Written by Alex Bullamore
In my last column I looked back at the short lived QPR career of Kieron Dyer, a player who undoubtedly had an unsuccessful time at QPR. This time I am again looking at another signing from the 2011-12 season, one that came to the club with more promise and one that I must admit was excited about.
Jay Bothroyd came to the club on a free from Cardiff City and became our first signing in the Premier League. The season before he had scored 18 times for Cardiff in 37 appearances, including a fantastic curled effort from the edge of the box against QPR in a 2-2 draw which momentarily delayed our promotion. He impressed so much that he even played for England whilst at Cardiff, which was quite an achievement. Bothroyd came off the bench in a 2-1 friendly loss to France, and in the process he became Cardiff’s first full England international and the first Football League player to represent England since 2007.
So when Bothroyd moved to the R’s, as I’ve already said, I was excited. We had signed one of the standout strikers of the previous Championship season, a serious talent all on a free.
What went wrong then?
In total Bothroyd played 25 times for QPR and only finding the net 3 times in that period. To put it simply Bothroyd wasn’t good enough. Looking at his stats he had plenty of chances to prove himself in the early part of the season, but he failed regularly to find the net.
It was this poor form that lead to Bothroyd being sent out on loan in August 2012 to Sheffield Wednesday, he only scored once in 14 appearances. Bothroyd would return to the R’s scoring against West Brom in the FA Cup but did not feature much before the end of the season and QPR’s eventual relegation. Bothroyd was not offered another contract and left the club at the end of the 2012-13 season. When you think about this decision and then remind yourself that Dyer got a contract extension, it is clear to see how underwhelming Bothroyd had been.
At the time for signing for QPR Bothroyd was 29, he was leaving his peak years and coming to the age in which most footballers retire. It may surprise you then that he is still playing at the ripe old age of 38. Bothroyd has found some success in Asia, first playing for Thai side Muangthong United in 2014 where he made 16 appearances scoring 6 times. In 2015 he would move to Japan to play for Júbilo Iwata. Here Bothroyd found some decent form scoring 34 times in 54 appearances for the J2 League club, helping them to promotion to J1 League. But Bothroyd would not stop there he currently plays for Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo where he has played 61 times scoring 28 times. Footballers are quite often criticised for how much money they are paid, however you must remember it is a short and brutal career. So I have to respect Bothroyd for not stopping no matter what country he plays in, he’s only trying to make a living after all.
His time at QPR was really disappointing, as I said he was one of the standout performers in the 2011-12 Championship season. Coming to the club on a free as well, when you compare his transfer to others it makes a lot more sense. I still believe he was worth the risk to bring to the club it is just unfortunate that he never performed.