Ask the Gaffer football trivia archive

Gerd Muller PA


Sunday July 26

Dan, Blyth:
Who are record goalscorers in all the major European leagues? Also, who are the record goalscorers for all international teams to win the World Cup or the European Championships?
The Gaffer says: La Liga - Telmo Zarra (251), Serie A - Silvio Piola (274), Bundesliga - Gerd Muller (365). Brazil - Pele (77), Italy - Luigi Riva (35), Germany - Gerd Muller (68), Argentina - Gabriel Batistuta (56), Uruguay - Hector Scarone (31), France - Thierry Henry (48), England - Bobby Charlton (49), Spain - Raul (44), USSR - Oleg Blokhin (42), Czechoslovakia - Antonn Puc (34), Netherlands - Patrick Kluivert (40), Denmark - Poul Nielsen (52), Greece - Nikos Anastopoulos (29).

Freddie and the Pedalos: Why don't players wear numbered shirts from 1 to 11 anymore?
The Gaffer says: In 1993 the English FA switched to persistent squad numbers, abandoning the mandatory use of 1-11, and it became standard in the Premier League in the 1993-94 season with names printed above the numbers. There's no concrete reason why, but cynics like myself would suggest that you can make a lot more money by printing names on the back of shirts if you have defined squad numbers.

Cliffa, Sunderland: Who was the first player to be sent off in the Prem, and why?
The Gaffer says: Southampton's Micky Adams for dissent.

Alex Mcleish PA


Saturday July 25

Smashy, Coniston:
 Which Premier League manager has won the most caps?
The Gaffer says: Here's the top five of the current crop, with Big 'Eck leading the way: Alex McLeish 77 (Scotland), Mark Hughes 72 (Wales), Martin O'Neill 64 (Northern Ireland), Mick McCarthy 57 (Republic of Ireland), Gianfranco Zola 35 (Italy).

Alex: Have Man Utd ever been in the lowest league in football?
The Gaffer says: They've never been in the basement. United's lowest ever league position came in 1934 - on the final day of the season they were second-bottom of the old Second Division, with their final match away at Millwall who were one point ahead. The Red Devils beat the Lions 2-0 and stayed in the Second Division by one point.

Dave Digler, Walsall: Can you name the English team that inspired Juventus' home strip? 
The Gaffer says: A good story is this. Juventus formerly played in pink, but the club became frustrated that the colour faded in the wash. They asked one of their team members, John Savage from England, if he had any contacts who could provide more durable kits. His friend back home had links with Notts County and they provided a new batch. Juve have played in black and white ever since.

Denis Compton PA


Friday July 24

Jon Ashby: Who was the first footballer to endorse a commercial product? Keegan and Brut?
The Gaffer says: Almost a generation before Keegan splashed a bit of Brut on his face, Denis Compton (former Arsenal star as well as distinguished England cricketer) was signed up as the face of Brylcream for £1000. Social historian Dr Dilwyn Porter of De Montfort University has called this "the first real example of sport being used as a marketing tool".

Leigh, Stoke: Hi gaff, I was just wondering what defender has scored the most goals in a season in the Premier League?
The Gaffer says: It was Julian Dicks with 10 for West Ham in 1995/96 (five were penalties).

JR, Darlo: Gaff, have there been any players who have played for Manchester United and not won the Champions League but have won it with someone else?
The Gaffer says: Henrik Larsson (with Barcelona in 2006), Fabien Barthez (Marseille 1993), Viv Anderson (Forest 1979 and 80); Garry Birtles (Forest 1979 and 19880); Arnold Muhren (Ajax); Colin Gibson (Aston Villa).

David O'Leary


Thursday July 23

Darren Wilson: Who appeared in FA Cup finals in the 70s, 80s & 90s?
The Gaffer says: David O'Leary. He appeared for Arsenal in the 3-2 win over Man United in 1979, then in 1980 in the defeat against West Ham and finally in the Gunners' 1993 final against Sheffield Wednesday.

Dan, London: Following my question the other day (when did England last start a game with players from 11 different clubs?), and following a couple of days of research, I believe the answer is as follows: 12th May 1992 England 1 Hungary 0 - Martyn (Crystal Palace), Stevens (Rangers), Dorigo (Leeds), Curle (Man City), Keown (Everton), Walker (Forest), Daley (Villa), Palmer (Shef W), Lineker (Spurs), Webb (Man Utd) and Merson (Arsenal).
The Gaffer says: You're either a genius or you have far too much time on your hands, Dan! Sublime work.

Jack, London: I've just been told of something called the Mercantile Credit Tournament. What was it? Can you tell me more about it please?
The Gaffer says: It was a one-off event held over two days in 1988 to celebrate 100 years of the Football League. Aston Villa, Blackburn, Crystal Palace, Everton, Leeds, Liverpool, Luton, Man United, Newcastle, Forest, Sheff Wed, Sunderland, Tranmere, Wigan, Wimbledon and Wolves took part. Forest beat Wednesday in the final on penalties.

Michael Proctor


Wednesday July 22

JG9000: Who holds the record for the most consecutive Football League victories - and the same with draws and losses?
The Gaffer says: The record number of wins is 14, held by Man Utd (1904-05), Bristol City (1905-06 and Preston 1950-51). Draws: 8 - held by Middlesbrough (1970-71), Southampton (2005-06), Swansea (2008-09), Torquay (1969-70), Birmingham (1990-91), Chesterfield (2005-06) and Peterborough (1971-72). Losses: In modern times it is 17 set by Sunderland (left) in 2002-03 and 2003-04. But 110 years before that, Darwen lost 18 on the spin.

Tony Wood: Which seven players, who have a Champions League winners medal, have also played in both a Manchester and Merseyside derby?
The Gaffer says: I've got six: Louis Saha, Wayne Rooney, Dietmar Hamann, Steve McManaman, Nicolas Anelka, Phil Neville. I wonder if you are thinking the seventh is Jesper Blomqvist, but I can't see any evidence of him playing in a Merseyside derby while at Everton. Or is there someone else?

Dean: Hi gaf, can you tell me if Chelsea have been knocked of the Champions League Qualifiers?
The Gaffer says: No, they've always made the group stage.

Fredi Bobic


Tuesday July 21

Andrew, London: Who has scored the fewest Premier League goals but has got a hat-trick?
The Gaffer says: What a fantastic question! Your answer is former Bolton striker Fredi Bobic. His hat-trick against Ipswich during a loan spell in 2002 effectively kept the Trotters up that season. He played 15 games in all for Bolton, but scored only one further goal, against Aston Villa. After him comes Andrei Arshavin (four against Liverpool, six overall), then Charlton's Clive Mendonca (hat-trick against Southampton, but just eight Prem goals in total).

Marco, Renfrew: All right Gaff - loving your work. Has a Scottish player ever scored a hat-trick in the English Premier League?
The Gaffer says: They have indeed. John Hendrie for Middlesbrough v Blackburn in Dec 92, Gordon Strachan for Leeds v Blackburn in April 93, Gary McAllister for Leeds v Coventry in Oct 95, Kevin Gallacher for Blackburn v Wimbledon in March 97, Gallacher again for Blackburn v Villa in Jan 98 and Duncan Ferguson for Everton v Bolton in Dec 97. 

Paul: Since the introduction of squad numbers, who and when were the last team to play a team numbered 1 to 11?
The Gaffer says: Queens Park Rangers in the first few games of the 1995 season.

Ryan Giggs


Monday July 20

Andrew, London: Who has scored the most Premier League goals, but never scored a hat trick?
The Gaffer says: Ryan Giggs - 97 goals but no trebles.

Daniel Baugh: How many English capped players are currently playing in the Football League? (Championship to League 2)
The Gaffer says: Richard Wright (Ipswich), Joey Barton, Nicky Butt and Alan Smith (all Newcastle), Ugo Ehiogu and Lee Hendrie (Sheff Utd), Francis Jeffers (Sheff Wed), Scott Carson (WBA), Michael Ricketts (on trial at Brighton), Darren Anderton (Bournemouth).

Dan Ashman: How many twins have played in the Premier League (or indeed any of the English leagues)? I know of James and Adam Chambers - are they the only ones in the Prem?
The Gaffer says: Only one other set of twins - Rod and Ray Wallace - have done so, while at Leeds. Fabio and Rafael de Silva are twins, but yet to play in the same Premier League game although Fabio has made the bench when Rafael was in the XI. Dean and David Holdsworth are another set of twins and, going further back, Ron and Paul Futcher.

Recent trivia answers from The Gaffer:

13/07/09 - 19/07/09: Brothers in the Prem; most saves in a shootout; Fifa and European player award winners. Trivia answers

06/07/09 - 12/07/09: Longest penalty shootouts; first substitute and perfect Premier League hat-tricks. Trivia answers

29/06/09 - 05/07/09: Managers who've won top flight with different clubs; retired shirts and Diana Ross. Trivia answers

22/06/09 - 28/06/09: First £100k British transfer; most common Premier League surname; international twins. Trivia answers

15/06/09 - 21/06/09: The leakiest Premier League keeper; the longest Celtic and Rangers have gone without tropies. Trivia answers

08/06/09 - 14/06/09: World Cup clean-sheet records; most capped players; England's highest scoring partnerships. Trivia answers

01/06/09 - 07/06/09: England players to be sent off; Rangers players with the letter 'u' in their first and last names. Trivia answers

Check out much more trivia in the Ask The Gaffer archives >>>