Q&A / The Upton Park underground

Click to follow
Q. Does a fanzine in any sport appear more frequently than Wild Rover, a different issue of which is released to coincide with every Featherstone Rovers RLFC first-team home game? Nineteen issues were released last season.

A. Nineteen issues of a fanzine in any season certainly is not unusual. Two football fanzines The Oatcake (Stoke City) and Fly Me To The Moon (Middlesbrough) each produced 24 issues for the 1993-94 season. Whereas Wild Rover is only eight A5 pages with numerous illustrations, the average pages per issue of the football ones are 36. There is a trend for fanzines now to become an addition to a club's programme. Whereas the club's publication is usually glossy, overpriced, full of advertisements and strongly toes the party line, the match fanzine normally provides a balanced viewpoint, with issues varying from critical to historical.

The classic example of a fanzine hitting programme sales badly is at West Ham United. There, Home Alone, the self-styled 'People's Programme' sold to one in every three spectators, cutting huge numbers off the official offering, which resulted in the club erecting a programme sales outlet at Upton Park Underground station. Fanzines are alive and well, and still provide an important addition to the understanding of terrace culture in this country: a subject this Association is currently studying in considerable detail. - D Harding, Association of Sports Historians, Chislehurst

Q. Port Vale appear to be the only team in the Football League not named after a geographical location. Is this so and how did the name come about?

A. Among the Football League/ Premiership clubs outside London, Port Vale is one of only two - the other being Tranmere Rovers - that doesn't carry the name of the city, town or locality in which they belong. For although the North Staffordshire club is based in the pottery town of Burslem and was once known as Burslem Port Vale, the name was shortened to Port Vale in 1913. This is believed to have been taken from a house near to where the first club meeting took place in 1876 at Middleport near Burslem.

Tranmere Rovers are actually based in Birkenhead, though the name Tranmere is the oldest of the several townships that make up the area. - Tim Mickelburgh, Grimsby

Q. When did the last amateur footballer in Great Britain or Ireland play for his country?

A. The last amateur to represent England in a full International was Bernard Joy of Arsenal and the amateur side Casuals. He won his only cap in the 3-2 defeat against Belgium in Brussels on 9 May 1936. Joy also made an appearance for England in a wartime international against Scotland on 14 October 1944 at Wembley in a 6-2 win. I am sure many readers will remember Bernard as a football writer before he retired in 1976. He also gained 12 amateur caps between 1934 and 1937 and skippered Great Britain in the 1936 Olympics as well as being a member of Casuals' 1936 FA Amateur Cup-

winning side and Arsenal's league Championship-winning team of 1938. He played all his league football for Arsenal between 1936 and 1947, apart from one appearance in Fulham's final match in the 1933-34 season. The last amateur to play for England while exclusively with an amateur club was Edgar Kail of Dulwich Hamlet who scored two goals on his debut against France in 1929. - Brian Mellowship, London SE12

Q. In the 1993-94 season only six players scored for Arsenal in the League. Is this a record low? Every other club last season had at least 10 scorers.

A. It is not quite so remarkable given that only 53 goals were scored by Arsenal. More impressive is Hull City's Third Division championship campaign of 1965-66 when the club scored 109 League goals. Of these, 100 were claimed by five players: Ken Wagstaff, Chris Chilton, Ken Houghton, Ian Butler and Ray Henderson. Is this a record? Of the other nine goals, five were own goals and two other players shared the other four. - John Watts, Hull


Q. What is the highest number of horses ever to run in a race? - K Selner, Swindon

Q. It is rare for women to caddie for male professional golfers. How many women professionals have male caddies? - Richard Shipley, Otley

Q. Several times this season Manchester United have fielded a team with internationals from seven countries - England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Denmark, France and Ukraine. What is the highest number of countries represented by full internationals in any one league side? - Michael Crick, Chipping Norton

Q. In the Seventies there was a renowned Jamaican footballer called Alan 'Skilly' Cole. As well as captaining the national side, Skilly was also a big mate of Bob Marley and they often played five-a-side behind Bob's house in Kingston. Given that Andy Cole's family also hails from the Isle of Springs, could the two be related? - Tab Hunter, Newcastle upon Tyne

Q. Has Australian Rules Football ever been played at international level? - Kevin Maguire, Batley