Saturday, February 24, 2024

Which are the most unlikely foreign supporters’ clubs in football? | The Knowledge

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“Just saw The Graun has an article about some English non-league team having a Norwegian supporters’ club,” tweets Alba Punk. “What’s the smallest British or Irish team with a foreign supporters’ club?”

“I thought I’d mention Fisher FC’s Norwegian supporters’ club,” writes Kevin Harris of the south-east London side. “I haven’t been to see the Fish for a couple of years now as I don’t live in the area but the Norwegians did turn up on multiple occasions to visit the SCEFL Premier League club – Step 5 in the non-league system. Looking at this season’s stats, Fisher are averaging crowds of around 150. Norwegians seem to go to extreme lengths to escape those long, dark winters.”

Meanwhile, “my team, Torquay United, are sadly now firmly ensconced in the non-league pyramid,” laments Tom Paternoster-Howe. “And may well find ourselves in the sixth tier next season. However, there is an active Norwegian Torquay supporters’ club. They are a lovely bunch of people and very committed – indeed, travelling from Norway to Torquay to watch the fare dished up at Plainmoor suggests that maybe they should be committed.”

Until Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds intervened, Wrexham might well have been a contender for this category. Nowadays, the popularity of their Disney+ streaming content is so high as to annoy those in MLS. Still, the Las Vegas Wrexham Supporters’ Club only has 95 followers on Facebook.

The current Highland League leaders, Buckie Thistle, have one known American fan, who just happens to be horrormeister Stephen King, who picked the club for a mention in his 2020 book If It Bleeds for their “gorgeous name”. Whether the erstwhile Richard Bachman has set up a supporters’ club is as yet unknown and awaiting confirmation from readers.

Flipping the question, Kieran Whooley remarks that “Cork City had a Bologna-based supporters’ club, which consisted of two people fed up with the state of Italian football”. Lela and Cecca, annoyed that Bologna had been relegated from Serie A for reasons of impropriety, started following the team as they were in the old Uefa Cup in 2004-05, and took advantage of that era’s cheap-flight bonanza. The trail appears to have gone dead around 2008 but if the two lads are still visiting Turners Cross, let the Knowledge know. Bologna are back in Serie A these days, while Cork have had a mixed time in the intervening years.

Well done, he was 21

“A new play has a Gareth Southgate character,” begins Nick Williamson. “Which real-life football people have appeared most frequently in dramas or in fictional form?”

“Michael Owen appeared as himself in the six-episode CBBC series Hero to Zero in 2000,” recalls Conrad Teixeira. “He would come to life out of a poster on a bedroom wall to dispense life advice to a schoolboy. An alternative reading might be that the kid was having a psychotic break and was experiencing delusional thoughts, including the belief that Michael Owen is wise and charismatic. According to this BBC article there was an original radio version where Gary Lineker was the sentient poster, so this is a two-for-one answer.”

And Kári Tulinius reports that “in the Finnish edition of the Donald Duck comic book published just before Euro 2020, Teemu Pukki appeared as a goat in Norwich kit. ‘Pukki’ means ‘goat’ in Finnish; Norwich fans will have to guess who the other players are.”

Photograph: Courtesy of Kári Tulinius

Music videos filmed at grounds (2)

Last week we looked at music videos filmed at football grounds. And, so it transpires, there are more we missed at the first time of asking …

“Can’t believe no one mentioned the video to The Streets’ majestic Dry Your Eyes was filmed at Leyton Orient’s Brisbane Road in the summer of 2004, its melancholy air perfectly suited to the mood at the O’s at the time.” Sorry, Tom Davies, the lights must have blinded our eyes.

Moving across town, William Hogg offers up The Human League’s Life On Your Own. “Not 100% a football stadium, but the White City Stadium did host a 1966 World Cup match (and was also at one time QPR’s home ground),” he mails. “The video was filmed shortly before the stadium’s demolition.”

Kári Tulinius is back on to flag that “Icelandic rap-rock band Quarashi, who had an international hit with the song Stick ‘Em Up, also released a single called Malone Lives, which was recorded in 2001 at the home stadium of Fylkir in Reykjavík”.

And from the social media virtual postbag, here are some more:

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Guffen Helleve wrote in 2005: “In the Norwegian Women’s Cup final earlier, the score between Asker and Strømmen was 0-0 after 90 minutes, but finished 4-0 to Asker after extra-time. Has any team won by a bigger margin after extra-time?”

Surprisingly they had: look no further than the third-round Norwegian men’s Cup clash between Tromsø and local rivals Tromsdalen in 1996. As Nils Ragnar Løvhaug explained, “the score was 3-3 after 90 minutes, but Tromsø went on to win 8-3 after extra-time, with Sigurd Rushfeldt scoring five goals”.

But Rugby were on the receiving end of an even greater added-time thrashing, in last season’s Southern League Cup third round meeting with Sutton Coldfield. With a minute of normal time remaining, Rugby led 2-0; when the final whistle blew it was 2-2. Rugby, fielding a host of youth-team players and reserves continued the capitulation by conceding a further six in extra-time to lose 8-2. “The heads dropped and their legs went in extra-time,” admitted Rugby boss Tony Dobson afterwards.

Special mention, however, must be given to Walsall’s 1995 FA Cup second-round replay with Torquay at the Bescot. Three apiece after 90 minutes, a Kyle Lightbourne-inspired Walsall pushed on to seal a memorable 8-4 win.

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Can you help?

Tony Watt has now played for 50% (6) of the clubs in the SPFL. Does any player have a higher proportion or number within a league?

— Jimmy M 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🇱🇻 (@jambojimmysp) February 28, 2023

“This week’s defeat has now seen Newcastle lose their last five major cup finals (1974, 1976 and 2023 League Cup, plus 1998 and 1999 FA Cup),” writes Nayson Ratcliffe. “I know Aston Villa sit on four (2000 and 2015 FA Cup; 2010 and 2020 League Cup) but what other long and/or interesting losing streaks are out there?”

James Bolton could play against Bolton in the EFL Trophy final. Callum Burton in the side too.

Anyone have any idea which football club has the most players with clubs names playing for them?@TheKnowledge_GU might now

— Aaron (@FeedTheSpud) February 22, 2023

“Has anyone ever broken a club record, whether goals or appearances, by just one?” wonders Vince Ely.

Linfield have been knocked out of the Europa Conference League, Scottish Challenge Cup, County Antrim Shield and Irish Cup on penalties this season, with the League Cup final and possible end-of-season play-off to come.

Any club with more penalty shoot-out defeats in one season?

— Richard (@AYearWithJurgen) February 28, 2023

“I noticed that Dennis Bergkamp’s son Mitchel scored a goal against Woking, whose goalkeeper is Will Jääskeläinen, son of former Bolton goalie Jussi,” notices Harry Paine. “In 2003-04, Arsenal won 2-1 against Bolton and Dennis scored past Jussi. Is this a rare occasion that both father and son are goalies and they concede goal against … well, father and son?”

AEK Larnaca knocked Dnipro-1 out of the Europa League in August, and then knocked them out of the Conference League in February. Can anyone beat being knocked out of two European competitions by the same team in the same season?

— Jimbo (@Thir3dMan) February 28, 2023

“National League South Dover Athletic have recently appointed Mitch Brundle, 28, as their new manager,” reports Matt Davison. “In his first game in charge, five of the starting 11 were older than him. A first?”

With Martin Dúbravka having a glove in both camps at the League Cup Final on Sunday, I wondered if any player has played for both a relegated and a champion / promoted side in the same season?

— agatiefan (@AgaTieFan) February 28, 2023

Mail us your questions or tweet @TheKnowledge_GU.

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