Q & A: History in Huddersfield . . . and China's debt to Tibet

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The Independent Online
Although it was not a brilliant season by his usual high standards, Graeme Fowler, Durham's former England opener, was bowled only once during his 40 innings (when he was bowled by Martin Bicknell at The Oval on 4 July he played on). Is this a record for an English season?

In 1985 Geoff Boycott batted 34 times, with 12 not outs, totalling 1,657 runs for an average of 75.31. The modes of dismissal were: caught 19, lbw 2, run out 1. - Donal Donovan, Schull, Co Cork, Ireland.

In England, the spiritual home of rugby union is Twickenham, football has Wembley and cricket has Lord's. Where is the spiritual home of rugby league?

The spiritual home of rugby league should surely be Huddersfield, where, at the George Hotel in 1895, the decision was made to split from the Rugby Football Union. The leader of the split was Harry Waller, a textile manufacturer of West Vale, near Elland, West Yorkshire. He became the first president of the Northern Union, later the Rugby Football League. - F E Macvie, Henley-in-Arden, Warwickshire.

Wherever a field is graced by men in Swinton shirts - I write of such legends as Danny Wilson. The spiritual home must surely be where the soul of talent runs free, wrapped in a Swinton shirt. - David Kozomara, Swinton.

In swimming it is rare to see a non- white competitor in internationals. Why is this?

In reply to the comments made by Mark Pilkington (19 September) about the lack of success enjoyed by white athletes in the sprints and jumps, one reason in recent years has been the collapse of the old Soviet bloc. I remember the days when such performers as Renata Stecher and Marita Koch of East Germany and the great Irena Szewinska (Poland) dominated women's athletics. Not forgetting Valery Borzov, winner of the men's 100 metres and 200m for the Soviet Union at the 1972 Olympics, and Viktor Saneyev, who won three consecutive triple jump golds.

The West has also provided some top white athletes in such events. I happily recall Alan Wells winning the 100m gold in Moscow (1980), whilst The Guinness Book of Records still lists Pietro Mennea, the Italian, as holding the 200m world record with his 19.72 seconds run in 1979 in Mexico City. - Tim Mickleburgh, Grimsby.

Would anyone that leaves a football match five minutes early, regardless of the score, please tell me why? And does the same reason apply when they are at the cinema or the theatre?

In answer to Bev Town's question within her answer (19 September) - 'is there a team with a mainline station as far away from the ground as Reading?' - I can inform her that the trips to both Colchester and Oxford require long bus journeys or a cab ride, but on no account hope to draw Mansfield in an away game. There is no mainline station in Mansfield, the nearest being in Nottingham over 12 miles away. Still, you usually win, so it's not so bad. - Spike Denton, London SW9.

The 13-man pool of players used by Manchester United in their recent game against Chelsea was composed of players from eight countries. This prompts the question - has a team of 11 Englishmen won a major European competition? And when was the last time 11 Englishmen won the FA Cup?

The FA Cup was last won by 11 Englishmen on 20 May 1993. Of the 13 players collecting Cup winners' medals only David O'Leary (Republic of Ireland) and John Jensen (Denmark) have not represented England. - Neill Roberts, London N8.

My team, Barnet, have lost their first nine League fixtures of the season. Is this a record?

No. Manchester United lost their opening 12 fixtures in 1930-31, and 14 consecutively between 26 April and 25 October 1930. Nottingham Forest lost 14 between 18 February and 18 November 1913 and Walsall 15 in a row as recently as 1988-89. - Steve A Turner, Bolton.

When Bolton Wanderers recently beat Bury in the Coca-Cola Cup it was Bolton's first victory at Gigg Lane since 1924. What is the longest period a team has failed to win on a particular ground - in particular a local rival's ground?

Your writer last Sunday got it wrong in all directions. From 1894 to 1908 Coventry City played in the Birmingham League, which also included Aston Villa reserves. In those 14 seasons City's record at Villa was W-0, D-3, L-11, which extends their inglorious run to 99 years.

However, it is not as bad as suggested at home. Their first Second Division meeting at Highfield Road in 1937 resulted in a 1-0 win to City. The 2-1 FA Cup win in 1945-6 was also less than it seemed as cup ties were then played over two legs, and Villa won the return 2-0 to progress to the next round. - David Brassington, London NW3.

Why don't some countries (Tibet and Greenland for example) enter major sporting competitions such as the Olympics and the World Cup?

Tibet has done its bit for top-class athletics by allowing itself to be taken under China's protective wing so that Wang Junxia (the women's 3,000 metres and 10,000m record holder) can train at altitude on the Tibetan plateau. - Neil Squires, Leeds.


What has become of the Arthur Sandford who had so much to do with the setting up of the FA Premier League? - Oliver Lever, Malvern, Worcs.

Which footballer has turned out for the greatest number of league teams, not including wartime guest appearances but including periods on loan? My money is on John Burridge, John Fashanu or Wayne Entwistle. - Ian Cusack, Newcastle upon Tyne.

After a collision in Formula One is the car automatically scrapped or rebuilt? How much is one raceworthy F1 car worth? - Stephen Dadswell, Newtownards, Co Down.

Before last season's visit of Manchester United, Wimbledon's home attendance record was one of the most bizarre of all League teams - 18,000 for an Amateur Cup tie against HMS Victory in 1934. Why did so many turn up for this match? And does anyone know anything about the HMS Victory club? Where was their home ground and what became of them? - David A Wall, Private Bag 24, Gaborone, Botswana.

When was the last time a Test ground was full for a County Championship match? - Tim Mickleburgh, Grimsby.

Whay do all professional golfers' caddies carry their players' clubs in preference to using a labour-saving trolley? - Christopher Hoskins, Banstead, Surrey.

When was the first specialised sports magazine published in the UK? Is it still in publication, and if not which is the longest-running publication now? - Kevin Maguire, Batley, West Yorks.