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Orange'sfootball trivia expert answers your best questions

Ask The Gaffer



Ask The Gaffer
Ask The Gaffer

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.

Sam Jennings, Bolton – 13 October 2014

Hello Mr Gaffer! Can you tell me what the heaviest defeat San Marino have suffered in a competitive game?

The Gaffer says:

It came back in 2006 when San Marino lost 13-0 to Germany in their opening qualifying game for Euro 2008. Unsurprisingly, they finished bottom of the group, scoring just twice and conceded a whopping 57 goals in 12 games.

Stuart, Aberdeen – 13 October 2014

Alright Gaffer, I know Ashley Cole made 107 appearances and scored zero goals for England but is this a world record for an outfield player?

The Gaffer says:

Nordqvist PA

No it's not, Stuart. One player has managed to go one 'better', well, eight games better and that man is...Sweden's Bjorn Nordqvist. The centre-back made 115 appearances for the Swedes without scoring a goal and his last appearance came in 1978.

Barry, Australia – 14 October 2014

Alright Gaffer. Having a dispute with a mate of mine. I reckon out of the 92 current League teams, the majority have a higher 'record transfer fee received' than 'record transfer fee spent' on an individual player. He thinks it's vice-versa. Hope this makes sense and you can clear it up.

The Gaffer says:

I've got good news, Barry. Only 10 teams out of the 92 have a higher transfer record fee paid than received - Arsenal (Mesut Ozil 42.5m); Manchester City (Sergio Aguero, 38m); Everton (Romelu Lukaku, 28m); Middlesbrough (Afonso Alves, 12.8m); QPR (Christopher Samba, 12.5m); Stoke (Peter Crouch, 10m); West Brom (Brown Ideye, 10m); Norwich (Ricky van Wolfswinkel, 8.5m); Sheffield Wednesday (Paolo Di Canio, 4.5m); Bradford (David Hopkin, 2.5m). Nb: There are conflicting reports about how much Cardiff paid to make Gary Medel their record signing, ranging from 9-11m. They sold him for 10m which is their record sale so you could include the Bluebirds to boost the total to 11 teams. Chelsea's record fees match - they paid 50m to sign Fernando Torres and reportedly sold David Luiz for the same amount to PSG. Thanks to Bentley from Birmingham and Tubs from London for their help.

Rich Evans, Wellingborough – 9 October 2014

I was reading recently that local lad Trevor Benjamin played for 29 clubs. This has got me wondering who has played for the most English clubs and who holds the world record for the most clubs.

The Gaffer says:

Benjamin played for 27 English clubs, making his professional debut as a 16-year-old for Cambridge in 1995 and ending his career with Northumberland-based Morpeth Town - at the time playing five levels below the Conference - in 2011. That's a record in England, although if you open the question to include Scottish clubs, goalkeeper John Burridge beats Benjamin after playing for 29 different teams (23 English, six Scottish) during his 28-year career. There's no official world record but I'd be surprised if anyone can top Budgie's impressive tally.

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.

Thomas, Derby – 30 July 2014

Hi Gaffer, who is the longest serving international manager ever, either still managing them now or in the past?

The Gaffer says:

Josef Herberger PA

The legendary Bora Milutinovic holds the world record for taking charge of most international matches as a coach. The exact figure differs slightly depending on the source, but he has at least 287 games under his belt with Mexico, Costa Rica, USA, Nigeria, China, Honduras, Jamaica and Iraq. He is Yugoslav-born, married to a Mexican, lives in Qatar and retired in 2009. If, however, you're asking me who is the longest serving international manager in one job, the answer is Josef "Sepp"Herberger (pictured). He was coach of Germany/West Germany from 1936-1964, spanning 167 games, four World Cups and even an eight-year break during and after World War II!

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.

Crag, Wigan – 14 February 2011

What is the highest number you can have on the back of your shirt?

The Gaffer says:

Ceni PA

It depends entirely on the league in question, and whether they entertain such nonsense - Mido requested 99 when he joined Tottenham, but the Premier League refused. Looking further afield, Rogerio Ceni wore number 618 during his record-breaking 618th appearance for Sao Paolo, which is believed to be the highest shirt number ever worn during a professional match. Vitor Baia wore 99 for Porto in the 2003 Uefa Cup final, which is the highest number in a European match.

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