“There are over 700 parkrun events in the UK,” tweets James. “How many of them are in sight of a (tier six and up) football ground?”
We’ll be honest: we have an image of the archetypal Knowledge reader, and it isn’t someone who spends their time pounding the kerb in pursuit of cardiovascular reward. From the volume of responses to this question, it seems our borderline offensive stereotype was entirely correct.
Six. Six responses. But those who did write in gave us some excellent answers. “Tottenham’s stadium can be seen from Ally Pally parkrun,” writes Matt Braithwaite. “It’s also possible from a high point on the course to see the Mittal Orbit tower, and a flat structure can be seen in front of it, which might be the roof of West Ham’s London Stadium. Wembley Stadium can be seen from a high point of Sunny Hill parkrun in Hendon.”
“You can see Molineux from West Park in Wolverhampton,” tweets Jake Clark, who may not or may not be a Wolves fan. “Still, a good parkrun nonetheless.”
Next, we’re off to the south west.
And finally, a few more suggestions from around the office: in London, there’s Fulham Palace, which runs behind the Putney End at Craven Cottage and Hackney Marshes, from which you may be able to see the London Stadium (if anyone has pictorial evidence, please send it in). In Sheffield, no prizes for guessing which stadium backs on to the Hillsborough Parkrun route. North of the border, Aberdeen’s parkrun takes in Pittodrie and the Livingston route loops around the Tony Macaroni Arena.
The stamp of approval
In last week’s Knowledge, we looked at footballers who have been celebrated on bank notes or coins. But the answer would not be complete without mention of a man who was put on earth to be commemorated.
“In the words of David Brent, ‘Stamps are legal tender. A bus driver would have to accept that as legal currency,’” begins Jonjoe Cullen. “With that in mind, I’d like to offer Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s appearance on Swedish postage stamps in 2013. Who needs a Ballon d’Or?”
We did a separate question on footballers and stamps when Zlatan appeared in 2013. Nerd yourself out.
Impressive minutes-per-card ratios
“New Birmingham manager John Eustace played one game for Middlesbrough – a two-minute substitute appearance against Liverpool, during which he got booked,” tweets Bob Garvey. “Can anyone else claim a more impressive minutes-per-yellow ratio?”
Eustace was a symbol of Linekerian virtue compared to a couple of other contenders. Russell Connor and Andy Brook have nominated Nohan Kenneh, who was at Leeds last season but is now pursuing niche records with Hibernian. “He never played a minute for Leeds,” writes Russell, “but was booked when running off the bench to celebrate Luke Ayling’s winner against Wolves in the run-in this year.”
One yellow card and no minutes makes it 1-0 to Kenneh. But even he has to kneel at the altar of bemulleted charlatan Carlos Kaiser. “As recounted in the Guardian a few years ago, Kaiser, the legendary footballer who never was, made zero appearances in his entire 13-year career,” notes Paul Brack. “But he still received a red card for fighting away fans while a substitute for Bangu.”
“Has there ever been a top-flight goalkeeper in world football that’s been so awful he’s been substituted in the first half?” asked Duncan Morris in 2006.
Yes, Duncan, and quite a few at that. First on the list is the Arsenal keeper Jens Lehmann, who suffered the fate in an away game at Cagliari during his disastrous spell with Milan in 1998. Lehmann started the match by completely missing a cross to gift-wrap Cagliari their opening goal, and then up-ended Roberto Muzzi to concede a penalty. Milan coach Alberto Zaccheroni had seen enough and immediately brought on Sebastiano Rossi for the beleaguered Lehmann. Rossi saved Muzzi’s ensuing spot-kick, but Cagliari still ran out 1-0 winners. So bad was Lehmann’s performance, in fact, that Milan fans called for him to be replaced by Mark Bosnich.
More recently, Le Mans goalkeeper Yohan Pelé endured a similar fate. With his side trailing Lyon 3-1 after 35 minutes, Pelé was hauled off, with Rodolphe Roche taking his place. But the replacement did even worse, shipping five with the game ending 8-1.
There have been just as many similar cases in the international arena. Take the World Cup qualifier between Ghana and Nigeria in 2001, for example: the Super Eagles raced into a 3-0 lead within 35 minutes, prompting the Ghanaian manager to bench goalkeeper James Nanor for Osei Boateng. He lasted two minutes before being sent off, forcing captain Emmanuel Kuffour to step into the breach and keep the damage down to 3-0. Sympathy was in short supply for Nanor, who, incidentally, once spat in the face of a referee during a club match for Hearts of Oak in the 1999 African Champions League. He was banned for a year.
“Don’t forget Mwamba Kazadi of Zaire,” piped up Mike Gibbons, recalling the 1974 World Cup group game involving the Leopards and Yugoslavia. How could we? “Kazadi conceded three goals in the first 20 minutes and was substituted by his Yugoslavian coach. Replacement keeper Dimbi Tubilandu’s first touch was to pick the ball out of his net, which he’d do another five times in a 9-0 defeat.”
Finally, Eduardo Villanueva remembered a South American playoff for a spot at the 1986 World Cup – one that Peruvian national keeper Jose Acasuzo would do well to forget. “Acasuzo only played against Chile after a long controversy due to his wish to be paid a lot more and allowed to train with his new side, outside Peru. He was so out of form that the first Chilean shot went through his legs and into the goal, before two more easily beat him. Ramón Quiroga came on for him and Acasuzo never played again for the national side, or in Peru for that matter. Peru lost the game 4-2.”
Can you help?
“Welsh champions The New Saints are playing in the Champions League first qualifying round. But has any team from this early in the qualifying stages reached the group or even knockout stages? If so, what is the furthest a team has gone in the competition relative to where they entered it?” asks Ryan Flitcroft.
“Looking at Group A for Euro 2022 (England, Norway, Austria, Northern Ireland), it struck me that the flags of the four nations have very similar colours – all have red and white, and then only small amounts of yellow and blue. Is this the most restricted colour palette in a group at a major tournament?” wonders James Cuthbertson.
“How did 12 de Octubre Football Club in Paraguay get their name? A quick Wikipedia search didn’t help me out and it wasn’t the founding date of the club. Any other clubs named after dates, days, etc?” muses DW.
“After seeing Wout van Aert complete three consecutive second places on stages at this year’s Tour de France, I immediately thought: what’s the record for a top-flight team finishing second multiple years in a row? Or losing consecutive cup finals?” asks Joran Lamisse.