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Tuesday, 19 November, 2002, 23:43 GMT
Ask Albert - Number 82
Match of the Day's footballing sage Albert Sewell is poised to answer your queries on the beautiful game.

Fill in the form at the bottom of the page to send Albert into action.


Dave, Plymouth

When was the last time a Premiership match was completed without either side using a substitute?

Rare as it is now that clubs choose a squad of 16 for every match, it actually happened last Sunday (West Ham 1-1 Man Utd) that neither side sent on a sub. It seemingly escaped mention, so thanks for asking, Dave.

Dan, England

If you were a betting man, who would you put money on to win the FA Cup this season?

After years of punting on fixed odds, I'm no longer a betting man because the bookies offer outrageously skinny odds these days. But that doesn't stop me tipping Newcastle for the Cup. I'd love it if sir bobby Robson took a trophy back to St James' Park.

Robert Butwell, England

Has any player I his 50s ever competed in a first-class match?

Sir Stanley Matthews was the last "half centurion" to appear in the English League. He was aged 50 years and five days when he made his farewell appearance for Stoke City against Fulham on 6 February, 1965. He is the only 50-year-old to play in the top Division.

The League's oldest ever player was new Brighton manager Neil McBain, aged 51 years, 120 days when he turned out as an emergency goalkeeper away to Hartlepool in Division Three North on 15 March, 1947.

Chris Moreland, New Zealand

Who was the first player to be sent off for England?

That was Alan Mullery against Yugoslavia (European Championship semi-final in Florence on 5 June, 1968). Alan Smith became England's ninth sending-off against Macedonia at Southampton last month.

Anthony, England

When a player scores in a penalty shoot-out, does it count as a goal in his permanent record?

Strange but true, penalty shoot-out goals are not counted in a player's career record. Yet they could win FA Cups, League Cups┐even the World Cup.

Graham, London

What did you think of Man Utd 'keeper Fabien Barthez's antics when Fulham were awarded a penalty against them earlier this season?

Sir Alex Ferguson called it "professionalism." But it was against the spirit of the game and, in a word, "cheating," as Barthez cleaned his boot against the goalpost and generally "acted up" to keep the Fulham penalty-taker waiting. Not surprisingly, he missed.

Des, Newcastle

I see England are to play Australia at West Ham's ground on 12 February. Have the Socceroos ever played an international here before?

No. all five previous full internationals between the countries have been played down under between 1980 and 1991. They resulted in three wins for England (all by an odd goal) and two draws. Three of the games were in Sydney, and one apiece in Brisbane and Melbourne.

Robert Cowan, England

Did Crystal Palace have a French player in their side in the 1970s? I think so, but I can't remember his name.

Going back further than the 1970s, Palace did have a Belgian winger in their team from 1948-50 named Michel Gaillard. He then moved on to Portsmouth for a couple of seasons.

Frank McMahon, UK

What is the lowest-ever attendance for a match in the English League?

Old-time papers report that just 13 spectators were present when Stockport County played Leicester City in division Two on 7 May, 1921. The match was played at old Trafford because the Stockport ground was under suspension at the time.

Gary Hewit, UK

My granddad played for Hartlepool United just after the war - his name was Harry Moore. Do you have any record of this?

The only player named Moore I can find with Hartlepool in the early post-war years was centre-half Watty Moore, who made 448 League appearances for them. Suggest you contact the club to see if they have any record of your granddad being with them.

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