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Q & A 1999



Question and Answer Archive
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Q. from Ashley Miller, Ipswich, U.K., December 21, 1999.  Hi there, absolutely excellent web-site. Only trouble is, I don't seem to be able to find the obscure little piece of trivia that I'm after, which is a quiz question you may be able to help me with, which goes as follows:  What was the exact time (in seconds) of Bryan Robson's first goal against France in the 1982 World Cup?

A. from PY.  Under FIFA's uniform system of timing, it's recorded simply as "1," but it actually came at 27 seconds, the fastest England goal in the World Cup finals.  The final score was 3-1, as Robson got another and Paul Mariner a third, the sixth successive England match in which he scored, a still-standing England record.  [N.B. The statement that Mariner holds the record for scoring in consecutive matches is wrong; see the discussion in our Performance Records section.] Much of the U.K. media hailed Robson's first as the fastest goal in World Cup finals history--and does so to this day--but they are wrong.  The fastest was scored by Vaclav Masek for Czechoslovakia against Mexico in 15 seconds in the 1962 finals.  

Ah, yes, 1982, the first time England qualified for the World Cup finals in 20 years since they made the finals as hosts in 1966 and as reigning champions in 1970 and stayed home as qualification failures in both 1974 and 1978.  Manager Ron Greenwood's team started with a bang, winning all three games in first round group play, but played two scoreless draws with West Germany and host Spain in second round group play.  Kevin Keegan and Trevor Brooking were injured and didn't make their first appearances in the finals until 63 minutes of the last match, against Spain, too late to make a difference although both missed clear opportunities.  So England went home with three wins and two draws while France, well beaten in the opener, went on to the semi-finals and almost to the final match.  Just one of a string of crushing World Cup disappointments for England--losing to West Germany 3-2 in extra-time after being 2-0 up with 22 minutes to play in the 1970 quarter-finals, sent home although unbeaten in 1982, losing to Maradona's Hand of God goal in the 1986 quarter-finals against Argentina, and out on penalty kicks in both the 1990 semi-finals against West Germany and the 1998 round of 16 against Argentina.  Far more than any fan should have to bear.  Then again, a lot better than we usually do in the European Championship.   

Q. from Paul Sherlock, Dubai, December 15, 1999.  Hello, I need to resolve a point of dispute that has arisen here in Dubai.  The question is about Terry Cooper.  I am sure that I remember Terry Cooper broke his leg and therefore did not go to the Mexico world cup.  A friend however is convinced that Jairzhino took the ball around Cooper before crossing the ball that Pele hit and Gordon Banks made the historic save.  Can you tell me which of us is correct.  Thank you very much for your help.

A. from PY.  Good to get a question from Dubai--I've been expecting it!  And very pleasing to get a question about a match that lived up to its billing as a showdown between the two finest teams in the world--the reigning champion and the chief challenger--and that many regard as the best match at the 1970 World Cup in Mexico.  Because it more than met the tremendous expectations that preceded it, it remains my all-time favourite match, although England lost 1-0 on a thunderous Jairzinho strike from Pel�'s perfect feed and missed many clear scoring chances.

Cooper played every minute of England's four matches at the 1970 World Cup, including the third group match against Czechoslovakia when manager Alf Ramsey rested several starters, which means he must have been very fit.

Clive Leatherdale, in his superb England: The Quest for the World Cup--A Complete Record (1994), writes:

"The eleventh minute was rather special.  The 1970 World Cup is remembered for a handful of special moments.  Most of them were provided by Brazil--but not this time.  Carlos Alberto fed Jairzinho down the right touchline.  With an awesome change of pace, the winger accelerated past Cooper to the by-line and swung over a perfect cross.  Pel�, timing his run to the far post perfectly, rose above Mullery to power a lethal downward header.  The Jalisco Stadium acclaimed a goal.  So did Pel�.  But Banks, originally stationed by the opposite post to cover Jairzinho's cross, propelled himself across his goal-line to deflect the ball, as it reared up off the ground, over the crossbar.  It was the finest save that many people had ever seen, securing Banks' ranking amongst the greatest goalkeepers of all time."

Another devastating winger, J�rgen Grabowski, still fresh as a second half substitute, also got by the exhausted Cooper at 108 minutes in extra time to send in the cross that led to Gerd M�ller's winning goal for West Germany in the 3-2 quarter-final loss that put England out of the 1970 World Cup.  Nevertheless, Cooper's performance in Mexico was much admired, particularly by the Brazilians, because, as a former outside left switched to left back, he continued to make sometimes spectacular runs down the touchline, just the sort of stuff the Brazilians love in a fullback.  I seem to recall a Brazilian friend telling me that the Brazilian press named him left fullback on a 1970 World Cup all-star team and will check that out with him.

I don't know if or when Cooper broke his leg and found no mention of it in a quick glance through several England books.  There was a gap of three months between his appearance for England against Belgium on 25 February 1970 and his next England appearance, against Colombia on 21 May 1970, during which he missed the three home internationals played in April, 1970.  Yet it's hard to believe he could be out with a broken leg in March and April, 1970 and have time to regain sufficient fitness to play at altitude and in great heat in Mexico against the finest teams in the world in early June, particularly given that he was playing a very physically demanding role, what we would call today a wingback.  There was a longer gap in his England appearances between the Brazil match on 1 June 1969 and the Holland match on 14 January 1970 during which he missed the Holland match of 5 November 1969 and the Portugal match of 10 December 1969.  Perhaps one of our readers can provide the answer.

Postscript:  Seamus McCann, Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, 8 February 2002:  The following is from Andrew Mourant's 1992 book Leeds United - Player by Player:  "Once it had developed full momentum, Cooper's career became full of extravagant peaks - his beautifully volleyed goal which won Leeds their first major trophy, the League Cup in 1968 - and troughs, worst the broken leg sustained in an away match against Stoke in April 1972 that robbed him not only of an F.A. Cup winners medal, but of games in which to enthral crowds when at the height of his powers. Cooper's emergence, as much as anything, helped Leeds shuffle off their image as a dour side."  So it was the 1972 FA Cup Final that Cooper missed through a broken leg.  Keep up the good work...the site is brilliant even though I'm not an England fan!!

Q. from Chris Dale, U.K., December 1, 1999.  I attended both the England v Poland World Cup in Oct 73, and Don Revie's first match v Czechoslovakia in 1974. Whilst I have still got the programmes, I cannot remember who played and in which position. Can you help? I would like to locate anyone who may have the original ticket stubs for the game, as mine were lost in a house move.

A. from PY.  We've prepared the match summary for Match No. 486, England 3 Czechoslovakia 0, which was, indeed, Don Revie's first match as manager.  A promising beginning for England in the 1976 European Championship qualifiers, but in the end it was Czechoslovakia which advanced to the finals over England.  To top it off, the Czechs went on to win the whole thing, while England had to content themselves with a trip to the U.S.A., where they won second place in the U.S. Bicentennial Tournament, the chief benefit of which was that it gave me the chance to see England lose to Brazil in Los Angeles.  Soon we'll also post the summary for Match No. 476, England 1 Poland 1, one of the costliest results in England's history since it stopped them from going to the 1974 World Cup finals in West Germany and got manager Alf Ramsey the sack after 12 years in charge. 

Q. from Alan Bain, U.K., November 4, 1999.  I'm not sure if your web page is still under development but on the players page it only allows one to look at team and player records from 1998-2000. I need to know whether Michael Thomas of Arsenal 1989 Anfield fame ever played for England. I was hoping your web page could do it but it appears not at the moment. Is this a temporary blip on what appears to be an excellent resource?

A. from PY.  We began our website last April [1999] and won't catch up in recording the 128 years of England's history for some time.  But in the meantime, we aim to please .... 

Michael Thomas earned two caps, both while playing for Arsenal.  His debut came in a 1-1 draw with Saudi Arabia in Riyadh on November 16, 1988.  At 80 minutes he came off in favour of Brian Marwood, also of Arsenal, who made his only appearance for England over the last 10 minutes.  Thomas' second cap came on December 13, 1989 at Wembley in a 2-1 victory against Yugoslavia.  He was taken off in favour of David Platt at 67 minutes.  He didn't score in his two England appearances.

Thomas was one of five new caps in the Saudi Arabia match, and three of them were starting players.  The entire team put on a shoddy performance, and they were lucky to escape with the draw.  The press heaped abuse on manager Bobby Robson after this desultory display, including the infamous "In the Name of Allah, Go!" headline.  Just 20 months later, the same press was praising him for England's fine, if somewhat lucky, showing at the 1990 World Cup in Italy, where they reached the semi-finals and went out against West Germany only on penalty kicks after an extra-time 1-1 draw.  

As for the Yugoslavia match, one commentator wrote:  "With Michael Thomas and David Rocastle finding it difficult to come to terms with this higher grade of football, it was left to [Bryan] Robson to hold the midfield together.  He did so brilliantly and certainly was an inspiration to the junior members of his side."  Robson scored both England goals and was a tremendous force throughout in what was quite possibly his finest international performance.  His first goal, after only 38 seconds of play, is the fastest ever scored in a professional game at Wembley.

Q. from Robert Rogina, Houston, Texas, U.S.A. October 23, 1999.  Greetings.  Loved your webpage.  I'm looking for the 70 full squad list, - reserves as well, who might have been on the training camp.  Was Keegan there?  When did he come into the England pool?  Many thanks for your help in advance.  I have a ball autographed by the 70's team but Keegan is on it.

A. from PY.  Kevin Keegan was born February 14, 1951, and at the time of the 1970 World Cup he was a 19-year-old playing for Scunthorpe United.  Not until May, 1971 was he signed by Liverpool, and he gained his first international cap November 15, 1972.  I do not know when Keegan was first named to an international squad.  But he was definitely not involved in World Cup 1970.

The official squad for the 1970 World Cup, under manager Alf Ramsey, was: 

Goalkeepers:  Gordon Banks, Stoke City; Peter Bonetti, Chelsea, Alex Stepney, Manchester United.

Defenders:  Keith Newton, Everton; Terry Cooper, Leeds United; Brian Labone, Everton; Bobby Moore, West Ham United; Tommy Wright, Everton; Emlyn Hughes, Liverpool; Jack Charlton, Leeds United; Norman Hunter, Leeds United.

Midfielders:  Alan Mullery Tottenham Hotspur; Alan Ball, Everton; Colin Bell, Manchester City; Martin Peters, Tottenham Hotspur; Nobby Stiles, Manchester United; Bobby Charlton, Manchester United.

Forwards:  Geoff Hurst, West Ham United; Allan Clarke, Leeds United; Peter Osgood, Chelsea; Jeff Astle, West Bromwich Albion; Francis Lee, Manchester City.

Also named as travelling members of the England party, which played two matches in South America on the way to the World Cup in Mexico, were: Ralph Coates, Burnley; Brian Kidd, Manchester United; Bob McNab, Arsenal; David Sadler, Manchester United; Peter Shilton, Leicester City; Peter Thompson, Liverpool.  The full squad was not selected until just before the World Cup began, and these players did not survive the final cut.  Paul Reaney, Leeds United, also was selected as a travelling member of the party but withdrew due to injury.

Non-travelling reserves were Mike Bailey, Wolverhampton Wanderers; Colin Harvey, Everton; John Hollins, Chelsea; Alan Hudson, Chelsea; Mick Jones, Leeds United; Roy McFarland, Derby County; Jim Montgomery, Sunderland; Alan Oakes, Manchester City; Joe Royle, Everton; Peter Simpson, Arsenal; Mike Summerbee, Manchester City.

Q. from Jill Mcgown, U.K., September 13, 1999:  I found your name on the English National Team in Soccer website, and I thought you might be able to help me with a quiz I'm doing, if you have the time to answer silly questions. The quiz question reads:  'As of 1 July 1999, who is the only male England football international to have scored a goal in an international match and have enjoyed an international career of less than an hour?'  If you can help me out, I'd be very grateful!

A. from PY:  I was relieved to find that I didn't know the answer to this "silly question," as you put it, off the top of my head, but had to look in my files.  Football 365, in its April 9, 1998 issue, asked the following trivia question:  "Who is the only player to come on as substitute on his England debut, score but never be picked again? Clues? He was a striker and it was in a World Cup warm-up friendly in the eighties, although warm probably wasn't an accurate description of the weather."  Then it made its readers wait for the answer until the April 15, 1998 issue:  

"The answer to our last trivia teaser last Thursday was PAUL GODDARD. He scored against Iceland in Reykjavik on June 2nd 1982 in a friendly before the French World Cup. Coming on as sub for the injured Cyrille Regis, he ran onto Glenn Hoddle's through ball to score an equaliser on 69 minutes. It finished 1-1. 

"Ron Greenwood fielded his second string, with the A team playing the following night in Finland, but it was elevated to a full international on Iceland's insistence. Rare caps were won by Joe Corrigan, Alan Devonshire and Tony Morley. Steve Perryman also made his only appearance as sub. What did happen to that Hoddle bloke?"

Football 365 was a bit mixed up.  The 1982 Iceland friendly was not played "before the French World Cup," but it did come just before the World Cup in Spain, where England's opening match was against France.