Vietnam Veteran From Shepherds Bush Kept Sane By QPR Match Programmes

Posted on August 27, 2018

In 1969, an unlikely friendship formed between a US soldier fighting in the Vietnam War and an 11-year-old boy in Slough, through a love of football club Queens Park Rangers (QPR). Nils Guy was 22 and had been in the US for less than a year when he was called up for military service with orders overseas in Vietnam. When on active duty, he wrote a letter which was published in the QPR match day programme, asking if anyone would be interested in sending him clippings on how his club was doing. John Wild, aged 11, responded to the request and started to send Nils match programmes and other Rs’ memorabilia. He told Adrian Chiles on BBC Radio 5 Live that he didn’t mind being called up so quickly, but the reality of war was still a shock. “It hit home straight away,” he said. “It’s a horrendous feeling going into somewhere that’s being bombed, and hearing gunfire and bullets going past all the time. “I wasn’t getting much mail from my parents and it took a long time to get there. I asked anybody to send me some memorabilia, just to keep me sane.”

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