Q & A: Cast-offs to beat Bournemouth

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Q. When was the last time a winning Boat Race crew was behind at the halfway stage?

A. The only time I ever went to see the Boat Race (sometime in the Sixties) I was standing at Hammersmith Bridge as Oxford overtook Cambridge and then went on to win. I doubt if this counts as halfway but it was at least a bit of a race] - Laurence Upton, Harlow

Q. This season, a full team of ex- Bournemouth players could be selected from the staff of Premiership clubs. Has any lower-division club ever been able to make such a claim before?

A. While not quite matching Bournemouth's prowess, the following English and Scottish Premier players have all played at one time or another for Torquay United: Holmes (Everton), Curle (Manchester City), Bould (Arsenal), L Sharpe (Manchester United), Fashanu (Hibernian), Myers (Dundee Utd), King (Sheffield Wednesday), Holloway (QPR), Milton (Ipswich). If you add Hall and McLoughlin (Portsmouth) and Elliott (Oxford) plus Bruce Rioch (Bolton, manager) it perhaps says something for the benefits of breathing sea air] - D J Beer, Paignton

A. A full team of ex-Birmingham players can be regularly selected from current Third Division teams. Cheesewright (Colchester), Peer (Walsall), Downs (Hereford), Platnauer (Lincoln), Matthewson (Preston), Langley (Wigan), Summerfield (Shrewsbury), Whitton (Colchester), Sale (Torquay), Rowbotham (Crewe), Beckford (Bury). - Hugh O'Sullivan, Birmingham

A. Here is an ex-Luton team I believe could give them a run for their money: Dibble (Man City), Breaker (West Ham), Donaghy (Chelsea), Kamara (Sheffield Utd), Jackson (Everton), Elliot (Chelsea), Wegerle (Coventry), Stein (Chelsea), Newell (Blackburn), Parker (Villa), Walsh (Man City). Subs: Sealey (Man United), Dowie (Southampton), Mick Harford (Coventry). Manager: Ray Harford (Blackburn).

Q. When was the hymn 'Abide With Me' first sung at the FA Cup Final and why?

A. 'Abide With Me' was first sung in 1927 and has been sung ever since except 1959, when it was omitted. However, enough people complained that year that it returned to the programme the following year. - Graeme Reynolds, Watford

Q. What is the most number of times that two football league teams have played each other in the space of a season in the three main competitions, (League, FA Cup and League Cup)?

A. During the 1979-80 season, Darlington must have been thoroughly sick of the sight of my team, Bradford City. While the first game went the way of the Quakers, 2-0 at Valley Parade, Bradford proceeded to win the second leg 3-0. Three months later the Bantams won the second-round FA Cup tie 1-0 away at Feethams. This was followed by two victories in the League, 4-3 at Darlington and 3-0 at Bradford. - Mike Harrison, Leeds LS8

A. Newcastle United met Birmingham City seven times during the 1973-74 season, six of the meetings being between 22 October and 8 December in three different competitions. The seven fixtures included two League meetings and two League Cup ties plus three clashes in the Texaco Cup. Clashes was an appropriate word after Birmingham's Tony Want had his leg broken in one of the games and ill- feeling marred the subsequent meetings. Four of the games ended up as draws, though one was abandoned well into extra time because of bad light (the power crisis had limited the amount of floodlighting available). Newcastle and Birmingham also squared up to each other on four occasions in the following season. - Stephen Allott, Cramlington, Northumberland

Q. Why are the BBC's radio commentators so good and BBC's television commentators so poor?

A. I think the questioner is wrong: for example, Barry Davies is an excellent football commentator, whereas Alan Green on Radio 5 Live is appalling. Compare Graham Gooch's pathetic efforts recently on Test Match Special with Richie Benaud, almost universally accepted as the world's leading cricket commentator. It's a matter of opinion. - Tony Leighton, Durham


Q. I read in a report on the fourth Test that Chanderpaul took 'a full two minutes' to reach the pavilion having been dismissed. I have always been told that if the next batsman was not at the crease within two minutes, the whole batting side would be 'timed out' and their innings would end. Am I wrong? If not, has it ever happened? - Nigel Wellings, Humberside

Q. If the previous year's champion misses the cut at Augusta, does he have to hang around until Sunday evening to award the new champion his jacket? - Oliver Cookson, Louth

Q. Between rounds, some boxers stand rather than sit, what is the mental or physical reasoning behind this? - Kevin Maguire, Batley

Q. Has anyone potted more than two reds in a single shot in professional snooker? - Spike Denton, London SW9

Q. Which top-flight English football club has had the worst disciplinary record over a season and which the best? - Derek Evans, Pitsea

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

Q & A

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