Q & A: Invent a chant, win a Cortina

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Q. Sportsnight with Coleman in 1970 featured the Kop Choir final. Which choir won and how was it judged?

A. The Kop Choirs competition took place on Sportsnight with Coleman at the end of the 1969-70 season. It was organised by the Football League Review in an attempt to encourage better atmospheres and behaviour at the league grounds. The six finalists were Liverpool, Newport County, Rotherham United, Southampton, Tottenham and Wolves, and clips of their Kops in action were shown. Unsurprisingly, the chants were all fairly tame, rarely rising above 'We shall not be moved' or 'We'll support you ever more'. The Spurs fans sang 'Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner', Wolves were 'The Wolf Pack at Molineux', Southampton's Saints were still marching on, while the Anfield Kop displayed all their famed wit and originality with a lengthy version of 'You'll Never Walk Alone'. Newport County provided the dullest offering, but made up for it by displaying the greatest number of fur-lined parkas. The studio panel of Bob Wilson, Roger Kirkpatrick and Alan Hardaker adjudged Rotherham the winners. Their entry had included a local version of songs such as 'The Mighty Quinn', 'Yellow Submarine' and 'Ilkley Moor'. The first prize was a three-day trip to the European Cup final, which was held that year in Italy, for 30 people, plus a Ford Cortina. - Martyn Smith, London SW11

A The Kop Choir competition, in which Newport County, our beloved predecessors, were finalists, was designed to find the best Kop Choir in the Football League. The Newport entry was a bit tongue-in-cheek, but the BBC contacted me to arrange to film our ensemble in action in a Fourth Division game in February 1970 against Notts County. Just 1,335 turned up, Newport's second lowest crowd of the season, but a home goal in the first minute ensured that the Welsh vocal cords were in good order. - Ray Taylor, Newport, Gwent

Q. I have found no evidence that the late Brian Johnston, or indeed any other cricket commentator stated on radio that 'The batsman's Holding, the bowler's Willey'. Is the story apocryphal or not?

A. In It's Been A Piece Of Cake, Brian Johnston's autobiography published in 1989, there is the following pasage: 'After the match at the Oval I received a letter from a lady who said how much she always enjoyed listening to my commentaries. But Mr Johnston you must be more careful what you say as we have a lot of young people listening to Test Match Special] Do you realise what you said when Michael Holding was bowling to Peter Willey, you said: 'The bowler's Holding, the batsman's Willey.' ' - Roger Jones, Salford

Q. In the UK, football must enjoy the most publications in sport. How do other sports compare with this?

A. The Greatest Game and Open Rugby are the only two national magazines devoted solely to rugby league. However, four weekly newspapers are available to RL enthusiasts, and Dewsbury, Carlisle, London, Oldham and Keighley produce fanzines at present. - Michael Wray, Birkenhead

Q. Now there is no speedway team in London, could you tell me when, and against whom, the last meetings were held at New Cross, West Ham and Harringay?

A. Speedway ceased for the Harringay Racers at the end of the 1954 season. They finished sixth out of eight teams. Speedway concluded at New Cross on Friday 2 August 1963 when the New Cross 'Rangers' lost 36-43 to the 'Poole Pirates' in the Provincial League. Competition at West Ham was brought to an end in 1972 when the Custom House track was sold for redevelopment. The West Ham licence was then transferred to Barrow. The last fixture took place on 23 May 1972 when the West Ham 'Bombers' lost 38-40 to the Hull 'Vikings'. - Rob Kingman, Rainham, Kent

ANSWERS PLEASE

Q. We are all well aware of what has happened to 'Big Jack', but what of his former Leeds United team-mates who also became successful managers. Bremner, Giles, Hunter, Madeley, Gray and Clarke were all very highly rated but where are they now? - Peter Hyatt, Worcester

Q. Why is it that during some World Cup matches both teams wear their away strips. This seems to happen even if there is no colour clash of the home strips or of the respective home and away strips? - Ian Hutchinson, Cambridge

Q. Has any sportsman played in both the All England Championships at Wimbledon and the Open? - Tim Mickleburgh, Grimsby

Q. The first FA Cup, dating from 1871- 72, was won outright by the Wanderers in 1878 after their third successive victory. Do the Wanderers, or a successor club, still exist, and if not, is the whereabouts of the original FA Cup known? - Martin Moore, Newtownabbey

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