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  Wednesday, 29 January, 2003, 11:59 GMT
The name game

The latest of our sporting connections series takes us from Mark Venus to Mark Williams in six steps.

And what about suggestions for next week's link: Patrick HEAD to Nicky BUTT?

Remember, the best effort wins a mystery prize!

Have your say


Mark Venus
Is the only Nationwide League footballer who shares his name with the planet of the Solar System.

He shares this honour with deceased Queen queen...

Freddie Mercury
Big show-off who often wore flamboyant and ridiculous outfits on stage, but never once succeeded is looking sillier than the band's funny-haired guitarist...

Brian May
It's a kinda tragic

Brian May
Who has sported the same outrageous perm for over 30 years.

Reluctance to update a 1970s haircut is an accusation that has often been levelled at footballers from that era, such as Kevin Keegan and...

Rodney Marsh
But an increasing number of ex-footie stars are wising up to the fact that mullets are no longer acceptable, making players with a 'lifetime haircut' a dying breed.

One of the few footballers who has maintained exactly the same hairstyle throughout his entire career is West Ham legend...

Tony Cottee
Who shunned the fashion advantages of the mullet for a good old-fashioned short back and sides.

It's a haircut that has served him well; from the East End to the Far East, where he had a stint with a club called Selangor in...

A country that lies in a region of the world where they are renowned for eating...

Normally friendly, but occasionally violent pets that have been known to bite their owners.

This can be very annoying, especially if you're a snooker player and you have your hand chomped on by a rottweiller called Megan.

Which is exactly what happened to 2000 Embassy World Champion...

Mark Williams.

Congratulations to Tom Whitney, UK for his link from Venus to Williams (see below).

A mystery prize is on its way!

Mark Venus
Shares his surname with the name of a Greek god, as does...

Freddie Mercury
The flamboyant singer with...

Who is the protector of many British Commonwealth areas such as the...

West Indies
Set of islands responsible for more than their fair share of cricketing talent, including...

Brian Lara
Beat that then, Dwight

Brian Lara
Who at school was apparently a better footballer, but worse cricketer, than...

Dwight Yorke
The Blackburn goalscorer and impregnator of...

The buxom lady who shares a name with a Formula One racing team, as does...

Mark Williams.

Thanks for all your Venus-Williams alternatives - here's a selection of the best:

Martin Ruck, UK

Mark Venus
Besides delighting the good folk of Ipswich, he is also blessed with a surname the same as one of the planets. Another astronomically named earthling was, of course, the late great...

Freddie Mercury
Who, sadly, did not live to see last year's discovery of the latest planet...

Which orbits beyond Pluto with an orbital period of

288 years
Now, in a James Burke sort of way, it so happens that the 288th day of the year (except in leap years, of course), is...

15 October
On which day in 1588 Catholic countries switched to the Gregorian calendar and thereby lost 10 days, causing widespread panic and mistrust.

One country where, for the above reasons, the change happened later (in 1700, to be precise), was...

Whose language is full of interesting words that have found uses in English. One such examplpe is...

Which is Danish for "language" and is also the nickname on the snooker circuit of our hero...

Mark Williams.

Paul Markwick, UK:

Mark Venus
Is probably the only footballer with the same name as a song by...

Oranges are not the only fruit

The existence of bananas is proof that...

Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit
A TV series whose star Charlotte Coleman also appeared in...

Four Weddings and a Funeral
For which you would need four vicars and an...

Which is also the name of an American wrestler, although he almost certainly never appeared on the wrestling in...

World of Sport
Which also featured numerous cheap-to-broadcast sports such as darts and...

As played by...

Mark Williams

Barry Wilbourn, England:

Mark Venus
Shares his surname with part of the title of an album, called Venus and Mars - by...

Which featured Paul McCartney, who is more famously associated with the...

Which are insects with wings, as are...

Which was a BBC Two comedy series starring Wendy Craig, Geoffrey Palmer and a then little-known young actor called...

Nicholas Lyndhurst
Better known for his part as Rodney Trotter in Only Fools and Horses. The Trotters of course drove a...

Robin Reliant
A car not known for its top of the range performance, unlike a...

Noble M12 GTO
One of which was written off just before Christmas by former world snooker champion....

Mark Williams.

Remember, next week's link is from HEAD to BUTT.

And if you're scratching your head about that one, Patrick Head is the technical director of F1 team Williams.

Can you make the connection using SIX links? E-mail us NOW!

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