Sporting Q & A

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Q. On 10 January in a rugby union game in the Devon and Cornwall League, Bude and Teignmouth drew 0-0. What is the most significant game of rugby to have ended 0-0? Was it exciting?

A. The final of the BBC Floodlit Rugby League competition in 1974 between Salford and Warrington ended 0-0. Salford were also involved in a 0-0 draw at Huddersfield in the second round of the Challenge Cup in 1970. This was an exciting match, one of the best I have seen in 35 years. These two remain the only scoreless games I have witnessed.


Poplar, London E14

Q. Does anyone know if any other German or Italian prisoner of war, apart from Bert Trautmann, stayed on and played in either the Football League or the Scottish League?

A. Erich Schaedler, the left-back in the great Hibernian team of the early 1970s, was the son of a German PoW who had stayed on in the Scottish borders. "Shades", an immensely popular player with the Hibs supporters, won one international cap - for Scotland against West Germany in 1974. Sadly, after retiring from the game he committed suicide.



Q. On 12 December Bruce Grobbelaar and Neville Southall made their league debuts for Lincoln and Torquay. They are 41 and 40 years old respectively. Are they the oldest debutants in League history? And has there ever been an occasion when players of their vintage made their debuts on the same day?

A. The oldest debutant (and the oldest player to appear in a Football League match) is the late Neil McBain, who played as an emergency goalkeeper in New Brighton's Division Three (North) match at Hartlepool United on 15 March 1947, at the age of 51 years and four months. McBain, who in the 1920s had played at half-back for Manchester United, Everton and Liverpool, and had represented Scotland, had been New Brighton's secretary-manager at the time. "The Rakers" lost 3-0.


Isle of Dogs, London E14

Answers please

Q. Has there ever been a day when during a full programme of Football League matches in Scotland no player with the prefix "Mc" or "Mac" to their name has scored a goal?



Q. In the recent England v France international at Wembley, no fewer than seven Arsenal players took the field during the match: Seaman, Dixon, Adams and Keown for England; Anelka, Petit and Vieira (as a substitute) for France. Nigel Winterburn was also one of the England substitutes not used. Has there ever been a senior international where more than eight players from a single club were involved?