Fas­ci­nat­ing foot­ball facts

Cu­riosi­ties of Mid­lands foot­ball, with Tony Matthews

Black Country Bugle - - SPORT -

• 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

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