Q & A: Kettering's shirt-logo lament

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Q. I was told that the first football club to have a shirt sponsor was Kettering Town. With Kettering Tyres on their shirts, they were in breach of FA rules. Is this true, and if so, what is the full story?

A. The sponsorship began in the 1975- 76 season, when the club were in the Southern League Premier Division and Derek Dougan was manager. Dougan's arrival sparked a lot of interest and a local company, Kettering Tyres, became the shirt sponsors. When the Football Association found out, they banned the logo and words from the shirts. There was a lot of righteous indignation in Kettering that what seemed a good idea had been scuppered. Dougan made a lot it, questioning the legality of the decision, and I seem to remember that the arrangement was allowed to continue until the end of the season. I think the FA was hoping that the issue would be forgotten (which it was) and it was several years before shirt sponsorship became the norm. - Steve Clarke,


Q. Which football club was the first to have a fanzine attached to it?

A. To the best of my knowledge the first club fanzine was Terrace Talk, a York City magazine started, I think, in 1981, by a socialist called Frank Ormston. Terrace Talk is no more, but Frank is still a fan - and a socialist. Ed Horton, Oxford.

A. Although it was not the first, City Gent of Bradford City can probably claim to be the longest-running. The first issue was sold in October 1984, and there have been 51 issues to date, in addition to 12 'specials'. At the time of the appearance of When Saturday Comes, in March 1986, the fanzine movement consisted of fewer than half a dozen titles, including City Gent, Terrace Talk, Wanderers Worldwide (Bolton) and Fingerpost (West Brom). Of these, only City Gent remains in circulation. - David Wilkins, Bingley, West Yorkshire.

Q. Am I right in thinking that there was a one-armed German international footballer in the early Fifties? Or have I been reading too much of Roy of the Rovers?

A. I remember a Chesterfield forward of the 1950s, George Smith, I think, visiting Scunthorpe United's Old Show Ground. He seemed to play with an artificial arm, and I had an interesting - and friendly - discussion with some Chesterfield supporters as to whether he could be penalised for handball if he controlled the ball with his artificial limb. - John O Machin, Leeds.

Q. Which country will be the best-supported at the World Cup finals?

A. Ireland can make a good case, as can the Italians, playing in New York, and the Germans, in Chicago. However, were they to progress to Los Angeles, my guess is that Mexico would have the greatest support at any one game. Given the 25 internationals they played there between 1984 and 1991, we can safely assume a fair level of support in those parts, as demonstrated by last week's 91,123 crowd for the United States v Mexico friendly in Pasadena. - Nick House, Taunton

Q. Are there any tennis players who have released records?

A. I do not know of any tennis players who have released records of their own, but John McEnroe and Peter Fleming appeared on one track of an album by Glenn Frey, the former member of the Eagles. - Jeffrey Copeland, Plaistow, London.

A. Pat Cash, the former Wimbledon champion, used to have his own rock group. One year he released a single with John McEnroe that never made even the lowest rung of the charts. Elton John's 'Philadelphia Freedom', a US No 1 in 1975, was written for Billie Jean King, a member of the Philadelphia Freedoms in the World Team Tennis League. Elton was a big fan, and even had a warm-up suit made for her as a present. - Tim Mickleburgh, Grimsby


Q. I once went to a game at Berwick Rangers where the kick-off was delayed to let in a crowd of 992. Has a kick-off ever been delayed to let in a smaller crowd? - Nick House, Taunton

Q. During the recent Test between England and New Zealand the BBC showed a re-run of a one-day international between the two sides from a few years back in which I counted five former, present or future captains (Brearley, Gooch, Gower, Botham and Willis). Has this ever been surpassed? - P Gibson, London SW19

Q. Is Sports Illustrated the sports magazine with the highest circulation? What is its history? - Kevin Maguire, Batley, West Yorkshire

Q. During a recent Benson and Hedges match a commentator stated that a batsman can be stumped from a ball called wide. When was this rule introduced? Has any batsman been given out in this way during an international? - David Whitehead, Cramlington, Northumberland

Q. Don O'Riordan, Dublin-born, has played over 500 Football League games but has never been capped. Are there other examples of Welsh or Irish players with similar experience who have missed out on international honours? - Nick House, Taunton

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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