A. Tony Coton became the 37th player to be transferred directly between the two Manchester clubs. Six other players have played for both clubs without a direct transfer.
Probably the most famous direct transfers were William Meredith and Denis Law. Meredith, the famous Welsh wizard, had been in City's Cup-winning side of 1904, but joined United along with three other City players in 1906. All the City players had previously been suspended following a bribes scandal. Meredith went on to win two championships and one Cup-winners' medal with the reds, before returning to City and retiring at 50. Denis Law was in his prime for United in the mid-Sixties when he won the same honours. In the twilight of his career in 1973 he joined City on a free transfer. He had played for City in 1960-61 and this move was also to last just one season.
The Meredith move was quite costly for its time, but generally very small fees were involved in direct transfers. Until Coton's move to United, the record fee had been the modest pounds 60,000 which United paid City for Wyn Davies in 1972. - Steve Cawley, Didsbury, co-author with Gary James of The Pride of Manchester
Sheffield FC, formed in 1855, are the oldest football club, while Notts County (formed 1862) are the oldest Football League club, but which is the world's second oldest team?
A. Stoke City (formed 1863) are the world's second oldest Football League team, and also have the world's oldest Football League ground. Stoke have played at the Victoria Ground since 1878. Stoke's directors are at present planning to bulldoze the pitch on which Sir Stanley Matthews began and ended his career and sell it off for a housing development. Interested parties should make their views known to English Heritage. - K Shaw, Stoke-on-Trent
Q. Why do many top sprinters have much larger biceps now than their predecessors did 20 years ago? How are these muscles useful to these athletes?
A. I can only speculate on their usefulness from the view point of a distance runner. My calling as a marathon runner of classic build, i.e. tall and thin, with the musculature of a tuning fork, leads me to believe that if I were to develop such biceps, it would put the fear of God into my rivals on the starting line. Nothing else appears to have this effect. - Bob Forster, Shipton-under-Wychwood, Oxfordshire
Q. When did the pools panel first sit in adjudicating postponed football matches? What are the qualifications to sit on the panel? - Kevin Maguire, Batley
Q. Is the the Glasgow football club Queens Park still an amateur side? If so, have they ever been tempted to go professional? Can a professional play for them? When were they last in the top Scottish division? - W A Harrison, Keynsham
Q. Has a 0-0 result been recorded in basketball? - Ian Osborne, Bristol
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.
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