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Q. Last week Manchester United, Bolton Wanderers, Bury and Wigan led the Premiership and the three Divisions of the Football League respectively. Is there any precedent for such regional domination?

A. There is indeed a precedent for regional domination of the above four Divisions and it also involves clubs from "true" Lancashire as it does this season.

In 1972-73, the four Divisions of the Football League were won by Liverpool, Burnley, Bolton Wanderers and Southport respectively. Assuming that Manchester United, Bury and Wigan can win their respective titles, then once again Lancashire will score a clean sweep.

Further coincidences? Apart from the obvious one of Bolton's appearance in both lists, the fact that Southport came straight back down in the season 1973-74, then dropped out of the Football League in 1978 and were replaced by Wigan. - Adrian Long, Kirkham, Lancashire

A. I saw Southport win the old Fourth Division championship in 1973 when they were managed by Jimmy Meadows.

Because of the re-drawing by the Government of regional boundaries, both Southport and Liverpool are now in Merseyside. - John W Cobb, Kimbolton


Q. Has any football team (pre-Manchester United) ever lost five matches and yet still reached the semi-finals of knockout competition? - Dr Nicholas Smith, Oxford

Q. Why have Barcelona never had a shirt sponsor? - Peter Morcom, Southport

Q. Can anybody tell me who was the originator of so called American Football? - Gerald Hollis, Salisbury

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.