Bad luck of the draw

Click to follow
The Independent Online
Q. In the 1975-76 season, Liverpool had the misfortune of drawing West Ham United, the FA Cup holders, and Derby County, the League champions, in successive rounds of the FA Cup. Was this unprecedented, or has it happened since?

A. Liverpool's misfortune cannot compare with that of Ipswich Town during their FA Cup run the previous season. They were drawn against the League Cup holders, Wolverhampton Wanderers, in the third round, the FA Cup holders, Liverpool, in the fourth round and the League champions, Leeds United, in the sixth round.

Considering that their other opponents were Aston Villa, promoted from the Second Division that season, and West Ham, the eventual Cup-winners, it would be difficult to imagine a harder draw. Incidentally, Ipswich played nine FA Cup matches in all, attracting over 340,000 spectators, yet still failed to reach Wembley - R Cross, Ipswich

Q. The 30th anniversary of the 1966 World Cup has arrived. Who were the other 11 members of the squad who did not play? Did the 11 who played in the final ever play together again for England?

A. Answering the second part first, the team that faced West Germany was playing the third of a six-match unbeaten run. World Cup victories against the Argentinians and Portuguese were matched by defeats of Northern Ireland and Wales in October/November 1966, between which Czechoslovakia achieved a 0-0 draw.

Although the 11 never played together again, all were to make further appearances in the white shirt. George Cohen was the first to make his last England appearance, in November 1967 against Northern Ireland, but the embers glowed on until May 1975 when Alan Ball ended his international career with a 5-1 ritual demolition of Scotland at Wembley.

Other members of the 1966 squad were Jimmy Greaves, John Connelly, Terry Paine, Ian Callaghan (all of whom were selected for at least one of the group matches), Ron Springett, Peter Bonetti, Jimmy Armfield, Gerry Byrne, Ron Flowers, Norman Hunter and George Eastham. - Mitchell Sandler, London N17


Q. How are the number of competitors allowed for each country in the Olympic Games determined? Which country has won the most medals, and which has won the least? How does Britain compare in this and is it always the same cadre of consistently winning countries? - Neale Roach, Blackburn

Q. Now that the Olympics are at an end and the next are in Sydney in 2000, may I ask if an application has ever been made to host them in the Indian sub-continent? - Kevin Maguire, Batley, West Yorkshire

Q. Robert Percival's record for throwing the cricket ball (140yd 2ft) has lasted since 1882. Why doesn't someone like javelin thrower steve Backley try and beat it? - Tim Mickleburgh, Grimsby

Q. Why are athletic track races referred to as, for example, 100 metres and 5,000 metres when more specific metric alternatives such as one hectometre or five kilometres exist? - Mitchell Sandler, London N17

If you know the answers to any of these questions or have a question of your own, write to

Q & A, Sports Desk, Independent on Sunday, 1 Canada Square, London E14 5DL

Fax: 0171-293 2894