SPORTING Q&A

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The Independent Online
Q. The Bradford City chairman, Geoffrey Richmond, when interviewed, refers to Bradford as the "fifth largest city in England". Is there any truth in this?

A. Office of Population Censuses and Surveys statistics reveal the resident populations of the seven largest English cities as follows: Greater London (strictly a conurbation rather than a city) 6,794,000; Birmingham 993,000; Leeds 712,000; Sheffield 526,000; Bradford 469,000; Liverpool 463,000 and Manchester 447,000. So Bradford is indeed the fifth largest city. Being larger than Edinburgh (435,000), Cardiff (287,000) and Belfast (281,000), Bradford would be relegated by just one place were Glasgow (689,000) to be included in a UK-based ranking. These statistics pose another question. Based on the number of southern-based Manchester United fans who claim to have been "born and bred" in Manchester, how much larger than London would Manchester be if they had all remained in the city of their birth?

GRAHAM SHARP

Market Harborough

A. Metropolitan Bradford includes such places as Keighley. The traditional area of the city has a population under 300,000, placing it below Manchester and Bristol and perhaps Coventry as well. But it would certainly be in a genuine top 10. It's much larger than many think. I know from when I worked there

TIM MICKLEBURGH

Grimsby

Q. Following the South Africa "radio earpiece" debacle against India, does anybody know which sports have used modern technology to link coaches and captains on the field? And was it successful?

A. In the autumn of 1970 the Wolves manager Bill McGarry used a walkie- talkie-style link in a youth match against Leicester City. Wolves won 1-0 and the modest McGarry explained it was all due to his transmitted coaching instructions. "I talked them through [the goal] telling our full- back when to overlap and when the winger should let the ball go to him. That worked and so did my instructions for our striker to move in and meet the cross." But referee George Holt soon rumbled the plan. "Before kick-off I noticed there was a strip of wire around the pitch," Holt said. "The Wolves players said it was for training purposes and I thought no more of it until just before half-time when one of the lads lost his earpiece." Leicester complained and the incident was reported to the FA by Holt. It was apparently subject to an investigation and it was speculated that a ruling would be forthcoming from the FA Council. Was that ruling ever made?

JIM HEATH

London W9

Answers please

Q. Are the pockets on tables used by professional snooker players in TV tournaments larger or smaller than those used by amateurs in clubs?

MICHAEL CLEMENTSON

Purley, Surrey

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