Football: Sidelines

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THE EX-FILES

Rarified symbols of a city divided

Rangers go into today's Old Firm derby heavily dependent on Catholics, albeit the Italian variety. Celtic will be guided by a manager from the land of Orangemen, Wim Jansen. Signs of the times, yet the players who have represented both clubs in the modern era can still be counted on the fingers of an offensive gesture.

Maurice Johnston caused a furore on both sides of the divide in 1989 by joining Rangers from Nantes shortly after assuring Celtic that he could not wait to wear the hoops again. Amid demonstrations by Rangers' more hardline Protestant followers, he became the first Scottish Catholic to play firstteam football for the Ibrox club since the war.

The defection of "MoJo" briefly thrust Alfie Conn back into the spotlight. After gaining a Scottish Cup winners' medal with Rangers against Celtic in 1973, when he also scored, Conn switched via Tottenham to Celtic. Within weeks he shared in another final triumph... against Rangers.

Remarkably, the last deal between the Glasgow giants came 89 years ago; Alex Bennett changed blue for green after losing his place to Willie Kivlichan, who had made the opposite move. However, the true trailblazer was Tom Dunbar, who left Rangers for Celtic in 1892. Tom Donnelly, whose son Simon is Jansen's main striker, reached reserve level with Rangers, but today will be no time for split loyalties.

Ten things that Newcastle's

Temur

Ketsbaia

might be missing

today

1 The Georgian capital Tblisi, literally `a hot water source' and named after its beneficial sulphuric springs.

2 The Black Sea - inspiring to look at but full of unsavoury creatures. Not to be confused with the black and white sea at St James' Park.

3 The artists who work on the banks of the Kura river. In Newcastle, there are two types of artist - those who score goals and those who drink.

4 Mtsvadi or shashlik (kebabs) with brusniki (sour red berries) and sapsivi (chicken in nut sauce).

5 Ushguli. At 2,200m, the highest inhabited village in Europe.

6 Neighbourly squabbles. The Svan feuds of yore and more recent bust- ups make Tynesiders and Teesiders look like besotted lovers on happy pills.

7 Chacha - a particularly strong Georgian vodka.

8 `Suliko'. The national folk song that is as tuneful and dear to Georgian hearts as `Fog on the Tyne' is to Geordie hearts.

9 Mount Kasbek, a 5,047m `glacier pyramid'.

10 Folk dancing. A type of ballet rather than a Geordie declining to bop.

NAME OF THE GAME

No 8: QUEEN'S PARK RANGERS

The west London club were orginally called St Jude's Institute, whose football team amalgamated (in 1885 or 1886) with their neighbours, Christchurch Rangers. The name was changed within a year because most of the players came from the Queen's Park district. The club have had 12 different homes and in total have staged home games at 18 different venues, more than any other league club in England.

THIS

WEEK

On 9 November 1985, Sheffield Wednesday beat Manchester United 1-0, a result that the Wednesday manager, Howard Wilkinson, would have been happy with had it not had repercussions at Hillsborough.

After the game the FA investigated a bet, placed at a bookmaker by Wednesday players, on themselves winning. They staked pounds 100 at 3/1 and won pounds 300. The FA pointed out quite clearly that such behaviour was regarded as misconduct and explicitly contrary to the FA rule that did (and still does) forbid betting on matches by players.

In a season when Wilkinson had more success than the departed David Pleat has recently enjoyed, Wednesday finished fifth in the First Division. Manchester United finished fourth.

HISTORY

LESSON

Evertonians looking for reasons for optimism in these troubled times at Goodison Park might care to look back on Howard Kendall's first (and highly successful) reign as manager. As Michael Berry, a reader from Otley in Yorkshire, points out, there are striking parallels.

Firstly, Kendall has signed a promising winger from a club in a lower division (John Oster-Trevor Steven); secondly, he has bought an unheralded defender from Tranmere (Tony Thomas-Derek Mountfield); and thirdly he has inherited a Scottish centre forward from a previous manager (Duncan Ferguson-Graeme Sharp).

The turning point last time around was widely acknowledged to be a goal at Oxford scored by Adrian Heath. Kendall's assistant manager this time? Adrian Heath.

THis WEEK'S TRANSFERS

Full transfers

Undisclosed fees or free transfers unless stated

Paul Lambert (midfielder) Borussia Dortmund to Celtic (pounds 1.7m); John McGinlay (forward) Bolton to Bradford City (pounds 625,000); Paul Simpson (forward) Derby to Wolves (pounds 75,000); David Reeves (forward) Preston to Chesterfield (exchange); Tony Lormor (forward) Chesterfield to Preston (exchange); Neil Edwards (goalkeeper) Stockport to Rochdale; Gavin Gordon (forward) Hull City to Lincoln City; Vance Warner (midfielder) Nottingham Forest to Rotherham.

Loans/trials

Lee Hodges (midfielder) West Ham to Plymouth; Tony Warner (goalkeeper) Liverpool to Swindon; Paul Emblen (forward) Charlton to Brighton; Ian Helliwell (forward) Burnley to Doncaster; Andrew Legg (midfielder) Birmingham to Ipswich; Scott Paterson (defender) Bristol City to Cardiff; Neil Woods (forward) Grimsby to Wigan.

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