Award winners and Dowd's stats
Norman Hubbard is ESPNsoccernet's resident anorak. If you have any questions on football facts, statistics or trivia, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org and he'll try to answer as many as possible.
With the signing of Scott Parker, Spurs now have both the reigning PFA Player and Football Writers' Player of the Year in the same team. Is it the first time that has happened? Kah Leong asked.
It is the fifth time it has happened, but it is the first time one of the award winners has been signed to join the other. Gareth Bale won last year's PFA award as a Tottenham player, while Parker's performances for West Ham earned him the writers' votes, before the latter moved to White Hart Lane in the summer.
On each of the previous four occasions, the individual prizes were shared between two team-mates in a successful side and both remained at the club for the following year. They were, with the FWA winner first: Kenny Burns and Peter Shilton of Nottingham Forest, who won in the 1977-78 season; Frans Thijssen and John Wark of Ipswich in 1980-81; Neville Southall and Peter Reid of Everton in 1984-85; and, most recently, Frank Lampard and John Terry of Chelsea in 2004-05.
By the way, there are plenty of other examples of teams featuring the reigning PFA and FWA Footballer of the Year - when both awards have gone to the same man - so this answer only relates to years when there were different winners.
While watching Manchester United play against Stoke, one of the commentators mentioned that Peter Crouch's goal made him only the sixth player to score for six different Premier League clubs. My question is who are the other five, and is there someone who has scored for more than six different Premier League clubs? Jason Romero from Burbank, California, asked.
To answer the second question first: no one has scored Premier League goals for seven or more clubs. The other five men on six are: Andy Cole (Newcastle, Manchester United, Blackburn, Fulham, Manchester City, Portsmouth), Les Ferdinand (QPR, Newcastle, Tottenham, West Ham, Leicester, Bolton), Marcus Bent (Crystal Palace, Ipswich, Leicester, Everton, Charlton, Wigan), Nick Barmby (Tottenham, Middlesbrough, Everton, Liverpool, Leeds, Hull) and Craig Bellamy (Coventry, Newcastle, Blackburn, Liverpool, West Ham, Manchester City). Crouch's goals came for Aston Villa, Southampton, Liverpool, Portsmouth, Tottenham and now Stoke.
As Bent has also played Premier League football for Blackburn and Wolves and was owned, though not picked in the top flight, by Birmingham, it is conceivable he could have managed to score in the highest division for nine different clubs. As it is, the way the former Liverpool strikers Crouch and Bellamy have moved around suggests one, if not both, will get the chance to score for a seventh club before they retire.
Who has scored the most goals in one season in the Premier League? Rico from Australia asked.
The joint record holders are Andy Cole and Alan Shearer, who both managed 34 in a season - Cole for Newcastle in 1993-94 and Shearer in the colours of Blackburn the following year. Cole had marginally the better strike rate, as his goals came in 40 games to Shearer's 42. Since the Premier League was reduced to 38 games, the best total is the 31 Cristiano Ronaldo mustered for Manchester United in 2007-08.
This year, Manchester United became football champions of England & Lancashire won the English county cricket championship. Has this happened before? Neil Gayleard from Maidstone, Kent asked.
It hasn't. There have been three years when the sides from the two Old Trafford grounds both won silverware (1990, 1996, 1999), but this is the first time the footballers and cricketers have both won their domestic league.
I have observed that referee Phil Dowd being in the middle is a jinx to Chelsea and want to know the statistics of Chelsea's matches he has officiated, number of wins, losses, and draws. Victor Nnaemeka asked
I suspect this question was inspired by Chelsea's 3-1 defeat to Manchester United, a game Phil Dowd officiated and when Andre Villas-Boas complained about the lack of offside decisions for the home side's first two goals (although, as some would argue Ashley Cole should have been sent off that day, whether Dowd was responsible for the defeat is another matter).
Nevertheless, his presence now appears a bad omen for Chelsea, who have lost four and won only two of his last eight games. However, it was once a good sign: Chelsea won all of the first eight matches he officiated. His overall record is of 15 wins and six draws in 25 matches, giving Chelsea a 60% win ratio when he officiates.
• Chelsea record when Dowd officiates:
2002-03: W2 D0 L0
2003-04: W1 D0 L0
2004-05: W2 D0 L0
2005-06: W1 D0 L0
2006-07: W2 D1 L0
2007-08: W2 D1 L0
2008-09: W3 D2 L0
2009-10: W1 D1 L2
2010-11: W1 D1 L1
2011-12: W0 D0 L1
Total: P25 W15 D6 L4