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Orange's football trivia expert answers your best questions

Ask The Gaffer



Ask The Gaffer
Ask The Gaffer

Kyle, Cambodia – 9 September 2014

Hi Gaff, can you tell me which England player has made the shortest, in terms of game time, debut for his country? Fabian Delph's was only 21 minutes plus injury time but I'm sure you can do better Gaff!

The Gaffer says:

Kelly PA

I certainly can, Kyle! Officially, the answer is Crystal Palace full-back Martin Kelly, who only played two minutes when he won his one - and so far only - cap after coming on as an 88th minute substitute against Norway on 26 May 2012.  However, if you include injury time, he was actually on the pitch for six minutes and 53 seconds. That's five seconds more than Peter Ward, whose only appearance was as an 85th minute substitute versus Australia on 31 May 1980. The other player in contention for having the shortest England career is Jim Barrett. He made his debut against Ireland on 22 October 1928 and came off injured, with reports of how long he was on the pitch for ranging from four to eight minutes. Barrett never played for England again.

Claud, Malaysia – 9 September 2014

How many Danish internationals have scored in a Champions League final?

The Gaffer says:

None unless you count Jon Dahl Tomasson's penalty in AC Milan's shootout defeat to Liverpool in 2005. The only Danish player to score in a European Cup final is former Charlton striker Allan Simonsen, who netted for Bayern Munich in their 3-1 loss to Liverpool in 1977.

Danny, Lagos,Nigeria – 8 September 2014

Hi gaff,just wanted to know the last time Nigeria lost a competitive game on home soil, following their defeat to Congo in their African qualifier? A friend of mine says it should be around the early 80's.

The Gaffer says:

It was indeed in the early 80s; 1981 to be precise. Nigeria were beaten 2-0 by Algeria in a World Cup qualifier in Lagos that year, but in the 33 years since then, they had never lost a competitive home game. Not until last weekend, when their opening qualifying game for the 2015 African Nations Cup saw them crash 3-2 at home to Congo. Celtic's Efe Ambrose gave the hosts the lead after 13 minutes but former West Brom striker Thievy Bifouma scored twice after Prince Oniangue had equalised. Gbolahan Salami netted a consolation for Nigeria but it wasn't enough to salvage their proud, long unbeaten record.

Mark Taylor, Harrow – 8 September 2014

What players have played for Spurs, West Ham and Liverpool?

The Gaffer says:

Harry Bradshaw PA

I've found four. Neil Ruddock, Paul Konchesky and Robbie Keane are three from what you'd loosely call the 'modern era', and then we have Harry Bradshaw (pictured). After beginning his career with Liverpool Nomads in 1889, he played for Everton and Northwich Victoria before joining Liverpool in 1893. Whilst there, he became the first Liverpool player to be picked for his country, making his one and only England appearance in a 6-0 win over Ireland in 1897. He left his home town to join Tottenham for the 1898/99 season and the following summer he moved to Thames Ironworks (latterly, of course, known as West Ham). On December 9 that year, he scored in the London derby against Millwall but got kicked in the leg and was told to rest for three weeks. It was to be his last ever match. He watched his team play Portsmouth on Christmas Day morning, then went home and was taken ill, vomiting and complaining of chest pains. He had a fit and died. He was 26.

Ernest Lugar, Niagra Falls – 5 September 2014

Who is Everton's all time highest scoring defender in Premiership history? I reckon it's Baines but my mate says Andy Hinchcliffe. There's a pint riding on this one!!!!!

The Gaffer says:

I'm afraid that pint will have to remain behind the bar! Everton's top-scoring defender in Premier League history is David Unsworth with 33 (20 of them penalties). In fact, Unsworth is the Premier League's all-time top-scoring defender with 38 when you add his two further goals for West Ham, two for Sheffield United and one for Wigan. Leighton Baines is the next defender on Everton's Prem scorers list with 21, then it's Steve Watson and Joleon Lescott with 14 each. Andy Hinchliffe scored just six.

Cymru_lad, Croesyceiliog – 21 October 2014

Why did the old Division One have an odd number of teams in the league in the late 80s? How did this work and why did this happen!?

The Gaffer says:

You're right, the top flight of English football did have 21 clubs in 1987/88. It's still the only year in history that the top flight has had an odd number of teams. The reason was that the Football League were coming under pressure to reduce the amount of games per season in order to benefit the international side. In 1986/87 the First Division consisted of 22 teams and it was proposed that it was whittled down to 20 over the course of two seasons. In the first of those two seasons, Division One was slimmed to 21 clubs and Division Two had 23. At the end of 1987/88, four teams went down from the top flight and only three came up (including Middlesbrough in a relegation/promotion play-off against First Division Chelsea), thus evening things out again.

Martin Burns, Glasgow – 14 October 2014

Hi Gaff, I saw last week that John Terry had played 100 games in the Champions League, all for Chelsea. Have many other players played 100 or more games in the Champions League all for just one club? I guess Ryan Giggs would be one, and Xavi.

The Gaffer says:

Not including qualifying games, Terry is the 13th player to join the 100 club following Giggs (145 games for Manchester United), Xavi (143 for Barcelona)*, Iker Casillas (142 for Real Madrid)*, Paolo Maldini (135 for AC Milan), Raul (130 for Real Madrid), Paul Scholes (124 for Manchester United), Carles Puyol (115 for Barcelona), Gary Neville (109 for Manchester United), Roberto Carlos (107 for Real Madrid), Victor Valdes (106 for Barcelona), Oliver Kahn (103 for Bayern Munich) and Frank Lampard (102 for Chelsea). If you did count qualifiers, then Roar Strand (Rosenborg), Oleksandr Shovkovskiy (Dynamo Kiev)* and Javier Zanetti (Inter Milan) would also make the cut. *Active player at that club.

Ali Stirling, Prestwick – 4 September 2014

With Rolando Aarons scoring a goal at the weekend, making him top alphabetically of Premier League scorers, can you tell me gaff, who is bottom of this list? My mate Iain says it must be Zola but I'm sure you can prove him wrong?

The Gaffer says:

I certainly can, Ali! Firstly, you're right that Rolando Aarons' recent goal for Newcastle against Crystal Palace does indeed make him the top all-time Premier League goalscorer if you arrange them all in alphabetical order (taking over from previous incumbent Gary Ablett). Your mate is wrong about Gianfranco Zola being last alphabetically though. It's former Coventry forward Ysrael Zuniga, who scored three goals in his two seasons at Highfield Road between 1999 and 2001. Elsad Zverotic is the last on the list of all-time Premier League appearances, but he didn't score a goal in his six games for Fulham last season (2013/14).

Jonathan, Cornwall – 6 August 2014

Gaffer, here's a very interesting one for you - which of the 92 English League clubs broke their transfer record the longest time ago?

The Gaffer says:

Buckley PA

Love the question, Jonathan! After scanning through the record books of all 92 clubs, the longest-standing transfer record belongs to Walsall who paid Birmingham City £175,000 to re-sign Alan Buckley as player-manager in June 1979. It was Buckley's second spell as a player at the club and the transfer sum remains a Saddlers record. He's also their all-time leading scorer with over 200 goals.

Steve, Wiral – 30 July 2014

Hello Gaffa. Here`s one for you. Which was the last club to win the FA Cup, knocking out a previous winner of the trophy in every round?

The Gaffer says:

Good one! It was actually Arsenal in 1978/79. They beat Sheffield Wednesday (winners in 1896) in round three, Notts County (1894) in round four, Nottingham Forest (1898) in the fifth round, Southampton (1976) in the quarter-finals, Wolves (1893) in the semis and Manchester United (1909) in the final. Arsenal almost repeated the feat last season, playing previous winners Spurs, Coventry, Liverpool, Everton and Wigan, but their win in the final was against first-time finalists Hull City.

Liam, Buxton – 7 October 2014

With Watford sacking Billy McKinlay after two games, what is the short reign ever by a manager?

The Gaffer says:

Rosenior PA

Undoubtedly Leroy Rosenior's 10 minutes in charge of Torquay during his second spell at the Gulls. Regular readers will be familiar with the tale, but for those that aren't, Rosenior was unveiled as the Conference-bound side's new manager on 17 May 2007. However, just 10 minutes later, chairman Mike Bateson phoned him to say he'd sold the club to a new consortium and the new owners' first act was to relieve Rosenior of his duties. He said afterwards: "I did the press conference, I did all the interviews, and within 10 minutes, Mike called me to let me know he had actually sold the club. It was something that I knew was going to happen but I didn't think it was going to happen after 10 minutes."

Wally Thomson, Norwich – 9 June 2014

Who is the youngest player ever to play at a World Cup?

The Gaffer says:

An old one but as it's that time of the year... Norman Whiteside, aged 17 years and 41 days, for Northern Ireland against Yugoslavia in 1982. Pele is the youngest to play in the final. He was 17 years and 249 days old when he scored twice in Brazil 5-2 victory against Sweden in 1958.

Frederick Gillespie, Nottingham – 15 May 2014

Gaffer, my wife informs me that this season has seen a record number of managers leaving their posts in the Premiership? when was the previous record set and what was it?

The Gaffer says:

I wish my wife casually dished out football trivia over the dinner table! She's spot on. There were 10 managerial departures during the 2013/14 Premier League season, and 12 if you count Tim Sherwood and Pepe Mel, who technically left after the season had ended. The previous record was in 2008/09, when there were nine, but again 12 if you count the proceeding summer. They were, in chronological order, Alan Curbishley (resigned at West Ham), Kevin Keegan (quit Newcastle), Juande Ramos (sacked by Spurs), Harry Redknapp (left Portsmouth for Spurs), Roy Keane (resigned from Sunderland), Paul Ince (sacked by Blackburn), Tony Adams (sacked by Portsmouth), Luiz Felipe Scolari (sacked by Chelsea) and Joe Kinnear (stepped down at Newcastle). Then after the season had finished Guus Hiddink left as interim manager of Chelsea, Ricky Sbragia resigned at Sunderland and Steve Bruce left Wigan to replace him on Wearside.

Richard, St Helens – 15 May 2014

Which nine players have scored for six different Premier League clubs

The Gaffer says:

Bellamy PA

Craig Bellamy has now scored for seven different Prem clubs, making him the sole the record holder. He's netted for Coventry, Newcastle, Blackburn, Liverpool, West Ham, Man City and Cardiff. The others are: Andrew Cole (Newcastle, Man Utd, Blackburn, Fulham, Man City and Portsmouth), Les Ferdinand (QPR, Newcastle, Tottenham West Ham, Leicester, Bolton), Robbie Keane (Coventry, Leeds, Tottenham, Liverpool, West Ham and Aston Villa), Nicolas Anelka (Arsenal, Liverpool, Man City, Bolton, Chelsea and West Brom), Darren Bent (Ipswich, Charlton, Tottenham, Sunderland, Aston Villa and Fulham), Marcus Bent (Crystal Palace, Ipswich, Leicester, Everton, Charlton and Wigan), Peter Crouch (Aston Villa, Southampton, Liverpool, Portsmouth, Tottenham and Stoke) and Nick Barmby (Tottenham, Middlesbrough, Everton, Leeds, Liverpool and Hull).

David Forster, Co.Durham – 23 April 2014

Hi Gaffer, There is one team in the United Kingdom with a letter in there name that no other club has, what is the letter and who is ths team?

The Gaffer says:

I'm feeling in a good mood this afternoon so I'll indulge you this one old chestnut! It's St Johnstone; the only league team in Great Britain with a J in their name.

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