Many of the questions in our nostalgia quizzes come from Clive Hardy’s Around Manchester books on the 1950s, 60s and 70s. Each features more than 300 unmissable pictures from the M.E.N. archive.
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In 1907, Everton won the FA Cup for the third time in their history but then went 61 years before winning it again in 1968. Is this the longest gap between wins in the history of the competition?
It’s false. The record is currently held by Portsmouth who won the competition in 1939 and again in 2008, a gap of 69 years. However, after their 1939 victory and following the outbreak of the Second World War, Pompey held onto the trophy as uninterrupted champions for seven years. For safety, it was moved ten miles north of Portsmouth and hidden in the Bird in Hand pub in the village of Lovedean. It was returned to the Football Association in time for the 1946 final.
True or false? Arsenal and Manchester United are the joint record holders for the number of appearances in the FA Cup Final.
It’s true. To date, both sides have appeared 20 times. Manchester United made their first appearance in 1909. Arsenal made their first appearance in 1927.
George Best was fifteen years of age when he signed for Manchester United. True or false? Best was the youngest of the Busby Babes?
False. Best didn’t join United until 1961. He was just fifteen when United’s chief scout, Joe Armstrong, signed him as an amateur player. At the time, English clubs were not allowed to sign players from Northern Ireland on apprentice forms. The Busby Babes will forever be associated with United’s outstanding 1955-56 and 1956-57 League Championship winning teams, whose average ages were 21 and 22 respectively. However, it was during the 1951-52 season when Manchester Evening News journalist Frank Nicklin first coined the phrase, when Matt Busby began bringing young players into the senior squad.
True or false? During the 1952-53 season, Port Vale were holders of an unusual record. At the time, they were the only post-war League side to have on their books a professional player who was also a Methodist minister.
It’s true. Right half Norman Hallam joined the Vale from Chelsea in 1946 but in July 1948 he quit full-time football to train for the Ministry. In June 1951, Hallam officiated at the funeral service of Vale’s manager Gordon Hodgson who had died suddenly of cancer. Hallam rejoined Vale in January 1952, though his work as a minister and the fact he was living in Birmingham, prevented him from playing regularly. In May 1953, he moved to Doncaster and joined Halifax Town on a free transfer.
Many players are superstitious and feel they must perform one or more rituals before a match. Sierra Leone international Malvin Kamara, insisted on watching the movie Willie Wonka & The Chocolate Factory before a match. Kevin Keegan insisted on being the last man in the dressing room to put his kit on. True or false? Way back, Derby County’s England international goalkeeper, Jack “No pudding, no points” Robinson, insisted on eating a bowl of rice pudding before every match.
It’s true. Robinson once blamed an 8-0 hammering by Sunderland on the fact he hadn’t had his rice pudding before the game. From then on, his teammates went to extraordinary lengths to ensure Robinson got his pudding. It is said that on one occasion, Ram’s skipper John Goodall scoured the cafes of Burnley in search of the delicacy after the waitress at their hotel had announced, “Rice pudding’s off.”
True or false? Arsenal manager George Allison played himself in the movie, Arsenal Stadium Mystery. Released in 1939, the plot revolves around the murder of amateur footballer John Doyce during a charity game against Arsenal at Highbury
It’s true. George Allison played himself and members of the senior squad also appeared including: Cliff Bastin, Ted Drake, Eddie Hopwood, and Bryn Jones, though only Allison had a speaking part. Match footage used in the film was shot during the First Division fixture against Brentford on 6 May 1939.
True or false? Goalkeeper Gordon Banks once took part in an international match in which he neither made a save or received the ball direct from an opposing player.
It’s true. During the England v Malta game on 12 May 1971, Banks had little to do as the Maltese were unable to break through and mount an attempt at goal.
True or false? Nottingham Forest were forced to play most of their 1968-69 season games at the Baseball Ground, home of arch-rivals Derby County.
It’s false. However, on 28 August 1968, during the match against Leeds United, the main stand caught fire and was destroyed. Forest played their next six home fixtures at nearby Notts County’s ground, failing to win any of them.
True or false? Winger Tony McNamara established a unique record in playing in all four divisions of the Football League inside twelve months.
It’s true. McNamara spent ten years with Everton making 113 senior appearances. He played his last game in the First Division for the Toffees on 12 October 1957, signing for Second Division Liverpool on 13 December. He made ten senior appearances before signing for Fourth Division Crewe Athletic in the close season. In September 1958, McNamara was on the move yet again - this time to Third Division Bury.
On 15 October 2018, England were playing away against Spain in a National League preliminary match. Nathaniel Chalobah made his senior England debut at 90:13 clocking up less than one minute before the whistle went for full time. True or false? Is this the shortest England career?
Please select 2 correct answers
It’s both true and false. It’s all a matter of dates. Though Chalobah completed less than one-minute playing for the senior team, he has clocked up an impressive combined total of 97 appearances for the Under 16; Under 17; Under 19; Under 20 and Under 21 England sides. However, on 19 October 1929, Jim Barrett of West Ham United made his England debut against Northern Ireland. With just four minutes gone he was injured and was stretchered off in the eighth minute. Though he played 467 times for the Hammers, Barrett never played for England again. As there were no youth teams at the time, Barrett’s all too brief single appearance is the shortest international career on record.
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