Q & A / Making some Sense of Match of the Day . . .and the day Trent Bridge let in outsiders

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What is the name of the catchy tune played in the goals sequences on Match of the Day and Football Focus? Is the music for sale?

'Life of Riley' by the Lightning Seeds, from the album Sense. I have to say that the person who selects the music for BBC Sport has impeccable taste, having featured Primal Scream, the Stone Roses and New Order. - Neil Henderson, Wallsend, Tyne and Wear.

Everyone of an appropriate age can remember their location when news arrived of John F Kennedy's death. Do readers have similar memories of 6 February 1958 - the Munich disaster?

I was head of sound at Associated- Rediffusion at the time. We hustled round and mounted a programme the same evening as a tribute to the Busby Babes. Jimmy Hill was the presenter, in an early piece of television punditry, and the whole crew moved around the studio in a hush. - John P Hamilton, London W2.

My ninth birthday party was well under way and a good time was being had by all. Being mad-keen football fans living in Chorlton-cum-Hardy, which is equidistant from both Old Trafford and Maine Road, one was either fervent 'red' or definitely 'blue'. Most boys in Chorlton appeared to favour United. My brother had declared himself a United fan so I decided to support Manchester City (I'm proud to report that I still do) and I was outnumbered at the party by 10 'reds' to one.

Imagine the change in atmosphere as the news was broken of United's demise: end of party. All departed visibly upset, leaving one confused and disbelieving child behind. I've never forgotten it and my birthday consistently recalls the tragedy. - Mike Reid, Stockport.

I was a pupil at St Asaph Grammar School in North Wales. I hated Thursdays, because it was the only day of the week that I came home to an empty house. I recall letting myself in that day, putting the kettle on and going into the living-room. I switched on the radio while I waited for the kettle to boil. There was a newsflash - almost unheard of in those days. It was an announcement about the plane crash.

Later that evening I went to Guides and the Guider closed the meeting early and sent us home because two girls were so upset that they were affecting everyone else. - Mrs Judy Wilson, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire.

I understand that the last county side before Yorkshire to drop a birth qualification was Nottinghamshire, at about the time of the 'Bodyline' series, in which two Notts bowlers, Larwood and Voce, figured prominently. Is this correct, and if so, why was it done and what was the effect on Notts?

We ceased our self-imposed rule, which meant only playing cricketers born in the county, much later than 1932. In the winter of 1950-51 Nottinghamshire signed two players from outside the county: the first was Ken Smales, who had played for Yorkshire from 1948 to 1950 and made his Notts debut in 1951; the second was Bruce Dooland, the Australian Test leg-break bowler. Dooland had to qualify by residence and therefore did not play in County Championship cricket until 1953. - Peter Wynne-Thomas, Archivist, Nottinghamshire CCC.

Before the recent matches in the US, when was the last time three or more Manchester United players started a full England international?

On 17 June 1984, Bryan Robson, Ray Wilkins and Mike Duxbury all took the field against Chile in Santiago. And the three players in the 1966 World Cup squad - Bobby Charlton, Nobby Stiles and John Connelly - all played in the 0-0 draw against Uruguay.

The last time England started with four United men was 19 May 1957, when Roger Byrne, Duncan Edwards, Tommy Taylor and David Pegg all played against the Republic of Ireland. - Michael Crick, Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire.

When was the last time the Formula One world championship was not won by the driver with the best car?

In 1958, Stirling Moss and the Vanwall were clearly superior to Hawthorn and the Ferrari and this was reflected in Moss's greater number of victories. Mike Hawthorn won only one grand prix that year but, due to the vagaries of the scoring system, became the champion driver while Vanwall won the constructors' championship.

During 1961, the Type 156 Ferrari was the most successful car, but on the most demanding circuits such as Monaco and the Nurburgring, Moss triumphed in a less powerful Lotus.

In 1962, Graham Hill was the champion in a BRM, winning in the Netherlands, West Germany, Italy and South Africa. Jim Clark won in Belgium, Britain and the USA. Clark in the Lotus 25 was usually the faster combination, but the BRM had the edge in reliability.

Until recent years, it was often difficult to say that one car was significantly better than its closest rivals, and any technical advantage was likely to be small and short-lived. The vagaries of the scoring system also play a part, but with the widespread use of advanced technology, it does seem that the general proposition 'the best car usually wins' is increasingly accurate.

I cannot recall the last time a talented driver was able to overcome the disadvantage of a more-than-marginally inferior car, unless you consider Senna's performances early this season. - Steven P Weller, Wigston Magna, Leicester.

Has anyone batted in every position from 1 to 11 in first-class cricket?

F M Engineer (India and Lancashire) managed to bat at every position from 1 to 10 at Test level and, with some imagination, at No 11.

At the highest level he played in the following positions, the dates reflecting his debut in such a role: 1 fourth Test v Australia 1969; 2 first Test v Australia 1969; 3 second Test v New Zealand 1965; 4 first Test v England 1971 (second innings); 5 fifth Test v Australia 1969; 6 first Test v England 1971; 7 first Test v New Zealand 1969 (second innings); 8 first Test v New Zealand 1969; 9 second Test v New Zealand 1969; 10 first Test v West Indies 1962.

On 1 November 1974 Engineer was listed as 'absent hurt' in a Test against the West Indies. He would therefore have been No 11 on the scorecard in the second innings. This must be the closest that any player has come to batting numbers 1 to 11 at the top grade. - David Balcombe, Northwood, Middlesex.


What would happen if a cricket player was 'bowled' off a no-ball which then travelled to the boundary. Would four runs be scored? Has it ever happened? - James Beard, Nottingham.

Who was the last player to use a wooden tennis racket in a Grand Slam tournament? - Christopher Leather, St Anne's on Sea, Lancashire.

What is the highest first-innings score a team has achieved without any player making a century? - Mike Kilduff, Chorlton, Manchester.

How often do impulsive, but marginally premature, celebrations misfire? I am thinking of a Tour de France stage leader who stops pedalling and thrusts his arms in the air before he crosses the line; or of the cricket fielder who makes the catch and instantly throws the ball in the air. Does he ever drop it the second time? Is the cyclist ever pipped at the post? - M F, London W2.

How did the term 'pole position' originate? - Charlie Connolly, Wooburn Green, Buckinghamshire.

What is the highest attendance for a football match between two reserve teams? I was told that 18,000 watched Jimmy Greaves's debut for Tottenham in their reserves. - Michael Weeks, Bristol.