AS QPR prepares to celebrate its 100th anniversary at Loftus Road, Jamie Mackie admits the stadium is a ‘special place’.
The QPR forward has enjoyed some incredible times in W12 during two separate spells with the club, and he confesses that some of his greatest moments as a footballer have occurred at the home of the R’s.
“I have had some amazing times there,” Mackie told www.qpr.co.uk.
“I’m really lucky that me and my team-mates have been part of the 100-year history at a stadium like our one.”
Mackie was an integral part of QPR’s promotion to the Premier League in 2011 and smiles broadly as he recalls he and his team-mates being crowned champions of the Championship on the final day of the season against Leeds in front of the R’s fans.
“That was special,” he says. “I got injured during the latter stages of that season, but being on that pitch with that group pf players celebrating was so special, and it will live in my memory.
“My brothers were there, they all ran on the pitch, it was a great day. It’s one of the fondest moments of my career.”
The 31 year-old was also involved in one of the most iconic moments of recent years at Loftus Road, when he scored a late winner against Liverpool to seal an incredible comeback.
Rangers were 2-0 down to Kenny Dalglish’s side before goals from Shaun Derry and Djibril Cisse set the stage for Mackie to slot home the winner in front of the Loft.
“That comeback was a great effort from the lads and it triggered a run of form which ultimately kept us in the Premier League,” Mackie says.
“To stay up in that first season, and that being one of the catalysts, it’s obviously very special. The fact it was under the lights as well just helped make it even more incredible, and people often talk to me about it.
“For me, career highlights are all about team achievements, but if I had to isolate one game then certainly that Liverpool one would have to rank as one of the highlights of my career.”
Mackie also starred as Rangers secured three priceless points against Stoke City six weeks later with a late Cisse winner.
“That was a massive goal that Djib got for us,” Mackie recalls.
“I remember it was quite a scrappy game, and Stoke didn’t have too much to play for. We knew we had Man City away next, so we had to win this game really because we knew the following week was going to be very tough for us,
“Winning it gave us a massive chance of staying up, and that’s another game that really sticks in the memory for me.
“Loftus Road is always a special place to be when someone scores a late goal to win the game. We had it a couple of weeks ago against Hull. The crowd are so close to the pitch, the atmosphere just kicks off!
“It’s a place where people who don’t play for QPR say they like playing there – that’s not always a good thing though because they end up playing better!
But it’s a great ground to play your football at and I have been lucky enough to have special moments with my team-mates which I hope will be remembered within the 100-year history.”
This weekend Rangers will be looking to maintain their 100 per cent home form in the league when they host Mick McCarthy’s side, before facing Millwall at Loftus Road on Tuesday night.
Ipswich have made a sensational start to the season, and currently sit second in the table, and Mackie says: “A lot was made of the tough start we faced when the fixtures came out so our points return is a very good one, I believe.
“Now we’ve got two games at home and we need to make sure our form at home is spot on.
“It’s going to be a very tough game against a good, experienced manager. They have started very well so it’s going to be a hard one but anyone we face at Loftus Road we have got to be looking to beat.
“We know what we’ve got to do.”