Football: Sidelines

Groves leads the droves to Villa

Loyalty is reputedly a thing of the past, with players who care more for the colour of the money than the shirt happily defecting to their nearest rivals. Distant dealings between Aston Villa and West Bromwich Albion, who today renew a hostilies in the FA Cup, prove it is hardly a modern phenomenon.

Take Willie Groves, who masterminded Albion's 3-0 defeat of Villa in the 1892 final. Two years later, as the first man to be transferred for pounds 100, he helped Villa to the championship. John Reynolds scored in the same final, yet by the time the neighbours contested the trophy again, in 1895, he was in the claret and blue. Albion's goalkeeper in their three consecutive finals from 1886, Bob Roberts, also left for Villa.

When Villa last lifted the Cup, in 1957, their side included Jimmy Dugdale, a Wembley winner with Albion three years earlier. Those who have switched from Villa Park to the Hawthorns more recently include Tony Morley, John Deehan, Ken McNaught, Nigel Spink, Graham Fenton and Phil King (both on loan), with the cricketer-keeper Jim Cumbes, Steve Hunt and Ugo Ehiogu making the reverse journey.

Villa exploited a contractual loophole to snap up Ehiogu in 1991, when their manager was Ron Atkinson. At the same time Big Ron signed Cyrille Regis, a Black Country folk hero in the first of his two spells in charge of Albion. Today, Regis will be part of West Brom's coaching staff, bursting to get the better of his former club and colleague.

Ten things that Walsall's Danish

manager Jan Sorensen

might be missing

today

1 The Tycho Brache Planetarium in his home town, Copenhagen. A place, like Old Trafford, where you can occasionally watch breathtaking natural phenomena.

2 Kronborg Castle, the setting Shakespeare used for Hamlet.

3 The Viking museum at Raskilde, a good place to be reminded what a really good slaying is like.

4 The Great Belt Exhibition centre. A display of bridge architecture rather than trouser support.

5 The Little Mermaid. Sorensen will hope his team keep their heads better today than the mermaid has recently.

6 The spirit of Hans Christian Andersen. Walsall will certainly be in fairy-tale territory if they win today.

7 Aquavit. Immensely intoxicating potato spirit.

8 The Dannebrog (the Danish flag) - the oldest flag in the world, dating from 1219 when legend has it fell from sky after a battle in Estonia.

9 Bacon and pastries.

10 Visiting the Carlsberg brewery - probably the best way to forget a cup drubbing in the world.

NAME OF THE GAME

No 19: THE SHAKERS

Before his team's 1891-92 Lancashire Senior Cup final against Blackburn Rovers, the Bury chairman, J T Ingham, promised: "We shall shake 'em." Ingham's throwaway comment was seized upon by press and supporters alike and it inspired a nickname which has stuck ever since. It inspired the team as well: Bury beat Blackburn to win the final 2-0.

THIS

WEEK

In this week in 1977, Queen's Park Rangers were preparing for their fourth-round FA Cup tie against Manchester United at Old Trafford.

The QPR defender, David Webb, said at the time: "We're the Cup kings. And we're not about to let United dethrone us." He added: "Of course we're disappointed that not more than 1,000 of our own supporters will be at the game."

It was perhaps good fortune for those who chose not to travel, as QPR lost 1-0.

A point worth noting is that United had progressed to that tie by defeating a struggling Third Division team in the third round. That team happens to be today's opponents, Walsall.

Also worth noting is another event from the same week in 1977 - the birth of Philip Neville.

HISTORY

LESSON

Barnsley have never played Tottenham in the FA Cup but they can go to White Hart Lane today encouraged by a famous victory at the same ground in the same competition 17 years ago.

The 1980-81 fourth round draw paired Barnsley with Enfield, who took it to a replay with a last-minute equaliser in front of Oakwell's biggest crowd of the season, more than 24,000.

Such was the interest in the Isthmian League side's exploits that the replay was switched to White Hart Lane. More than 35,000 fans saw Enfield hit the woodwork three times, but Barnsley won 3-0 with goals by Trevor Aylott (two) and Ronnie Glavin (who, incidentally, returned to London in the Cup three weeks ago as manager of Emley for the tie against West Ham).

THis WEEK'S TRANSFERS

Transfers

Free or undisclosed fees unless stated

Faustino Asprilla (forward) Newcastle to Parma (It) pounds 6m; Wayne Collins (midfielder) Sheffield Wednesday to Fulham (pounds 400,000 plus appearance increments); Gordon Marshall (goalkeeper) Celtic to Kilmarnock (pounds 150,000); Jan Eriksson (defender) Sunderland to Tampa Bay Mutiny (US); Padi Wilson (forward) Plymouth to Doncaster; Kevin Maher (defender) Tottenham to Southend; Andy Gray Snr (midfielder) Bury to Millwall; Barry Jones (defender) Wrexham to York; Matt Joseph (defender) Cambridge Utd to Leyton Orient; Graeme Hogg (defender) Notts County to Brentford; Steve Kerrigan (forward) Ayr to Shrewsbury

Loans/trials

Stuart Nethercott (defender) Tottenham to Millwall; Richard Jobson (defender) Leeds to Southend; Steve Barnes (winger) Birmingham to Brighton; Steve Claridge (forward) Leicester to Portsmouth; Julian Alsop (forward) Bristol Rovers to Swansea; Mike Pollitt (goalkeeper) Notts County to Brentford; Neil Woods (forward) Grimsby to Scunthorpe; Fan Zhiyi (defender) Shanghai (Ch) to Southampton (trial); Zhang Enhua (defender) Dalian (Ch) to Southampton (trial); Laurent Charvet (midfielder) Cannes (Fr) to Chelsea (trial); Christian Mayrleb (forward) Tirol Innsbruck (Aut) to Sheffield Wednesday (trial); Patricio Billio Milan (It) to Crystal Palace (trial).

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