CHARLIE Austin returned to QPR on Saturday 9th January 2021, joining the R’s on loan from West Bromwich Albion until the end of the season.
Austin’s footballing career began on the non-league ladder. Having been released by Reading as a teenager, he went on to score goals aplenty for Kintbury Rangers, Hungerford Town and Poole Town before earning his break back in the EFL with Swindon Town.
Thirty-one goals in a season and a half with the Robins made him a sought-after striker and in January 2011 he joined Burnley.
His first full season in Lancashire, 2011/12, saw him hit 16 Championship goals and, in the following campaign, he bagged an incredible 28 goals in all competitions.
In the summer of 2013, his QPR story began. He was snapped up by Rangers as they looked for an instant return to the Premier League… and he would deliver the goods.
The 2013/14 season, of course, concluded with the R’s winning promotion in dramatic fashion at Wembley Stadium and Austin’s 20 goals were a huge factor in getting the R’s there, with his double against Wigan Athletic in the play-off semi-final second leg typifying just that.
To break down the importance of his goals even more, three of his 20 strikes – against Birmingham City, Yeovil Town and Charlton Athletic – came in 1-0 victories for the R’s, and the club only tasted defeat once all season when Austin was on the scoresheet.
The following season – and with his climb from non-league to the Premier League complete – he notched 18 top-flight goals as the club battled against relegation. A hat-trick in a memorable 3-2 win against West Brom in December 2014 – which came in the middle of a run of five goals in just three games – earned him the Premier League’s Player of the Month award, making him only the second R’s player to ever scoop the accolade.
Although the season would eventually end in relegation, Austin’s outstanding goal-every-other-game club form earned him a call-up to the England squad in May 2015. He wouldn’t make an appearance for the Three Lions, however, and he would remain with the R’s until January 2016.
Midway through the 2015/16 campaign, and with Austin having scored 48 Rangers goals in 89 appearances in total, the Premier League came calling for his services again.
He departed west London to join Southampton, having secured fan-favourite status in W12 and having made life-lasting memories for thousands and thousands of R’s fans all over the world.
He scored the winning goal against Manchester United on his Saints debut and would start the following season by scoring seven goals in his first nine appearances, which included a brace against Sparta Prague in the Europa League.
At the beginning of last season, 2019/20, he joined West Bromwich Albion. He notched a debut goal against Millwall and would go on to help the Baggies secure promotion back to the Premier League.
With 161 professional goals to his name – and having featured in the top flight as recently as January 2nd 2021 – Charlie returned to W12 to continue his QPR story.
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- Full Name:
- Charlie Austin
- Date of birth:
- 5th July 1989
- 188 cm
- 84 kg
- Date signed:
- 9th January 2021