Q&A: No joy in Orient travel

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Q. When did the pools panel first sit to adjudicate postponed football matches? What are the qualifications to sit on the panel?

A. No qualifications are needed. One has only to look at a pools panel verdict on 30 December, which made the Lincoln v Leyton Orient game an away win.

As any Orient supporter or student of form could have told the panel, Leyton Orient never win on their travels. In fact, the record up to that game was one league win away out of the previous 53 games. The said game was played just over two weeks later. Orient lost.

Can any other team claim to beat this appalling away record? - M Cobb, London E8.

Q. The Wales fly-half Arwel Thomas plays for Bristol. When did Wales last field a player who represented a club outside the Principality apart from London Welsh?

A. I believe the last time was in 1954, when John A Gwilliam of Edinburgh Wanderers played against England. As a matter of interest, two others I recall were D M (Dai) Davies of Somerset Police (1950-54 for Wales) and J D Robins of Birkenhead Park (1950-53), who played on the Lions tour to New Zealand in 1950. - A P Skamp, Penarth

Q. Sheffield FC, formed in 1855, are the oldest football club, while Notts County (1862) are the oldest Football League club, but which is the world's second oldest team?

A. There was a suggestion that VfL Bochum could be the world's oldest club. Although the sports club was founded in 1848, the football section was not formed until 1906. - Graeme Crawford, East Kilbride

Q. A Spanish football team made up of Republicans and Nationalists played an international match in Mexico during the Spanish Civil War. Does anyone have any information?

A. The game could well have been played between a touring Basque side and a team made up of the local clubs Espana and Asturias, one of 18 friendlies they played in Mexico between November 1937 and October 1938. The home side included many Spanish nationals.

The Basque side was then renamed Euskadi and joined the Federal Championship, in which they reached the runners-up place before disbanding in 1939. After Franco's victory some of the side returned to Spain or joined Argentine clubs. - John Shearon, Dronfield, Derbyshire


Q. Why are far fewer goals scored in the North American NHL than in British ice hockey games, even when, in the latter, apparently evenly matched teams play each other? - Adrian Brodkin, London N2

Q. In last weekend's England v Scotland rugby union match, there were 101 stoppages for 35 line-outs, 20 scrums, 28 penalties, six marks and 12 restarts. Is there any record of how many minutes the ball was actually in play? - J Henry, Leeds

Q. Where do the colours of the MCC tie originate? - Kevin Maguire, Batley

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