Ballad of Reading goal

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Q. Has any football team used more than six players in goal?

A. Reading used seven players in goal last season and have used seven this term. When Shaka Hislop joined Newcastle in the summer of 1995, it left Simon Sheppard to start as No 1. The Royals then signed Bobby Mihaylov and also Chris Woods on loan from Sheffield Wednesday. When Sheppard broke his arm at home to West Bromwich, Jimmy Quinn, the manager, went in goal. Nicky Hammond was signed from Swindon and suffered an injury. Reading signed a further two players on loan, Eric Nixon from Tranmere and Steve Sutton from Derby.

The magnificent seven have reappeared this season. The three goalkeepers at the club, Mihaylov, Sal Bibbo and Hammond, have all suffered injuries. The others have been: Andy Bernal, a defender who took over at Ipswich when Mihaylov was sent off; Quinn took over from Mihaylov when he was injured against Bolton; and two loan players, Tommy Wright from Nottingham Forest and Steve Mautone from West Ham. - James O'Meara, Maidenhead


Q. What is the highest number of debuts given by a football club in the opening game of the season and during the campaign? - Jeff Wood, London NW6

If you know the answers to any of these questions or have a sporting question of your own, write to Q&A, Sports Desk, Independent on Sunday, 1 Canada Square, London E14 5DL. Fax: 0171-293 2894