Q&A: Holmes not an ideal hero

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Q: What is the worst debut any sportsman or sportswoman can claim to have made in a team sport?

A: Terry Holmes was a big signing from Welsh rugby union, and his debut for Bradford Northern in the 1985-86 season against Swinton was the subject of considerable attention, particularly from advocates of the 15-a-side code who were looking forward to seeing their prodigy dazzle. He lasted 13 minutes. - Michael Wray, Merseyside

A: Graham Gooch made his Test debut for England in the Edgbaston match against the Australians which began on 10 July 1975. Not only did he make a duck in both innings, England went on to lose by an innings and 85 runs. It was the last time Mike Denness captained the side - he was criticised for putting the opposition in to bat on the first morning.

- Tim Mickleburgh, Grimsby

Q: The Charlton brothers have played football together for England, there are two Neville brothers in the England squad and the Bedser twins played cricket at international level. Has there been any incidence of sisters competing together at the highest level?

A: The Rowe twins, Rosalind and Diane, who represented England, won the world table tennis doubles title in 1951 and 1954 as well as the national open championships five times. However, the Russian Press sisters may have been the best known on the international stage. Tamara won the Olympic gold for shot in 1960 and the discus and shot in 1964. Irina won gold in the 80m hurdles in 1960 and the pentathlon in 1964. Both broke world records many times. Also worth noting are the sister and brother Jackie and Francis Agyepong, the present British internationals in 100m hurdles and triple jump respectively. - John Severs, Durham

Q: What is the longest distance any football team in the world has had to travel to fulfil an away league fixture?

A: In 1993 Luch Vladivostok of the Russian First Division had to play the six Moscow clubs then in the league. Vladivostok is some 4,000 miles away from Moscow. The nearest Luch appeared to get to a local derby was with Uralmash Yekaterinberg - 3,200 miles away. At the end of the season Luch were relegated after a play-off, to the relief I am sure of their opponents. Their away trips the following season included trips to Baltika Kalingrad and Zenit St Petersburg, not far from the border with Finland. - Martin Fisher, Reading

ANSWERS PLEASE

Q: What are the criteria that make certain Vauxhall Conference clubs ineligible for promotion to the Endsleigh League? - Tim Mickleburgh, Grimsby

Q: Which city, other than London, has hosted the greatest variety of international sporting events? - Ian Wright, Wolverhampton

Q: Following indoor athletics and the more recent appearances of indoor windsurfing and motocross, what sports are the next candidates likely to be moved indoors? Which indoor events would be more entertaining if moved outdoors? - Fred Roper, Daventry

If you know the answers to any of these questions or have a question of your own, write to Q&A, Sports Desk, Independent On Sunday, 1 Canada Square, London E14 5DL. Fax: 0171 293 2894.

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