Painter from the prize ring

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Q. Eric Cantona seems unusual among the sports fraternity in his artistic leanings. Has any professional sportsman or woman enjoyed a career as a painter or sculptor during or after their sporting days?

A. This is going back a while, but the prize-fighting fraternity, the Fancy, had a painter of some note in Jem Ward. He was Champion of England in 1825, subsequently lost to Peter Crawley, but became champion again, beating Simon Byrne in 1831. A Londoner, Jem became a publican in Liverpool and some of his works were at one time exhibited in that city. He retired from the prize ring in 1832. - Phil Urch, Bath

A. Newcastle United had a centre-half in the 1970s called John Bird. He painted, and when I lived in Whitley Bay he had an art shop in the town. I do not know if he is still there, though. - Ian Kinlock, Wrexham

Q. Who chooses the fixtures on the pools coupons? Why is the GM Vauxhall Conference generally ignored when the "other pools matches" consist of unknown teams such as Rushden and Diamonds, and how does this affect the chances of predicting the results when attempting to study the form of minor teams.

A. While Rushden and Diamonds may be unknown to gamblers, they are certainly not unknown to football enthusiasts. With a top gate this year of more than 4,000 and an average gate of around 2,000, the Diamonds regularly achieve gates above Conference teams, all the Scottish Second and Third Divisions and half the Scottish First Division and English Third Division. Their success in building a modern stadium shows teams like Macclesfield that it is possible to get ready for the League well in advance. As to gambling on results in advance, punters might like to note that they have scored just under 100 goals in the league this year, which, combined with their low admission price (£3) and superb accommodation, explains why at away matches Diamonds' support often outnumbers the home following two to one. - Tony Attwood, Kettering

Q. Given that TV companies now count the goal attempts during live football matches, does anyone know the record number during a match?

A. As far as the record for a major footballing occasion is concerned, the 1967 European Cup final between Internazionale and Celtic in Lisbon must rank at the top of the list. Celtic recorded no less than 49 attempts on goal (on average one every 110 seconds during the match), of which 25 were on target. That is perhaps why most commentators refer to Celtic annihilating Inter 2-1 and so becoming the first British, and only Scottish, team to win the Champions Cup.

It is generally agreed that the goalkeeping display by Sarti was one of the finest ever witnessed, with at least five world-class saves, including a flying leap in the second half to stop a ball on the line that had already passed him and was being acclaimed in the stadium as a goal.

For the record, Inter had five shots during the match, two of which were on target, and scored their only goal with a penalty. - Aidan McLaughlin, Watford

Q. What is the average attendance at county cricket matches?

A. In the 1994 season Yorkshire CCC had a total of paying attendances of 9,472 at nine home matches. The highest paid attendance was at Scarborough with 2,030 and the lowest 254 at Headingley. If you take a member spectating, the average attendance would be around 3,000 for a complete season, at each match. - Kevin Maguire, Batley

ANSWERS PLEASE

Q. This season Ireland gave Davy Tweed his first cap at the age of 35. Are there other examples of similarly aged debutants? Who is the oldest international debutant? - Richard Roberts, St Saviour, Jersey

Q. How many of the 22 GM Vauxhall Conference teams would have been eligible for promotion to the Third Division had they won the Conference title? Is the present situation really as daft as it seems? - William J Frugal, Hebden Bridge

Q. Why did 13 spectators watch the game between Stockport County and Leicester City in 1921 (Database last week) - the lowest crowd for a Football League match? - Steve Turner, Beeston

Q. As a distant observer of your national pastime, I am intrigued as to why so many of your football teams are called "United". Any clues? - Mary Kesson, Providence, Rhode Island, USA

Q. Some of the most memorable performances in the 1966 World Cup in England came from the North Korean team who defeated Italy 1-0 (the scorer Pak Doo Ik) to eliminate them from the competition and led Portugal 3- 0 before going down 5-3. What, if anything, has been heard of Pat Doo Ik and his colleagues since? - David Steele, Carlisle

If you know the answers to any of these questions, or have a sporting question of your own you would like answered, write to:

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