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Orange'sfootball trivia expert answers your best questions

Ask The Gaffer



Ask The Gaffer
Ask The Gaffer

Alistair Butchart, Johannesburg, South Africa – 23 July 2014

Which Premier League player past or present has the longest surname? There have been some real whoppers out there!

The Gaffer says:

Vennegoor of Hesselink PA

That honour goes to Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink, who scored three goals in 31 Premier League apparances for Hull City in the 2009-10 season. At a quid a letter, it would have cost you 20 sheets to get the Dutchman's name on the back of your shirt! Vennegoor of Hesselink dates from the 17th century when two farming families from the Enschede region of Holland were united by marriage, but neither would accept the loss of their name. 'Of' in Dutch translates to 'or' in English. Last season, Cardiff defender Kevin Theophile-Catherine led the way with 18 letters, but now the Bluebirds have been relegated, Arsenal and England international Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has the longest surname at 17 letters long.

Dave, Wardle – 23 July 2014

How many Smiths have played for England? And how many Joneses for Wales? I am asking as these are the names perceived as being most common in the two countries.

The Gaffer says:

Jones PA

There have been 20 different Smiths for England - Alan x2, Albert, Arnold, Bert, Billy, Bobby, Charles, Gilbert, Herbert, Jack, Joe x2, Leslie, Lionel, Reg, Sep, Steve, Tommy and Trevor. However, they are dwarfed in comparison to the amount of Joneses who have been capped by Wales, which include 55 to date - Albert x2, Alexander, Andy, Barrie, Bryn, Charlie, Cliff, David x2, Di, Ernie, Evan, Frederick x2, Gordon, Hugh, Humphrey, Ivor, Jack, Jeffrey, Jimmy, Joe, Joey, John x2, Keith, Lee, Leslie, Lot, Love, Mark, Matt, Owain Tudor, Owen, Paul, Ralph, Richard x4, Robert, Ryan, Samuel x2, Thomas x4, Vinnie (pictured), Wayne, William x3 and Wilson. If you're allowing hyphenated surnames then you can also add Albert and William Pryce-Jones and John Eyton-Jones to the list. No Smith has ever represented Wales, but there have been eight Joneses for England - Alf, Bill, Harry, Herbert, Mick, Phil, Rob and William.

Ehjaz, Islamabad – 23 July 2014

How many Muslim footballers are currently playing in the EPL?

The Gaffer says:

Around 40 at the last count, although this list doesn't include players from recently-promoted trio Leicester, Burnley and QPR: Abou Diaby, Mesut Ozil, Yaya Sanogo, Karim El Ahmadi, Yacouba Sylla, Mohamed Salah, Marouane Chamakh, Adlene Guedioura, Arouna Kone, Ahmed Elmohamady, Mamadou Sakho, Kolo Toure, Samed Yesil, Oussama Assaidi, Samir Nasri, Yaya Toure, Edin Dzeko, Bacary Sagna, Adnan Januzaj, Marouane Fellaini, Massadio Haidara, Hatem Ben Arfa, Cheick Tiote, Moussa Sissoko, Papiss Cisse, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Mehdi Abeid, Asmir Begovic, Modibo Diakite, El-Hadji Ba, Younes Kaboul, Mousa Dembele, Nacer Chadli, Nabil Bentaleb, Youssouf Mulumbu, Adil Nabi, Mohamed Diame, Modibo Maiga.

Colin Robson, Middlesbrough – 23 July 2014

How many players who have won the European Cup or Champions League have played for Middlesbrough

The Gaffer says:

I've got 14: Bobby Murdoch (Celtic 1967), Nobby Stiles (Man Utd 1968), Graeme Souness (Liverpool 1978, 1981, 1984), Viv Anderson (Nottingham Forest 1979, 1980), Pat Heard (Aston Villa 1982), David Hodgson (Liverpool 1984), Craig Johnston (Liverpool 1984), Alen Boksic (Marseille 1993), Michael Reiziger (Ajax 1995), Fabrizio Ravanelli (Juventus 1996), Christian Karembeu (Real Madrid 1998, 2000), Jonathan Greening (Man Utd 1999), Geremi (Real Madrid 2000, 2002), Ross Turnbull (Chelsea 2012).

John, Bromley – 22 July 2014

Hi Gaffer. I know this is a near impossible q but I would really like to find out how many Chelsea players including ex players & managers were at the 2014 World Cup... do your best for me.

The Gaffer says:

John, nothing is impossible!There were 17 players who were on Chelsea's books during the World Cup - David Luiz, Oscar, Ramires, Willian, Samuel Eto'o, Fernando Torres, Cesar Azpilicueta, Gary Cahill, Frank Lampard (technically his contract didn't expire until June 30), Jon Obi Mikel, Andre Schurrle and Eden Hazard, plus five players who were on loan - Victor Moses, Thibaut Courtois, Romelu Lukaku, Kenneth Omeruo and Christian Atsu. Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa signed for Chelsea during the tournament, so let's add them in too. The ex-Blues in action in Brazil were Arjen Robben, Juan Mata, Salomon Kalou, Didier Drogba, Glen Johnson, Daniel Sturridge, Michael Essien, Raul Meireles, Kevin de Bruyne and Yuri Zhirkov. As for the managers, of course we have Luis Felipe Scolari and Didier Deschamps.

George, Watford – 10 July 2014

Who is the youngest manager ever in British senior leagues?

The Gaffer says:

Ivor Broadis PA

That record still belongs to Ivor Broadis who, at 91, is currently England's oldest surviving international player. He'd made a handful of appearances for Manchester United before the war, then after flying in the RAF he'd been posted to Crosby-on-Eden, Cumbria, when the war ended. Carlisle United, then in Division Three North, snapped him up as player-manager at the tender age of 23. In January 1949, a bid of 18,000 came in for him from Sunderland and he accepted, becoming the first manager to sell himself to another club. He was succeeded by none other than Bill Shankly. Broadis' playing career continued at Manchester City and Newcastle, before he returned to Brunton Park in 1955 for a four-year spell. He finished his playing career just across the border at Queen of the South. That initial two-and-a-half season spell at Carlisle proved to be his only one as a manager. After hanging up his boots, he began a 45-year career as a journalist.

Martin Burns, Glasgow – 10 June 2014

Are there many players to have been relegated from both the top flight in England and the top flight in Scotland? I can think of Jorge Cadete who was relegated with Partick Thistle in Scotland and Bradford City in England. Are there (m)any more?

The Gaffer says:

Derek Whyte PA

Fabulous question Martin! This has taken me the best part of a couple of hours, yet a couple may have slipped the net, so if anyone has any names to add, let me know. Here's who I've got - David Linighan (relegated with Ipswich in 1994/95 and Dunfermline 98/99), Derek Whyte (Middlesbrough 92/93 and Partick 03/04, pictured), Alan Kernaghan (Man City 95/96 & Middlesbrough 92/93 and St Johnstone 01/02), Graham Dorrans (West Brom 08/09 and Livingston 05/06), Wes Hooloahan (Norwich 13/14 and Livingston 05/06), Robert Snodgrass (Norwich 13/14 and Livingston 05/06), Dorus De Vries (Wolves 11/12 and Dunfermline 06/07), Adam Hammill (Wolves 11/12 and Dunfermline 06/07), Owen Morrison (Sheff Wed 99/00 and Dunfermline 06/07) and Paul Gallacher (Norwich 04/05* and Dunfermline 11/12) *Although Gallacher was a Norwich player when they went down in 04/05 he was out on loan that season). Your suggestion of Jorge Cadete is, however, wrong as his spell on loan at Bradford was during 1999/2000 - the season before they were relegated.

Woody, Swindon – 5 June 2014

Following on from your 'Premier League winners who've been relegated' question, has anyone got a Premiership and Championship winners medal?

The Gaffer says:

Yes they have Woody. Quite a few, in fact! The following have all won a Premier League winner's medal. I have listed in each case the club and year in which they also won a Championship/old Second Division winner's medal: Nicky Butt (Newcastle 2009/10), Andy Cole (Newcastle 1992/93), Steve Bruce (Norwich 1985/86), Teddy Sheringham (Millwall 1987/88), Dwight Yorke (Sunderland 2006/07), Bryan Robson (Middlesbrough 1994/95 - as player/manager), Lous Saha (Fulham 2000/01), Tim Sherwood (Portsmouth 2002/03), Paul Warhurst (Oldham 1990/91), Luis Boa Morte (Fulham 2000/01), Shaun Wright-Phillips (Man City 2001/02), Clayton Blackmore (Middlesbrough 1994/95), Mike Phelan (Norwich 1985/86 - he also has a Div 3 medal with Burnley in 1981/82) and Alan Smith (Newcastle 2009/10).

Barney Chadwick, Hull – 5 June 2014

Spain are the current holders of the World Cup, European Championships, Champions League and Europa League. Has this ever happened before (including the European Cup/Uefa Cup days)?

The Gaffer says:

Beckenbauer PA

It happened in the mid-'70s, Barney. West Germany won the European Championship in 1972 and lifted the World Cup two years later. At club level, Bayern Munich were crowned European Cup winners three years on the spin between 1974-76, while Borussia Monchengladbach won the 1975 Uefa Cup final. So all four trophies were in the Germans' possession for a year from 1975-76.

Thomas, Derby – 1 June 2014

Hi Gaffer, could you please tell me which manager has managed the most national football teams please? Thanks :)

The Gaffer says:

There's only one winner here - a German now aged 87 called Rudi Gutendorf. His career spanned 53 years and included spells as boss of Schalke, 1860 Munich and Real Valladolid, but most remarkable are his stints as national boss of EIGHTEEN different countries. In chronological order, between 1972 and 1999, they were: Chile, Bolivia, Venezuela, Trinidad & Tobago, Grenada, Antigua, Botswana, Australia, New Caledonia, Nepal, Tonga, Tanzania, Ghana, Nepal (again), Fiji, Zimbabwe, China, Iran, Mauritius and Rwanda.

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.

Harry, Torpoint – 9 December 2010

What's the most amount of goals scored in an English league match?

The Gaffer says:

Seventeen, set on Boxing Day 1935 when Tranmere spanked Oldham 13-4.

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