Boston team party

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Q. Recently, the Third Division club Fulham demolished Swansea City, from the Second, 7-0 in the FA Cup first round. Is this a record victory for a club in a lower division over one placed higher. Can anyone claim a better upset?

A. I believe it would be fair to claim that a more creditable upset was achieved by Boston United on 10 December 1955. Visiting Derby County, then in Third Division North, Boston United, from the Midland League, won the FA Cup second-round tie by a handsome 6-1 margin, which was also Derby's first home defeat of the season.

For the record, in the third round Boston United were drawn away to Spurs and lost 4-0 before a crowd of 46,185.

Derby County went on to finish second in Third Division North with 63 points. The following season the same number of points proved enough to win them the title and a place in the Second Division. - Bruce McKenzie, Thatcham

Q. What is the logic behind Test matches in England commencing on a Thursday?

A. When the County championship was a three-day competition, the finish of the Test match was the day before the start of the next round of championship matches (unless there was Sunday play) or a one-day knockout competition.

At this time, there was a one-day break for England players between the scheduled championship match finishing and the forthcoming Test match. With the four-day County Championship, it seems to be organised so that there is a two-day break.

One of the reasons for the new set-up is that the previous England management team of Ted Dexter and Mickey Stewart were keen to have a two-day break for the England squad, instead of the one, which was largely used for travelling. The Thursday start was thus preserved.

When England play abroad, Test matches seem to start on a Friday in the West Indies or Australia. I cannot comment on the Indian sub-continent other than that deference is given to religious festivals. On England's present tour of South Africa, the first three Tests start on a Thursday, with the final two Tests commencing on a Tuesday. - David Rimmer, Middlesbrough


Q. With Roy Hodgson having recently been appointed as Internazionale coach, who was the last Englishman or Briton to have managed an Italian team? - Adrian Brodkin, London N2

Q. In the not too far distant past a full football league programme and rugby league programme were played on Christmas Day. Why did it cease? - Kevin Maguire, Batley

Q. What is the heaviest weight lifted competitively, in men's and women's events? - Miss K Brown, London W10

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