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Orange's football trivia expert answers your best questions

Ask The Gaffer



Ask The Gaffer
Ask The Gaffer

Jeff, Cardiff – 20 January 2015

Name 2 players that have been capped by England for 5 different Premier League clubs

The Gaffer says:

Scott Parker PA

I reckon there are three players, Jeff. David James's 53-cap England career spanned his time at five different Premier League clubs - Liverpool, Aston Villa, West Ham, Manchester City and Portsmouth. Emile Heskey also won caps whilst at five Prem clubs - Leicester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Wigan and Aston Villa. The final man is Scott Parker, whose first four England caps were, quite remarkably, earned while representing four different clubs (Charlton, Chelsea, Newcastle and West Ham). He later earned further caps as a Tottenham player.

David, Burnley – 20 January 2015

Has there ever been a weekend with no draws in the Premier League?.

The Gaffer says:

It's not as rare an occurrence as you'd think, David. Your question was probably prompted by the lack of draws last weekend (although Everton and West Brom's stalemate on Monday night ensured we didn't quite make it 10/10 over the full round of weekend Prem fixtures). However, in the 2012/13 season, there were no draws on 23-24 February or over the Easter weekend of March 30, 31 and April 1. Also, in 2009/10, there were no draws in any of the opening weekend's 10 games over August 15 and 16. There were six midweek fixtures too and none of them produced a draw. It wasn't until the season's second Saturday that one draw occurred - Birmingham finishing 0-0 at home to Stoke.

Paul Bates, Kettering – 15 January 2015

Which is the only current Premier League team never to have played in an FA Cup final?

The Gaffer says:

It's Swansea City. The Welsh side reached the semi-finals in 1926 and 1964 but lost to Bolton and Preston respectively.

George McGinley, Immingham – 15 January 2015

How many footballers have played for Middlesbrough, Sunderland and Newcastle?

The Gaffer says:

There are only six players in this elite club: Shay Given, Joseph Blackett, William Agnew, Tommy Urwin, Stan Anderson and Alan Foggon.

Charman, Madron, Cornwall – 13 January 2015

Hi Gaffer. How many Plymouth Argyle players have appeared and scored in a World Cup match?

The Gaffer says:

Fallon PA

Well only two players have been selected for a World Cup whilst playing for Plymouth. The first was George Baker in 1958 but the winger was an unused substitute during Wales's run to the quarter-finals. Rory Fallon became the first Pilgrim to appear in a World Cup in 2010 but the striker failed to score during his three appearances for New Zealand. If you're allowing players who have featured for Plymouth at any stage in their career and scored in a World Cup, then you can include Paul Mariner, who began his career at Home Park and scored in the 1982 World Cup for England in their 3-1 win over France, and Peter McParland, who scored five goals as Northern Ireland reached the quarter-finals in 1958 and later spent a year at Argyle in 1963-64.

Jeff, Cardiff – 20 January 2015

Name 2 players that have been capped by England for 5 different Premier League clubs

The Gaffer says:

Scott Parker PA

I reckon there are three players, Jeff. David James's 53-cap England career spanned his time at five different Premier League clubs - Liverpool, Aston Villa, West Ham, Manchester City and Portsmouth. Emile Heskey also won caps whilst at five Prem clubs - Leicester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Wigan and Aston Villa. The final man is Scott Parker, whose first four England caps were, quite remarkably, earned while representing four different clubs (Charlton, Chelsea, Newcastle and West Ham). He later earned further caps as a Tottenham player.

Harry Roberts, Glasgow – 24 December 2014

How many father and son combinations have played for the same team at the same time? And can you name them?

The Gaffer says:

There have been a couple of examples in England. Ian Bowyer, who won two European Cups with Nottingham Forest, and his son Gary, the current Blackburn Rovers manager, played one game together for Hereford against Scunthorpe in April 1990. They became the first father and son to play in English League football since Alec and David Herd for Stockport County in 1951. In Northern Ireland, George Eastham, a non-playing member of England's 1966 World Cup-winning squad, appeared for Ards alongside his father George Sr, who was player-manager of the club during the 1950s. Recent examples outside of the UK include Rivaldo and Henrik Larsson, who played alongside their sons, Rivaldinho and Jordan, for Mogi Mirim and Hogaborg respectively. Eidur Gudjohnsen and his father Arnar almost joined the elite club in 1996. Both played in Iceland's international friendly against Estonia in Tallinn but they weren't on the pitch at the same time as debutant Eidur replaced his father as a second-half substitute. Apparently, coach Logi Olafsson was under strict orders not to play them together as the Icelandic FA wanted it to happen on home turf in a World Cup qualifier later in the year. However, Eidur broke his ankle and by the time he recovered his old man had retired.

B Glenn, Birmingham – 17 December 2014

Which two men faced each other as both players and managers in FA Cup finals?

The Gaffer says:

You little beauty! That is a belter of a question, even more so because I've just nailed the answer. It's Bob Stokoe and Don Revie. They faced each other in the 1955 FA Cup final when Stokoe was part of the Newcastle side that triumphed 3-1 over Manchester City, for whom Revie was up front. Fast forward to 1973 and Stokoe was again triumphant. His second-division Sunderland side caused one of the biggest FA Cup final shocks of all time by beating Revie's all-conquering Leeds United 1-0 at Wembley.

Masai Graham, West Bromwich – 18 November 2014

Of all the players to have represented more than one nation, who earned the most amount of caps before defecting?

The Gaffer says:

Puskas PA

This accolade belongs to one of the most famous 'dual nationality' international footballers of them all. It's Ferenc Puskas, who played 85 times for Hungary between 1945 and 1956, scoring a ridiculous 84 goals, before defecting to Spain. In 1956, the Hungarian uprising against the Soviets led to several Hungarian players fleeing the country. At the time of the uprising, Puskas' team Honved were in Bilbao playing a European Cup tie. After serving a two-year Fifa ban for refusing to return to his native Budapest, Puskas settled in Spain and was signed by Real Madrid in 1958. He was capped by Spain four times, three of those at the 1962 World Cup, but he never scored for his adopted nation. The next highest number of caps before a 'defection' (and I'm ruling out players who've played for a country which subsequently changed its own identity, such as Czechoslovakia, the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia) is by Michel Platini. He played 72 times for France before coming out of retirement in 1988 aged 33 to turn out for Kuwait. He played 21 minutes of the 2-0 defeat to the Soviet Union in a friendly as something of a publicity stunt organised by the Emir (ruler) of Kuwait.

Colin Mcloughlin, Liverpool – 12 November 2014

Hi Gaff, heres one to test the old grey matter. What was a little odd about the 1937-38 English League Division One final table?

The Gaffer says:

I know what you're getting at here Colin! It's the extremely curious case of Manchester City's relegation the year after winning the title. City scored 80 goals that season - more than any other team, in fact three more than champions Arsenal - yet still went down, finishing second from bottom. They 'only' conceded 77, losing lots of games fairly narrowly but winning several by big margins (two 7-1s, a 6-1, 6-2 and 5-3). It has to be said, they were very unlucky; 1937/38 produced the closest relegation battle in top-flight history with only four points spanning the bottom 11 clubs. With one game left, Man City were top of a group of six clubs joint-bottom on 36 points, with Huddersfield on 37 and Everton 38. But City lost their final game at Huddersfield and other results conspired against them.

Rambo, Scotland – 11 February 2011

What's the only team in Britain with a J in its name?

The Gaffer says:

Of note? St Johnstone.

Paul, Angelsey – 10 February 2011

Has the score of Forfar 4 East Fife 5 ever happened?

The Gaffer says:

East Fife have never beaten Forfar by that infamous scoreline. However, in the 1963/1964 season, Forfar did beat East Fife 5-4 in a Scottish Division Two match.

Joe, Everton Valley – 14 February 2011

Who sung You'll Never Walk Alone first? Liverpool or Celtic?

The Gaffer says:

Kop PA

Although there is no clear evidence, most claim Liverpool sung the anthem before Celtic. The song is actually taken from the musical Carousel composed by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein, and only became a terrace favourite after it was covered by Gerry and the Pacemakers in November 1963. Liverpool supporters adopted it which footage from Panorama in 1964 shows, however there is no concrete evidence that is was before or after Celtic. As an aside, the song was first heard in a footballing capacity at the 1958 memorial service for the Munich Air Disaster, but Man Utd didn't adopt it as an anthem, unlike Liverpool, Celtic, Feyenoord, FC Twente and FC Tokyo to name but five.

Harry, UK – 14 February 2011

Who is the oldest person to play league football?

The Gaffer says:

John Ryan PA

John Ryan (pictured), the owner of Doncaster Rovers, who brought himself on as substitute in the last minute of a game in 2003 aged 52 years, 11 months. Aside from that cameo appearance, the real accolade should go to Sir Stanley Matthews, who played his final game for Stoke on 6 February 1965. He was 50 years and 4 days old.

Woody, Clitheroe – 14 February 2011

Why are Hartlepool called the Monkey Hangers?

The Gaffer says:

Monkey

During the Napoleonic wars a French ship was wrecked off the coast of Hartlepool and amongst its wreckage was the ship's pet monkey. Thinking the animal could be a French spy, the residents of Hartlepool held a trial and sentenced it to death by hanging.

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