JOHN HENDRIE is small but perfectly in form, just like George Robledo when he hit the Wembley trail. The feats of Hendrie, whose goals against Manchester United earned Barnsley an FA Cup quarter-final tie tomorrow at one of his former clubs, Newcastle United, echo those of the diminutive inside-forward who left Oakwell for St James' Park almost 50 years ago.
Robledo arrived in England as a refugee following a revolution in Chile. After the war he made his name with Barnsley, tempting Newcastle to pay pounds 26,500 for him and his brother, Ted. Some 164 games and 91 goals later, he went back to South America armed with winner's medals earned in 1951 and '52.
Hendrie, a 34-year-old refugee from Scotland, had an unfulfilling term on Tyneside a decade ago. Another current Tyke with a Toon connection is Matty Appleby, who came to prominence under Ossie Ardiles but was offloaded to Darlington by Kevin Keegan before re- establishing himself in Danny Wilson's side at Barnsley.
John Beresford's transfer from Newcastle to Southampton, following his Cup swan-song against Stevenage, deprives him of a reunion with the club who gave him his debut. Others who may feel a split affinity tomorrow include Stuart Barrowclough, Pat Howard, Martin Gorry and Mark Robinson, who all took what was then an upwardly mobile route from South Yorkshire to the North-east.
Ten things that Sheff Utd's Greek Vassilis
might be missing
1 The dilapidated charm of modern Athens, where rich history mixes with modern-day tawdriness. Like Sheffield, then.
2 A half-time spanikopita (cheese and spinach pie) and chips.
3 The legacy of Socrates, the exiled genius. Sheffield may have been sent to Coventry today, but their chances of revolutionising philosophy when they come back are approximately nil.
4 The spectacular mountain terrain of Greece. Sheffield's seven hills are blips in comparison.
5 The wet, mild winters and dry, hot summers of the Aegean.
6 Thinking of Kos as an island, not a salad item.
7 Sea-turtles colonies.
8 Rembetika music, with its themes of poverty and suffering. Appropriate for half-time entertainment at Bramall Lane?
9 The Acropolis, Parthenon and Erectheion. Sheffield can muster but a Crucible.
10 Theodoros Angelopoulos films, including The Beekeeper and The Travelling Players.
NAME OF THE GAME
No 25: THE BUDDIES
Although most St Mirren supporters refer to their team as "the Saints", reference books usually give the club's nickname as "the Buddies". The name is used generally to describe anyone from Paisley and is thought to be a term of affection, to reflect the locals' reputation as friendly and generous folk.
On 8 March 1975, Arsenal played hosts to West Ham in the quarter- final of the FA Cup, as they will again tomorrow, 23 years to the day.
The Arsenal side that day, including Pat Rice, Liam Brady and Brian Kidd, found their task too hard. West Ham, with Trevor Brooking, Billy Bonds, Frank Lampard and the two-goal hero Alan Taylor, won 2-0.
Taylor had been bought by West Ham only the previous November, from Rochdale, for pounds 40,000, and had been very much an unknown quantity prior to the that game. In a season where others also triumphed when not expected to, the Hammers went on to win the cup.
There was some consolation for one Arsenal player the day after losing to West Ham. The great helmsman of English football, Alan Ball, was named as the country's captain for the following week's friendly with West Germany. England won 2-0, away.
Leeds go into their FA Cup quarter-final against Wolverhampton Wanderers this afternoon knowing that history is firmly on their side. The two sides have met five times in the competition and Leeds have won on each occasion.
The teams were drawn together in the Cup four times in a 10-year period between 1973 and 1982. In the 1973 semi-finals a Billy Bremner goal at Maine Road was the difference between the two sides (Leeds went on to lose to Sunderland in the final).
They met again in the following season's third round, when Bremner and John Richards were the scorers in a 1-1 draw at Molineux. Mick Jones gave Leeds a 1-0 victory in the replay.
In the two sides' first Cup meeting, in the 1935-36 season, Leeds needed a replay to beat Wolves in the third round. After a 1-1 draw at Molineux Leeds won the replay 3-1.
THis WEEK'S TRANSFERS
Free transfers or undisclosed fees unless stated
Bryan Small (defender) Bolton to Bury
Graeme Atkinson (midfielder) Preston North End to Brighton
Alex Dyer (forward) Huddersfield Town to Notts County
Loans / trials
Neil Thompson (defender) Barnsley to York City
Michael O'Neill (forward) Coventry City to Reading
Chris Greenacre (forward) Man City to Blackpool
Darisz Kubicki (defender) Wolves to Tranmere
Mark Stein (forward) Chelsea to Bournemouth
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