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Q & A: Goal of European unity and of the pursuit cyclist

In 1972 or 1973 a football match was played at Wembley between 'The Three' and 'The Six'. It was to celebrate the UK's entry into the EEC. What was the score, who were the scorers and what were the line-ups?

The Three represented the three new Common Market countries: Denmark, the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom. The Six represented the established Common Market countries.

The game, played at Wembley on 3 January 1973 before a crowd of 36,500, was won 2-0 by The Three. The goals were scored by Henning Jensen of Denmark and Colin Stein of Scotland. The line-ups were:

The Three

(United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Denmark)

P Jennings (Spurs and N Ireland); P Storey (Arsenal and England); E Hughes (Liverpool and England); C Bell (Manchester C and England); A Hunter (Ipswich and N Ireland); R Moore (West Ham and England); P Lorimer (Leeds and Scotland); J Giles (Leeds and Rep of Ire); C Stein (Coventry and Scotland); R Charlton (Manchester U and England); H Jensen (Borussia Monchengladbach and Denmark). Subs: J Olsen (Utrecht and Denmark) for Bell; A Ball (Arsenal and England) for Jensen. Manager: A Ramsey (England).

The Six

(Belgium, France, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Italy, West Germany)

C Piot (Standard Liege and Belgium); M Tresor (Olympique Marseille and France); B Vogts (Borussia Monchengladbach and W Germany); H Blankenburg (Ajax and W Germany); F Beckenbauer (Bayern Munich and W Germany); J Neeskens (Feyenoord and the Netherlands); J Grabowski (Eintracht Frankfurt and W Germany); W van Hanegem (Feyenoord and the Netherlands); G Muller (Bayern Munich and W Germany); G Netzer (Borussia Monchengladbach and W Germany); G Bereta (St Etienne and France). Subs: D Zoff (Juventus and Italy) for Piot; W Suurbier (Ajax and the Netherlands) for Tresor; R Krol (Ajax and the Netherlands) for Beckenbauer; H Wimmer (Borussia Monchengladbach and W Germany) for van Hanegem. Manager: H Schoen (W Germany).

Dudley Chubb, Bristol; Paul Graham, Leicester; John Ainsworth, Brentford.

Can it be true that Partick Thistle were once known as the Maryhill Magyars during the heyday of Ferenc Puskas and the Hungarian national side, and if so by whom were they so christened?

Of course it's true. The alliterative appellation is generally credited to one Malcolm Munro, a rotund Glasgow journalist who rejoiced in the description 'the heavyweight champion of the fans'. He was, of course, a Partick Thistle supporter.

The immediate occasion was Thistle's draw against the Hungarian side, Honved, in the UEFA Cup in 1972-73. Personally, I think Malky picked up the idea in Munn's Vaults, a Thistle drinking-hole, at 1.35 pm on 29 August 1972.

I won't trouble you with the aggregate score of the two matches, but Thistle played their usual open attacking game over the two legs. - Geddes Thomson, Glasgow.

Whatever happened to 'The Memory Man' Leslie Welch - famed for his displays of sporting and general knowledge on the radio in the 1950s?

I am sure Mr Welch died quite a few years ago. I seem to remember he was a civil servant who also had this act as 'The Memory Man'. Then he became a full-time professional. I mainly remember him from the radio. He also toured the music halls of those days. One of his own questions was: 'When did Christmas Day fall on a Boxing Day?'. The answer was a horse called Christmas Day. - John Waterfield, Plymouth.

Is the objective in cycling pursuit races to catch the opponent? Or are the two riders separated for another reason? If the race stops when one racer catches and/or passes the other how are world records set for the event?

The prime objective of a cycle pursuit race is to reach the end of the allotted distance first. However, catching one's opponent is an alternative way of bringing the race to a conclusion.

The racers start on opposite sides of the track, not only to make the catching of the opponent a realistic option but also to prevent tactical slipstreaming. If both riders started out together and one of them rode as fast as he or she could, the other rider would simply rest in the lead rider's slipstream. Having conserved a considerable amount of energy in this manner, the second rider would find it easy to overtake and win on the final lap. In other words, any rider who set out to ride hard for a fast time would be almost certain to lose.

In cycle sprint racing, which is normally over just three laps, the first two and a bit laps are spent riding slowly, trying to bluff the opponent and looking for a good position from which to launch into a sprint after the penultimate bend. This is an essential part of cycle sprinting, and it is what makes that event both absorbing and exciting. But pursuit racing aims to test consistent speed and stamina over a longer distance. Apart from anything else, watching two riders slowly jockeying for position over the best part of 4,000 metres would be incredibly boring]

The aim of encouraging consistent high-speed riding is another reason for having catching the other rider as a means of winning. It means that neither rider can afford to take a rest (relatively speaking) in the hope of pulling back with a kick finish at the end; the risk of being caught would be too great.

As the questioner suspects, it is neither practicable nor fair to break records during races. In track cycling, record attempts are made by one cyclist alone on the track. This also enables record attempts to be timed to take place at a point in a day of racing when the conditions are at their best. - Paul Ansell, Northampton.

Did any club play in both the Third Division North and Third Division South?

I think your correspondent Don Brown (Q & A, 4 October) is mistaken in his reference to Wolves being champions of both the North and South Third Divisions.

It must be remembered that until recent years Wolves were a consistently successul side and not a habitue of the lower divisions.

According to my old edition of the Rothmans Football Yearbook they did once briefly slide into the Third (North) for the 1923-24 season, returning immediately as champions. They were never, however, in the Third Division (South). - Peter Fleming, Dunstable.

What is the most common score in football?

Easy. ' . . . Hull City 0'. - Mr N P Harding, Hull.

In 141,091 Football League matches up to the end of the 1990-91 season, the most common scores were as shown below. But you need to decide if 2-1 (home win) and 1-2 (away win), for example, are the same scores. I have shown both.

1-1: 15,693 (11.1 per cent)

1-0: 13,355 (9.5 per cent)

2-1: 12,385 (8.8 per cent)

1-0/0-1: 21,359, (15.1 per cent)

2-1/1-2: 19,825 (14.1 per cent)

The data is taken from The Ultimate Football League Statistics Book by Tony Brown. This is the most comprehensive compilation and analysis of results available. All Football League results from 1888 to 1991 are recorded and analysed.

You may be interested to learn, too, that the most frequent aggregate score recorded in the 141,091 games is two - in 31,646 games (22.4 per cent) and an aggregate of two goals or less was scored in 44.4 per cent of games. That's enough statistics] - Gilbert Upton, Southport.

Do children still play conkers?

Yes. - Ian Birkett (aged 10), Newcastle.

Has football always been run badly?

Absolutely] Long may the insensitive, ignorant and crass rule the roost at all clubs, the FA and the Football League. It is the inalienable right of every supporter to occupy the moral high ground and be very indignant indeed. Common sense of administrators, chairmen and directors will only be tolerated occasionally to enable us to measure the usual folly against it. Of utmost importance is the non-application of most decisions, unless implemented in the certainty of abject and hilarious failure.

Viz: ID cards, points for goals, Moynihan, bond schemes, all-seater stadiums, the Sky contract, Autoglass/

Zenith/DAF Cups, Rick Parry, School of Excellence, Huddersfield Town's transfer activity, US World Cup, Monday night games, Phil Neal coaching England, toilets, garish kits, cameras in goals, John Motson, Cup Final ticket distribution, executive boxes, prosecution of fanzines, over-policing, uncovered away sections, dangerous food, the big five and the fairly big three, Peter Swales, clubs allowed to die, blueprints, purple referees, alcohol bans, over- priced programmes, Premier League . . . - M Sykes, Huddersfield.


What did football fans do for statistics and records before the Rothmans Football Yearbook began publishing in the early 70s? - Graham Cooper, Northampton.

In Grand Slam tennis tournaments, has any player been 0-40 and 0-5 down in the third set having already lost the first two sets to love, and then fought back to win? If not, what is the greatest recovery ever achieved? - Nick Dawson, Nottingham.

All senior football and rugby league clubs in the British Isles are obliged to provide attendance figures for publication following every match played during the season. Senior rugby union clubs are not. Why is this? - K Markland, Ilkley.

In his hey-day the great Denis Law always played with both shirt cuffs clenched in either hand. Why was this? - Steve Larkin, Manchester.

Why don't some countries (Tibet and Greenland, for example) enter major sporting competitions such as the Olympics and the World Cup? How long is the list of non-competitive nations, and what reasons do they give for not taking part? - Richard Hill, Worcester.

Has there ever been a professional footballer who played in glasses? - Laurie White, London NW1.

Has a marathon ever been run competitively on the track? What time might be expected from top marathon runners today if they competed on the track? - John Capstaff, Glasgow.

What is the shortest recorded time that a footballer has appeared in a match either as a substitute or through being substituted? - Glyn Davies, Wimborne.

(Photograph omitted)