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As the 2010-11 Championship Titlists, Queens Park Rangers have once again returned to the top tier of British football after an unwelcome hiatus. Perhaps no other Club in the Premiership has as had as many ups and downs as QPR, and certainly no other professional team in England has called so many different grounds “home.”

The Rangers got their start in 1882, when the old boys of Droop Street Board School made St. Jude’s Institute their Club headquarters. Four years later St. Jude’s merged with a team called Christchurch Rangers and, because so many of the players came from the Queens Park area of Northwest London, they gave their new coalition the name it still carries today.

Although they started out on a piece of waste ground near Kensal Rise Athletic Ground, they soon moved to Welford’s Fields in 1886 and then rented the London Scottish ground at Brondesbury in 1888 so that they could begin charging admission. However, the pitch soon became unplayable, so between 1890 and 1892, QPR switched venues four times—to Home Park, then Kensal Rise Green, then The Gun Club at Wormwood Scrubs and finally Kilburn Cricket Ground.

Changing colours to green and white hoops, the “Hoops” joined the West London League in 1892 and quickly gained their first silverware by beating Fulham 3-2 in the West London Observer Cup final. That victory was followed by successful defense of the trophy in 1893-94 and then an inaugural triumph in the London Cup competition in 1885.

Yet another move followed in 1896, back to Kensal Rise Athletic Ground, where the Club eventually made their debut as professionals two years later. They applied for and received a spot in the Southern League, finishing eighth in the table in 1898-99 and reaching the second round of the FA Cup.

The opening decades of the 20th century would provide several memorable seasons for QPR. They won the Southern League Championship in 1907-08 and 1911-12, after taking the Western League Cup in 1905-06. However, they remained nomadic, going through another four shifts in location before finally settling in at Loftus Road in Shepherd’s Bush, London in 1917.

The absorption of the Southern League by the Football League in 1920 put the Rangers in the newly formed Third Division. In their very first season, they finished third in the table behind Crystal Palace and Southampton. It would not be until after World War II, however, that they would take the Division title and gain promotion. That came about in 1947-48, leading to four lively but unremarkable seasons in the Second Division, which ended in relegation in 1952. Floodlights were installed at Loftus Road the following year.

Perhaps the greatest season in QPR history came in 1966-67, when the Club took the Division Three Championship for a second time and were again assured of promotion. Riding high, the Rangers entered the 1967 League Cup competition and played well above their level, becoming the first and (to date) the only Third Division team ever to win the League Cup, defeating West Bromwich Albion 3-2 by overcoming a two goal deficit at the half.

If fans were enthralled by the winning of a major trophy, they would be absolutely ecstatic when QPR finished runners-up in Division Two in 1967-68 and at last gained entry to the very top flight of the Football League. That glory lasted only one season, of course, but now that they knew what was possible, the crowds at Loftus Road would be hungry for more.

The Rangers did their level best to deliver. They returned to the First Division after a second-place finish at tier two in 1972-73. Then, they made a run for the top of the table that landed them right behind League Champion Liverpool in 1974-75. And after relegation in 1979, they bounced right back and won the Division Two title in 1982-83, to gain promotion yet again, finishing fifth in 1983-84 and then again in 1987-88.

By the time the Premiership was formed in 1992, QPR had become a true top-tier team. They ended the 1992-93 season in fifth once more. However, when the Club was sold to media tycoon Chris Wright in 1996, a downturn had already begun and they were once again playing in below the top flight in Division One (tier two).

The Rangers finished ninth in 1996-97, narrowly escaped relegation the next two seasons, and could manage no better than ninth again before being dropped to Division Two (tier three) in 2002. They had sunk to their lowest level in more than 30 years, but they knew how to fight back, finishing runners-up in 2003-04 to return to tier two the next season.

It is easy to see how the current situation is inspiring great play, now that QPR are back in the Premiership, where they truly believe they belong. Those wagering on the Rangers may find they have actually been playing better on the road than at home—perhaps a reflection of their nomadic past.