wherever they are playing.


You had two spells as a player here at Rangers and two as manager. Were they special times in your career?

Definitely. I spent 20-odd years in total at QPR. Not too many people do that with one club, do they? And now my two boys are with Rangers as well. When I played for QPR, we were runners-up by a point in the old First Division, semi-finalists in the League Cup and quarter-finalists in the UEFA Cup. I was also made England captain. Then when I was manager, we finished top London club in the first season of the Premier League. There’s been a lot of history for me at Rangers over the years.


Where 'R' They Now? appears in Hoops matchday programme on sale around Loftus Road for just £3.