The Last Word column from 18 December 2010 featured a fiendishly difficult annual Christmas quiz. Here are the answers...
1. The first eight in a sequence of 24 names are Charlie, David, Fred, Maurice, Joe, Joe, Frank and George. What are the last eight?
Jeff, Simon, Alan, Mark, Arnie, Ryan, Chris, Stuart. The names are those of fathers and sons who have played cricket for England, in order of the father’s first appearance
2. Three men have managed more than three current Premier League football clubs, although not necessarily in the Premier League. Sam Allardyce and Gary Megson are two of them. Who is the third?
My apologies; the wording of the question is not quite right and in fact there is more than one manager who fits the bill. I allowed Brian Little, Tommy Docherty or Ron Saunders.
3. Who, this year, failed to start his first match since 1992?
Brett Favre, the NFL quarterback, who made 297 consecutive starts.
4. His first home in England, for five days in 1945, was Kempton Park racecourse. Who?
One person suggested Ian Balding. In fact it was Bert Trautmann, arriving here as a prisoner of war.
5. A Swiss football club, and a school on Merseyside, are among the institutions claiming historical credit for what famous sporting colours?
The ‘Blaugrana’, celebrated colours of FC Barcelona. FC Basel and Merchant Taylor’s school, Crosby, both reckon to have inspired the famous blue and red strip.
6. Who, this year, used his big night to campaign against the closure of an adventure playground in north-west London?
Audley Harrison, at his fight with David Haye. It was the best thing he did all evening.
7. A qualified cattle inseminator, he decided to call it a day this year at the age of 34. Who?
8. Which Yorkshire junior school counts among its former pupils a former Speaker of the House of Commons and a BBC commentator, once considered the “voice” of his sport?
Eastborough Junior, formerly Eastborough Council School, in Dewsbury (Betty Boothroyd and Eddie Waring)
9. Which future legend of the airwaves was rather condescendingly deemed at the start of his career to have a “vulgar voice” but a “compensatingly interesting mind” by the BBC’s Head of Outside Broadcasts?
10. Shilton, Madeley, Hughes, Bell, McFarland, Hunter, Currie, Channon, Chivers, Clarke and Peters lined up together only twice for England, once in a friendly. Who were the opposition on the other, rather more significant occasion?
Poland, in the infamous 1973 World Cup qualifier
11. Only once, in the past 60 years, has a golfer scored more than 75 in one of the four rounds of the Open Championship, yet gone on to lift the Claret Jug. Who, when and where?
Paul Lawrie, 1999, Carnoustie
12. A celebrated Spaniard gave a pep talk to one team; Rooney gave an inspirational speech to the other. What, this year, was the occasion?
The Ryder Cup. The addresses were from Seve Ballesteros, and fighter pilot Major Dan Rooney. Incidentally, a sub-editing error resulted in the rather misleading name ‘Wayne’ being inserted before Rooney when the quiz was first published, for which, further apologies.
13. What connects Roman Abramovich and Wayne Rooney with the Kray twins?
There was one intriguing answer, that they were all amateur boxers. But the one I was looking for was that they all had or have the same birthday, October 24
14. Which world record has stood since July 27, 1993?
The men’s high jump, 2.45m (by Javier Sotomayor)
15. American-born, and named after a place in Antigua, he came to Britain and became a superstar. He died in 1986. Who was he?
The 1971 Derby winner Mill Reef
16. The wife of a top tennis player, the child of a leading footballer, for the rest of us it’s just a place: which place?
Brooklyn (wife of Andy Roddick, son of David Beckham)
17. Barry Richards and Arthur Morris opened the batting, Sachin Tendulkar came in at number four, Wally Hammond brought on the drinks. What was this notional cricket team?
Don Bradman’s best-ever XI
18. In 1856 King Otto of Greece received a letter from a wealthy philanthropist, offering to fund the revival of what?
The Olympic Games
19. A defender, he signed for Hibs in September 1952, and stayed there for 18 months without making a first-team appearance. He later played for Stirling Albion and Cowdenbeath. Who is his famous grandson?
Andy Murray, although some of you pointed out that Jamie Murray also counts as famous. No extra marks for pedantry.
20. Which celebrated speed merchant owes his first two names to his father’s admiration for an American athlete?
Lewis Carl Davidson Hamilton
21. The highest recorded attendance is 31, 090, for a third-round FA Cup tie with Liverpool more than 30 years ago. To almost everyone’s astonishment, the match finished goalless. Which ground?
Roots Hall, home of Southend United
22. In what context, at Lord’s in 1975, did John Arlott use an F where he should have used an S?
He described Test cricket’s first streaker as a freaker
23. On being invited to choose a book on Desert Island Discs, which sportsman laughed, and said he’d never read a book in his life?
One reader suggested Dick Francis, which delighted me. The correct answer is Harvey Smith
24. What was remarkably timely about the 1999 wedding, in Lincolnshire, of Jo and Bobby Everitt?
This one defeated more of you than any other question. The answer is that Bobby and Jo got married on the day that BobbyJo won the Grand National.
25 McDonald had a 0 per cent record. Eight years later, Everest's record was 100 per cent. As what?
This stumped a lot of you too. The answer is that they were coaches of the All-Blacks (in 1949 Alex McDonald’s record was played four, lost four; Dick Everest’s in 1957 was played two, won two).
26 A little boy, watching the film ET: The Extra-Terrestrial in 1982, was inspired to take up the sport in which he would later become an Olympic champion. Who is he?
Everyone got this right: Sir Chris Hoy
27 They numbered 74 in 1994-95, 175 in 1995-96 and 289, a record, in 2001-02. What did?
Tony McCoy’s winning rides
28 What was the singular and immortal achievement, in April 1923, of a man called Jack?
David Jack of Bolton Wanderers scored the first goal in an FA Cup final at Wembley
29 What world-famous race was once won by Father O'Flynn?
The Grand National in 1892; he was a horse
30 Which golfer held the rather unenviable record of appearing most times in the Open Championship without ever winning the thing?
Dai Rees (29 times)