Football: Sidelines; Blues in red on Forest deals

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THE EX-FILES

Trevor Francis has had a rough ride from Birmingham fans during their slide down the First Division, but as the man whose goal brought the European Cup to Nottingham Forest in 1979 the visiting manager may receive an unusually civil reception at the City Ground today.

Britain's first pounds 1m footballer when he left Birmingham for Forest, Francis was the most vaunted of the numerous players who moved between the clubs during the Brian Clough era. Kenny Burns, an undisciplined striker at St Andrew's, blossomed into Footballer of the Year after being converted into a defender in the East Midlands.

Peter Withe, centre-forward in Clough's championship side, was also bought from Blues. Colin Todd and Jim Montgomery made the same short hop, Archie Gemmill going the opposite way. Paul Hart and Steve Wigley, now on Dave Bassett's coaching staff, later played for Birmingham after leaving Forest, as would John Sheridan and Steve Sutton.

Others who served both include Dave Mackay (as manager), Jim Bassett, Terry Hennessey, Trevor Hockey and Geoff Vowden. Forty years ago Bassett scored in 14 out of 16 games for Forest only to flop at Birmingham, who tend to have the worse of the deals. Neither, however, saw the best of Gary Bull, despite his striking feats at Barnet and relation to one of the region's serial marksmen.

Ten things that the Cameroon team might be missing today

1 The excitement of potholes. Under 12 per cent of Cameroon's 20,000 miles of roads are paved or sealed.

2 Achu. Not to be sneezed at, achu is a staple dish made from cocoyams and is typically eaten with yellow soup.

3 `33' Export beer. "Tastes nice when it's chilled," said a nice chilled High Commission spokesman, who sounded like an expert.

4 Tan-tan weekend. Cameroon's popular Sunday TV consumer entertainment show, a tantalising cross between the Money Programme and Noel's House Party.

5 Makossa. Sexy dance music popularised by saxophonist Manu Dibango, with a name deriving from the word kosa - to strip off.

6 The Cameroon Tribune. Unbiased, informative, comprehensive, up-to-date newspaper. (According to its main backers, the government.)

7 The Korup national park and rainforest. One of the world's richest and most unspoilt equatorial ecosystems.

8 Pygmy hunter-gatherers.

9 Joint affinity to England and France. Cameroon is the only officially bilingual country in Africa, and a place where dog and frog are not slang, but menu items.

10 Ndole - bitter leaves with nuts and spice. The Cameroon side could be forgiven for thinking it is common in England, with the words `Spice', `leaves', `bitter' and `nuts' being so common this week.

NAME OF THE GAME

No 9: WYCOMBE WANDERERS

Originally formed in 1884 as North Town Wanderers by furniture trade workers (the club's nickname of "Chairboys" derives from High Wycombe's tradition as a furniture-making town), the club changed its name to Wycombe Wanderers in 1887. The name is believed to derive from the most famous of all the pioneering teams in the early years of the FA Cup, The Wanderers, who visited the Buckinghamshire town in 1877 as Cup holders for a second- round tie against the original High Wycombe club. The Wanderers won 9- 0 and went on to win the Cup that season for the fifth and last time before disbanding in 1882.

THIS

WEEK

On 16 November 1994, England played a Wembley friendly match against West African opposition when they met Nigeria.

The England manager, Terry Venables, chose not to start the match with Southampton's Matt Le Tissier,despite his being held in high esteem at the time. "Le Tissier sacrificed for sake of system" read an Independent headline above an article that described the mercurial Guernseyman as "the most talented player available".

Venables persisted with a basic 4-4-2 and fielded a side including Dennis Wise and John Barnes in midfield, and Peter Beardsley and Alan Shearer up front. After a closely contested match, England emerged as 1-0 victors, courtesy of a David Platt header, scored in his 50th international cap.

HISTORY

LESSON

Leyton Orient might be advised not to delve too far into the history books when they consider their task away to Hendon in the first round of the FA Cup today. Although the Isthmian League club are not the force they were in amateur football's heyday, they have a great FA Cup tradition.

Hendon's finest hour came in 1974, when Rod Haider's second-half equaliser earned a 1-1 draw against Newcastle at St James' Park in the third round in front of a crowd of 31,606.

The replay was switched to Watford's Vicarage Road ground and drew a crowd of 15,385. Malcolm Macdonald scored a hotly disputed goal for Newcastle after 14 minutes - a linesman was flagging for offside - and the First Division side went on to complete a comfortable 4-0 victory.

THis WEEK'S TRANSFERS

Transfers

Free transfers or undislosed fees unless stated

Michele Padovano (forward) Juventus to Crystal Palace (pounds 1.71m); Craig Russell (forward) Sunderland to Manchester City (pounds 1m); Nicky Summerbee (wing-back) Manchester City to Sunderland (pounds 1m); David Johnson (forward) Bury to Ipswich (pounds 800,000); Maik Taylor (goalkeeper) Southampton to Fulham (pounds 700,00); Chris Swailes (defender) Ipswich to Bury (pounds 200,000); Jussi Jaaskelainen (goalkeeper) VPS Vaasa (Fin) to Bolton (pounds 100,000); Paul Simpson (winger) Derby to Wolves (pounds 75,000); Brian Borrows (defender) Coventry to Swindon (free).

Loans/trials

Tony Cottee (forward) Leicester to Birmingham; Bjorn Johansen (midfielder) Tromso (Nor) to Southampton (trial).

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