Question and Answer: Platform for your sporting queries

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The Independent Online
Q. In recent years, hockey's offside rule has been abolished. Has this ever been tried to make football more entertaining?

A. Some years ago the much, but often unfairly, maligned Jimmy Hill proposed extending the 18-yard line out to the sidelines to create an offside line. Between the penalty areas a player could not be offside. This would open up play, freeing the crowded middle of the pitch. Mind you it would do Tony Adams out of a job and make one of his arms redundant.

David Ingall, Worksop

Q. Claret and light blue appears to be an unusual combination and yet three league clubs sport these colours - West Ham, Aston Villa and Burnley. Is there some historical connection to explain their choice of colours?

A. There is a fourth league team, Scunthorpe, who wear the same colours. I do know that Aston Villa were a church team and I believe the colours had something to do with the church, but there are many non-league teams who sport the same colours but there seems to be no historical connection with the times that the clubs were founded.

Ace Frehman, Hockley, Essex

A. As a boy I wore a Crystal Palace away shirt which was claret with a light blue vertical stripe. West Ham's away shirt was sky blue with two horizontal claret bands - very attractive.

Brian de Maggio, Forest Gate


Q. Has an incoming batsman ever failed to reach the middle quickly enough and been "timed out" in a first-class match?

Kevin Maguire, Batley

Q. Luton Town have recently transferred Simon Davies to Macclesfield. This leaves their squad with just two players called Davis (Kelvin and Steve). Has any League club ever had more than three players on their books who share the same surname?

Ray Bloom, Watford