Sport Q & A: Case of theperipatetic goalie . . . and narrow minds at Ibrox

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Q. Which footballer has turned out for the greatest number of league teams, not including wartime guest appearances but including periods on loan? My money is on John Burridge, Justin Fashanu or Wayne Entwistle.

A. I think the answer must be goalkeeper John Burridge, whose 'have gloves will travel' career has included spells at Workington, Blackpool, Aston Villa, Southend United, Crystal Palace, Queen's Park Rangers, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Derby County, Sheffield United, Southampton, Newcastle United and Hibernian. Goalkeepers dominate the most-clubs stakes for two reasons: the relative longevity of goalkeeping careers compared with those of outfield players, plus the reluctance of the average manager to give the young 'keeper on the books a chance when an injury crisis arises, opting instead to fix up an experienced 'keeper from another club on loan. - Geddes Thomson, Glasgow.

Q. After a collision in Formula Oneis the car automatically scrapped or rebuilt? How much is one raceworthy F1 car worth?

A. This depends on the severity of the impact. As it is usually cheaper to rebuild a chassis than buy a new one, the latter seldom happens. This also depends on the budget of the team. Minardi, for example, could not afford to build a car from scratch every time there is a crash. A raceworthy F1 car could fetch several million dollars. - Daniel Finn, Clonskea, Dublin.

Q. Before last season's visit of Manchester United, Wimbledon's home attendance record was one of the most bizarre of all League teams - 18,000 for an Amateur Cup tie against HMS Victory in 1934. Why did so many turn up? And does anyone know anything about the HMS Victory club? Where was their home ground and what became of them?

A. HMS Victory were a Royal Navy side based in Portsmouth. As far as I am aware they played at the Victory stadium in Portsmouth Royal Dockyard. The stadium existed until a few years ago, when the current Portsmouth Royal Navy team moved to a more modern ground at Burnaby Road, Portsmouth.

I do not think HMS Victory were playing in a league when they met Wimbledon, but they did play one season in the Hampshire League in 1941-2. There is no such club now registered with the Hampshire FA.

But going back to that 1934 Amateur Cup: HMS Victory beat Portland United 6-1 in the first round. In the second round they drew 0-0 at Leytonstone and 0-0 in the replay in Portsmouth. The clubs drew 3-3 in the second replay at Leytonstone, but HMS Victory won 5-3 in the third replay, also at Leytonstone. They were, however, found guilty of playing an ineligible player and a fourth replay was ordered.

These events sparked off a lot of interest among the naval personnel in the dockyard and the club enjoyed huge support for the fourth replay, which, ironically, took place at Wimbledon. They won 2-1, the tie having lasted nine and a half hours.

After the marathon the sailors really fancied their chances and took thousands of supporters to Wimbledon for the third round, but lost 3-0. - John Moody, Hampshire League Secretary, Romsey.

A. I watched Wimbledon's Amateur Cup match at Plough Lane against HMS Victory in 1934. To illustrate the difference between present-day footballs and the leather, moisture- absorbing type used until well after the Second World War, I have sometimes mentioned an incident in that match. An HMS Victory defender headed fierce drives off his goal-line thrice in succession, staggering after each impact and finally collapsing unconscious. I doubt whether the attendance was 18,000; 8,000 perhaps, probably less. - R Harding, Worthing, West Sussex.

A. The exact crowd was 18,080, due principally to the popularity of amateur football at the time (32,000 watched Wimbledon lose the replayed final that season to Bishop Auckland at Stamford Bridge, for example). In 1986 a match was played at the Royal Navy Ground inPortsmouth, with the Dons 12-1 victors. - Rick Crabtree, London SW15.

Q. When was the first specialised sports magazine published in the UK? Is it still in publication, and if not which is the longest-running publication now?

A. Cycling came out in 1891 and still appears monthly. Of the general sports periodicals and newspapers, Bell's Life in London and Sporting Chronicle was founded in 1822 and survived until 1886. The Field, which first appeared in 1853, is still going strong.

Other notable publications were Sporting Life (1859), Baily's Magazine of Sports and Pastimes (1860), Sporting Gazette (1862), Sporting Opinion (1864), Sporting Times and The Sportsman (1865), The Athlete (1866), Land and Water (1866), The Sporting Chronicle (1871), Athletic News (1875), Fishing Gazette (1877), Mirror of Life (boxing) (1886) and Hockey (1897). - John M Jenkins, Dyfed.

Q. It was reported that for the recent game against Arsenal, Odense reduced the width of their pitch to curb the reputedly mobile forwards. Is this legal, and if so does it occur in English games? Are there other 'adjustments' to playing conditions which can be made?

A. A similar controversy arose when Rangers played Dynamo Kievon 30 September 1987 in a European Cup first-round, second-leg match at Ibrox.

Kiev, leading 1-0 from the first leg, were noted for their wing play, and in Vasily Rats had a man who would often spend an entire match within a yard or two of the touchline. Kiev arrived for the match to discover that the width of the playing area had been reduced by a few yards from what it was when they had looked at it - and I think trained on it - the day before. Or so they claimed. Certainly an old touchline was still visible from the main stand, with the new one about five yards in from that point.

Rangers, then under Graeme Souness, denied they had done anything they shouldn't have, and even if they had it could hardly be described as illegal. Ungentlemanly, perhaps. Rangers won 2-0 to go through 2-1 on aggregate. - Robert Bray, London SW19.

Answers Please

Q. Why does every football fan in England seem either to adore or loathe Manchester United? - Jeff Emmett, Cleveleys, Lancashire.

Q. A recently screened US television programme implied that unsuccessful greyhounds are soon put to sleep if not found new homes. If this is true, does the same thing happen in Britain? - Tim Mickleburgh, Grimsby, Lincolnshire.

Q. The Faroe Islands compete atinternational level at football, so could the Isle of Man and Channel Islands compete with the mainland in team sport at first-class domestic level? - Kevin Maguire, Batley.

Q. Has any team ever won the Football League after leading all season? - Spike Denton, London SW9.

Q. When did the convention of awarding the match ball to the scorer of a hat-trick begin?- J Taylor, Manchester M34.

Q. Just before the last round of the big fight last Saturday, the camera caught a shot of Chris Eubank listening intently to a comment from the crowd. He then shouted a reply. We were told that the comment was made by Frank Bruno, who was sitting ringside. Does anyone know the content of this conversation? - Jim Porter, London SE17.

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

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(Photographs omitted)