Q&A : Neutral indifference

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The Independent Online
Q. When was the last time an FA Cup tie second replay was played on a neutral ground, and did such matches attract large attendances?

A. The last FA Cup second replay, apart from semi-finals, to be played at a neutral venue was Bury v Fulham on 12 January 1981 at West Bromwich Albion's ground, The Hawthorns. Fulham won 1-0 in front of a crowd of 2,468. This was less than half the attendance of the first two games, and almost always crowds at a neutral venue were less than at the other games; hence the switch to all replays being played at one of the clubs' home grounds. - Robin Kettle, Edgbaston

Q. Anne Hayden played table tennis for England in the Fifties and as Ann Jones won Wimbledon in 1969. In her early sporting career, as a table tennis player she was a beaten finalist in five World championship events, including singles, but won numerous domestic honours in the Fifties. Has any sportsman or woman changed sports and had even greater success?

A. Graeme Thorpe made two appearance for England Schoolboys Under-18 football team in 1987. In the 1-1 draw against Switzerland, Thorpe faced the present Switzerland and Borussia Dortmund striker Stephane Chapuisa, while Sheffield Wednesday's Mark Pembridge was the star name in the Wales side which lost 3-2 to England a Hereford.

On leaving Farnham Sixth Form College, Thorpe joined Surrey County Cricket Club full time and the "promising cricketer" was soon establishing himself as a senior England international with the bat. - Gavin Willacy, London NW6

Q. I have seen conflicting figures as to the capacity of Calcutta's Test cricket ground, Eden Gardens, but which is the accurate one - 75,000, 90,000 or 110,000?

A. According to the book Test Match Grounds of the World, published by Collins Willow, after rebuilding was finally finished in the early Eighties the seating capacity at Eden Gardens was just under 80,000. - David Rimmer, Hertford Heath

Answers please

Q. All the goals in Oxford United's 6-0 drubbing of Shrewsbury Town on 23 April were made by headers. Are there records of a greater number of headers in a game? - A J Loutit, Abingdon

Q. In a recent Independent on Sunday article about the Gray family, who have played for Leeds United over the last two decades, mention was made of Eddie Gray playing for a veteran Leeds team containing such giants of the greensward as Norman Hunter. What is this team and where can I see it play? - Paul Heath, Milton Malsor, Northamptonshire

Q. Has there ever been a season when promotion or relegation issues have not been settled in all divisions until the last game of the season? - Gary Maguire, London SW11

Q. Since the introduction of three points for a win in English football, has there been any significant increase in the number of games won or of goals scored, and what championships, promotions or relegations would have been different under the old system? - David Eveleigh, Exeter

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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