Q & A: Scot heard around the world

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Q. Does anyone know further facts about Bobby Thomson - 'The Staten Island Scot' - and his career?

A. Bobby Thomson was born in Glasgow on 25 October, 1923 and he broke into the major leagues in 1946 with the New York Giants (now the San Francisco Giants). He played 15 seasons in the major leagues. Besides appearing for the New York Giants, he also played for the Milwaukee Braves, the Boston Red Sox and he finished his career with the Baltimore Orioles in 1960. Thomson's career statistics were above average. He hit 264 home runs, had 1,026 RBIs (runs batted in), scored 903 runs and had a lifetime batting average of .270.

Mr Thomson stood an impressive 6ft 2in high and weighed 12st 12lb. He was very popular and is best known for hitting the home run that beat the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1951 National League pennant play-off game. This was later to be known as the 'shot heard around the world'.

Bobby Thomson's primary playing position was as a centre fielder, but he also played left field, third base, second base and first base. He did appear in one World Series - in 1951 for the New York Giants against the New York Yankees. - Peter J Henry, Brackley, Northants

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

A. Sadly we do not call Italian clubs by their current names: there is no Inter Milan; there is however an Internazionale. It is not AC Milan it is Milan and please note that the full name of 'La granata' is Torino Calcio and not (Brian Moore's) Turin FC. - Mike Prince, Bransgore, Hampshire

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. I think that the two teams in England whose names are not geographically linked, would be Port Vale, who play at Burslem, which is next door to Stoke-on-Trent in the Midlands, and Everton, which I am assured by a die- hard Evertonian is not a place. Queen's Park Rangers, mentioned by John Whitaker (Q & A 10 April) get their name from their birthplace, Queen's Park in north-west London. - J Horton, London N5

A. With reference to the reply about Woolwich Arsenal (Q & A 10 April), in fact, the club changed its name to Arsenal in 1913 when it moved from Plumstead to Highbury. George Allison did not become manager until 1934. To continue to call the team Woolwich Arsenal when they played in Highbury would have been odd. Incidentally, the club began as Dial Square in 1886 and most of the players were munitions workers from the North. - Paul Cleghorn, Peterborough

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. In the early 1950s, the first post-war Springboks brought a prop by the name of Okie Geffin, who was their regular Test goal-kicker. In the same period, I have a recollection that Alan Grimsdell also kicked regularly for his club. - Allan Davis, Grimsby

A. The forward J D Robins (Birkenhead Park) was a regular member of the Welsh team between 1950 and 1953 and was also a goalkicker, with what was regarded as an exemplary technique. He became a very senior member of the PE staff at Loughborough. - D I Jones, Carmarthen

Q. This season, a full team of ex-Bournemouth players could be selected from the staff of Premiership clubs. Has any lower-division club ever been able to make such a claim before?

A. A full team of ex-Brentford players could be selected from the staff of Premiership clubs: Peyton (West Ham), Joseph (Wimbledon), Gayle (Wimbledon), Hurlock (Southampton), Holloway (QPR), Kamara (Sheffield United), Sinton (Sheffield Wednesday), Holdsworth (Wimbledon), Blissett (Wimbledon), Ferdinand (QPR), Merson (Arsenal). Coach: Stewart Houston (Arsenal). - D Danials, Nottingham


Q. Kevin Scott of Tottenham Hotspur last Saturday conceded a penalty for the third consecutive game (Norwich missed, West Ham and now Coventry scored). Has this sequence ever been 'bettered' and if so by whom? - David Preston, London N10

Q. Has any team ever abandoned a game on the pretext of crowd trouble, like the feeble FA have just done for Germany v England in Berlin? - J Park, Harlow

Q. In football is the four-step rule still in force? If so, what is the consequence of breaking it and when was the last time a goalkeeper was penalised for it? - Martin Booth, Rickmansworth

Q. Whatever happened to the Scottish international golfer of not so long ago, Ken Brown? - Tim Mickleburgh, Grimsby

Q. With regard to S J Clark's letter (Q & A 10 April), I always thought that Kenneth Wolstenholme said 'They'll be dancing in the streets of Raith tonight' after the Kirkcaldy club had scored a famous victory over Rangers. Are there any other variations on the 'dancing in the streets' theme? - Barry Borrowby, Wirral

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