Q & A: Prop has eyes on higher things

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Q. Why is it that we call Italian football teams by their Italian names (eg Napoli, Torino) but German teams by their Anglicised names (Bayern Munich, FC Cologne)? And how are British clubs referred to overseas?

A. Around 10 years ago, my club, Everton, were playing Inter Bratislava and it seems that the Czechs followed our system for naming clubs from outside their own country, ie they used the name of the club followed by the city from which they came. This resulted in the hi-tech Inter scoreboard advertising the presence of 'Everton Liverpool'. All of which reminds me of the 'Colemanball' allegedly uttered after a Belgian victory some years ago: 'They'll be celebrating on the streets of Standard tonight.' - S J Clark, London N4

Q. In the 1970s Taylor for Wales and Brown for Scotland were forwards and regular goal-kickers. Are there any rugby forwards who are regular goal- kickers for club or country? Have there been any front-row forwards who kicked regularly for their club?

A. Lee Crooks, the Castleford prop who scored 112 goals last season answers both parts of the question. Crooks has had a fine season for his club, the highlight of which was a majestic display against Wigan in the Regal Trophy final. Other forwards of note who have kicked for their clubs at first-class level are: David Hobbs of Wakefield Trinity (a prop who kicked 66 goals for his previous club, Bradford Northern, last season) Greg Pearce of Dewsbury (63 goals last season), Bernard Dwyer (St Helens' hooker and second-choice kicker with 26 so far this season). - Chris Westwood, Leeds

Q. Why, when attendances at football and rugby league matches are reported, are the figures for cricket and rugby union games almost never quoted?

A. While football and rugby league are professional sports, cricket and rugby union have a long tradition of being amateur sports. Attendance figures are important when the livelihood of the club depends upon the amount of money handed over at the turnstile, not so when the players take to the field purely for the love of the game. - Stuart Howell, Sutton Coldfield

Q. Of the clubs making up the four senior leagues in England only two have names that are not derived from their city/town/county, whereas in Scotland half of the clubs in the Premier League alone have names that are not based on geography. Why?

A. Presumably the two English teams referred to are Arsenal and Queen's Park Rangers. In fact, Arsenal is an abbreviation of Woolwich Arsenal. The geographic reference was dropped during George Allison's management, so that when an alphabetical list of the Football League teams was printed, Arsenal were always the first. The original players on their foundation, were, I believe, Artillery men. - John Whitaker, Porthcawl

Q. Does any reader remember Prince 'I've got a horse' Monolulu, the tipster who was prominent in the Fifties and Sixties? Is he still alive and what was his tipping record?

A. I remember Prince Monolulu and had a somewhat bizarre meeting with him one Sunday afternoon in 1942. I and some 500 or so men were walking in a religious procession tracing the route that the martyrs of the Reformation took on their journey from Newgate prison to the Tyburn Tree of execution - now Marble Arch. As we moved along in solemn contemplation a London bus passed us with the Prince hanging on to the rear platform, headfeathers fluttering in the breeze and assailing us with his infamous cry of 'I've got a horse'. Our leader, an Irish Franciscan monk, replied with 'Bless you, my son'. We continued on our way, but without a winning tip] - Peter Welham, Bristol

Q. When was the first single recorded by a football team, and what was its chart position?

A. The earliest that I can find reference to are 'QPR - The Greatest' by Mark Lazarus with QPR (1967), and the 'Spurs Go Marching On' EP by Tottenham's FA Cup squad. The latter entered the chart compiled by the New Musical Express on 8 June 1967, and reached a highest position of No 6 during its three-week run. 'Spurs Song' by Totnamites actually entered the NME chart on 17 May 1961, but despite reaching a highest position of No 28, I'm not sure whether the club was involved. - Tim Mickleburgh, Grimsby


Q. Who has been sent off for the highest number of different clubs? My guess would be David Speedie - although surprisingly he hasn't added his current club, Leicester, to his list so far. - Steve Mills, Belper

Q. Why are all the medal-winners not tested at athletics meetings? This would cut down on the number of tests needed. And if it were known that it was impossible to win a medal while taking drugs, competitors would presumably be prevented from trying to cheat anyway. - Paul Fenton, Godalming

Q. Before decimalisation, what was the most popular coin used to toss up with in sports. What is it now? - Kevin Maguire, Batley

Q. What is the most number of times that two football league teams have played each other in the space of a season in the three main competitions, (league, FA Cup and League Cup)? - Marcus Hankinson, Maidenhead

Why are the BBC's radio commentators so good and BBC's television commentators so poor? - Sam Elliot, London NW6

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