Sunderland's swing from stall to surge

Q & A
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The Independent Online
Q. Which English football team has made the worst start to a season in the top division and still ended up as champions?

A. After seven matches of the 1912-13 season Sunderland had gained just two points from two draws and five defeats. They went on to win 25 of the remaining 31 games, securing their fifth League championship with 54 points to Aston Villa's 50. Their surge of form also took them to the FA Cup final, where Villa took revenge with a 1-0 victory.

Curiously, this meeting of the League champions and the runners-up in the final was almost unique: it has happened on only one other occasion, when Liverpool met Everton at Wembley in 1986. - John Hegarty, Houghton-le-Spring


Q. Today's Belgian Grand Prix will mark Arrows' 300th attempt (and Minardi's 200th) to win a World championship race. What is the longest losing sequence in sporting history? - Adrian Brodkin, London N2

Q. I notice that Brighton's line-up for the opening game at Swansea did not seem to differ too much from the team in their final League game last season at Hereford. Has any team started the League season with the same line-up as the last League match of the previous season? - Adrian Boyes, Cheltenham

Q. Has anyone collected every Manchester United home, away and third choice strip since the club won the European Cup in 1968? How many have there been? - Graham Langton, Portsmouth

If you know the answers to any of these questions or have a sporting question of your own, write to Q&A, Sports Desk, Independent on Sunday, 1 Canada Square, London E14 5DL. Fax: 0171-293 2894