Fascinating football facts
Curiosities of Midlands football, with Tony Matthews
• A record Hawthorns’ crowd of 22,372 for a Central League game (reserve team fixture) saw West Bromwich Albion play Aston Villa in March 1934.
• Scarborough’s firstever League game was against Wolves in August 1987. Unfortunately crowd disturbances marred the Fourth Division encounter which ended in a 2-2 draw in front of 7,314 fans at The Mccain Stadium.
• The first two Argentine players signed by Aston Villa were Oscar Arce and Gustavo Bartlett; the first two Aussies were goalkeeper Mark Bosnich and Tony Dorigo; the first Brazilian was Fernando M de Silva Pelado; the first Russian was Loeg Salenko; the first four Italians signed were Benito Carbone, Fabio Ferraresi, Mario Russo and Giovani Spirenza, while the first batch of Germans recruited were Stefan Beinlich, Matthuis Breitkreutz, Thomas Hitzlsperger and Michael Sabatheir.
• In May-june 1964, Wolves went to the Caribbean on an end-of-season tour. They played three games against Chelsea, winning 3-1 in Barbados and 4-2 in Jamaica, but lost 3-2 in Trinidad.
• In February/march 1994 keeper Mark Bosnich saved five penalties for Aston Villa in two games … three in the shoot-out at the end of the League Cup semifinal second leg against Tranmere Rovers and two in a 1-1 Premiership draw at Tottenham three days later.
• Villa’s American stopper Brad Guzan saved three spot-kicks in a shoot-out at the end of a League Cup-tie at Sunderland in September 2009, having already stopped a penalty in normal time, helping Villa progress into round five.
• Wolves winger Dave Wagstaffe was the first footballer to be shown a red card in a League game – sent off playing for Blackburn Rovers against Leyton Orient in October 1976. Ironically, in January 1967, ‘Waggy’ had been dismissed playing for Wolves against Blackburn at Ewood Park. His team-mate Dave Woodfield was sent off in the same game which ended nil-nil.
Wolves winger David Wagstaffe
Aston Villa’sthomas Hitzlsperger in action against West Ham’s Nigel Reo-coker