Service to golf on a Daly basis

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Q. This year's Open championship was won in fine style by John Day, who had come last the previous year. In 1947 the championship was won by a certain F Daly at Hoylake. Does anyone remember this golfing victory? Was F Daly a "wild thing"?

A. I was a 17-year-old living in Belfast when our close neighbour, Fred Daly, won the Open Championship at Hoylake in 1947. I recall his return to Dunluce Avenue with the Claret Jug and the opportunity it presented to myself and friends to earn money as caddies at Balmoral Golf Club, where he was the professional and where he remained until his death in 1990 at the age of 79.

Fred was the first and to date the only Irishman to win the Open, but his victory and indeed his many further achievements in golf did not change his attitude towards the game and those who played it. In truth, during his life he gave much more to golf than he ever took and though far from being rich in a material sense, he never refused an appeal from charity.

Fred Daly was a gentleman and I am proud to have played a small part in the instigation of The Fred Daly Award at this year's British Seniors' Championship, played at Royal Portrush Golf Club, where he commenced his illustrious career as a caddie.

His grave overlooks the 18th fairway and on paying my respects last July, I could almost hear his cheery whistle as major golf once more returned to Northern Ireland.

It is rumoured the Open may be played there in 2001 and if so, it would be a fitting tribute to one of Ireland's greatest sportsmen. - Peter Hughes, Shepshed

Q. Stockport County played Ipswich on 19 September for the first time. County have now played every team in the Premiership and Endsleigh League, plus every club to have left the League since the Second World War. Can any club match this?

A. Regarding the respective claims of Carlisle and Stockport County (Q & A, 1 October), if the criteria are extended to include all ex-League clubs since 1888, Stockport have had league fixtures against 12 of the 21 additional clubs who come into the reckoning, Carlisle just three: Ashington, Nelson and Wigan Borough. The nine clubs which The Cumbrians never met were: Burton Swifts, Burton United, Durham City, Gainsborough Trinity, Glossop North End, Leeds City, Rotherham County and Stalybridge Celtic. - J V Hall, Buxton


Q. This year, Mary Pierce made her debut at Wimbledon, seeded No 5. Has any other player made their first bow in this competition at such a high seeding? - Martyn Giscombe-Smith, London NW6

Q. Bill Clinton is reported to run three miles each morning "in around 18 minutes". I do not believe it, seeing him on TV. What evidence is there of the President's level of fitness and/or sporting achievements, or indeed of any other US President? - Michael Golby, Exeter

If you know the answers to any of these questions or have a sporting question of your own, writ to: Q & A, Sports Desk, Independent on Sunday, 1 Canada Square, London E14 5DL.

Fax: 0171-293 2894