Barry was a forward, who rarely scored goals from more than a yard out, and rarely with a conventional part of his anatomy. He had that wonderful striker's knack of arriving in the right place at the right time, but hardly ever seemed to meet the ball with a foot or his head. At the usual pre-match selection meeting one week, the first XI captain - a droll Ulsterman called Tom Kirkpatrick - told the gathering that Barry would be unavailable for Wednesday's crunch game against the University of Dundee because he had injured his knee. "And what's worse," added Tom, with mock solemnity, "it's his goalscoring knee."
I can imagine Jose Mourinho saying the same thing in a press conference about Didier Drogba, who, having missed every opportunity with his feet, finally steered the ball past Jens Lehmann with his patella.
Yet it is not Drogba's goalscoring knee on which I wish to dwell this week, but his name. Taking Didier Drogba as your candidate for D - rather than Damien Duff, Didier Deschamps, Derek Dougan or Davie Dodds - how many letters can you think of which begin both the first and second names of a footballer, past or present? The person who gets nearest to 26 names, on the assumption that Q and especially X could be a struggle, will get a bottle of something alcoholic, but I promise it won't be Double Diamond. If you're really stuck, I'll allow up to five performers from sports other than football, such as Andre Agassi, Boris Becker, Colin Cowdrey, or even, because it's so nice and topical, Freddie Flintoff.
Yes, quiz season is back, sporadically in this column and weekly in various pubs I know. And is there anything which lends itself more readily to trivia questions than sport? At the dinner table a few weeks ago I was asked whether I could name five golfers with the letter Z in their names who have won major championships. As several of my dining companions groaned, another question was produced for those who knew nothing about sport: what were the names of the actors who played The Magnificent Seven? I am proud, although I might equally be embarrassed, to say that I seized hungrily on both questions myself, and got 11 out of 12 even before the starters had arrived.
I was particularly delighted to pluck the name Horst Buchholz out of the air, and suitably outraged when the lady on my left, who happened to be my wife, pointed out scornfully that as far as she was concerned, Horst Buchholz could be an answer to either question.
Anyway, for the record - and look away now if you'd rather have a stab at it yourself - the five golfers with the letter Z in their names are: Gene Sarazen, Roberto de Vicenzo, Fuzzy Zoeller, Larry Mize and Lee Janzen. Whereas The Magnificent Seven were Buchholz, Steve McQueen, Yul Brynner, James Coburn, Robert Vaughn, Charles Bronson and - the only name that eluded me - Brad Dexter. Incidentally, fellow fans of Peter Kay's Phoenix Nights will recall the same question being asked at The Phoenix Club quiz night, and the camera cutting to the two bouncers, Max and Paddy, who were standing in the doorway listening to the questions over the Tannoy system and confidently ticking off the names of The Magnificent Seven: "Sleepy, Dopey, Happy..."
Trivia and comedy are easy bedfellows, to wit the old question about the only three football clubs with rude words in their names: Arsenal, Scunthorpe United and effing Man U. Similarly venerable, and with less potential to offend, is the one about the only League football club to share not a single letter with the word "mackerel". I've never got to bottom of why mackerel should be the chosen word, and I'm even keener to know who conceived the question in the first place, especially if he (it was surely a he; women are more dignified) is also the person who worked out that the mackerel test applies to only one London Underground station. To present you with a small clue, a good journey to ponder the two questions would be one that begins on the Jubilee Line at St John's Wood and ends up at a football match involving Swindon Town.
In the meantime, do let me have your favourite examples of such idiotic questions, and I'll include the pick of them in a future column. For now, I'll leave you with another old favourite - name the three footballers with three Os in their surnames who have played for England. Unfortunately, that question might already be obsolete, given the number of players capped by Sven Goran Eriksson. Sooner or later, we'll doubtless be able to name three England players with three Zs in their names.Reuse content