Saville's row of near-misses

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The Independent Online
Q&A: Q. At the time of writing, Crystal Palace have played nine consecutive league games without scoring a goal - which I believe is a record for the FA Carling Premiership. What is the all-time record for this statistic?

A. The record for the longest time between goals belongs to Hartlepool United, who went 1,277 minutes without scoring in the 1992-93 season. On 2 January 1993 Hartlepool beat Crystal Palace in the FA Cup third round, courtesy of an Andy Saville penalty.

It was two months before they scored again, when Saville scored at Blackpool. It is ironic that this record-breaking drought occurred when Pool were enjoying their best season and were in the top four of the Second Division. Two years and three managers later, they are back in more familiar surroundings, near the bottom of the Third. - Graeme Harper, London E11

Q. Apart from Steve Archibald at Barcelona and Mo Johnston at Nantes, are there any other examples of Scottish players on the continent?

A. Numerous Scots have travelled south to play in Europe, but others who went further afield include Peter Lorimer, who had a spell in Israel, and Gordon McQueen, who perhaps went furthest when he played in Hong Kong in the 1980s. - Dan and Matt Germain,Waterloo, Belgium Q. Which footballers have played against clubs they once managed? I recall the late Roy Chapman, the father of Lee, playing for Port Vale against Lincoln City on 16 February 1968. Is this the only case?

A. Terry Cooper was sacked as the manager of Bristol Rovers after a few weeks of the 1991-92 season, following a bad home defeat. He later joined Doncaster Rovers as a player, and played against Bristol Rovers in a match at Eastville towards the end of the season.

His dismissal had been unpopular with Rovers fans, and before the game Terry was presented with a bottle of spirits by home supporters. This is the only time I remember an opposing team's player being honoured in such a way before a match. Later in 1992 Cooper became manager of arch rivals Bristol City, so his popularity with "Gasheads" (Rovers fans) was somewhat short- lived. - Steve Comer, Bridgwater Q. Does anyone know whether or not Pete Davies, the author of All Played Out - The Full Story of Italia '90, has any similar projects in the pipeline?

A. Pete Davies wrote a book in 1994 entitled Twenty-Two Foreigners in Funny Shorts, which was only published in the USA. The book was written pre-World Cup '94 to give any Americans new to the game some background information.

Chapters cover the game's history, rules, worldwide football culture, all previous World Cup tournaments and also the US Cup '93. The book's highlight, though, is Pete Davies following his favourite team, Wrexham FC, to promotion in 1992-93. He describe s the games, the atmosphere and all the passion that goes with following a team from outside the Premiership; he also has the week-to-week thoughts of the manager, players and officials.

The book, despite only being published in the States, was available at Sportspages in London and Manchester, who had a few copies, priced £8.95. - Stephen Penny, London N19

ANSWERS PLEASE Q. Following the darts world championships, I would be interested if anyone has any information on who developed the dartboard into the form it takes today and why the numbers are arranged in the order they are. - John Shewan, Ballindalloch, Banffshire Q. During the 1993-94 season, Dundee fielded 11 players born outside the United Kingdom. The players were: Armstrong (Aus), Mobilio (Can), Wieghorst (Den), David, Pageaud (Fr), Blake (Jam), Adamczuk, Czachowski (Pol), Urto (Slovak), Pittman(US) and Ristic (Croa). Has any other football club had more foreign-born players within its squad at one time? - N P Lovejoy, Shenley Brook End Q. The recent Sydney Test match broke a run of 10 consecutive Test appearances by Mike Gatting which had ended in defeat for England and was his 25th since he last finished a Test on the winning side. Are either of these sequences English or world records? Which player has played the most Tests without ever being on the winning side? - Hugh Faulkner, London N20

Q. Because of the various organisations in world boxing, there are 136 world titles on offer - can any other sport match this? - Kevin Maguire, Batley Q. What is the average cost of attending a football match in the Endsleigh League (or its equivalent inprevious years) and what percentage does this represent of the average weekly male wage in the years 1955, 1975 and 1995?

Is the football fan getting better value for his money over this 40-year period? - B J Kinnersley, Lincoln If you know the answers to any of these questions, or have a sporting question of your own you would like answered, write to: Q & A Sports Desk Independent on Sunday 1 Canada Square Canary Wharf London E14 5DL Fax: 071-293 2894