Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Almost Random A-Z of Dubious Football Knowledge: A

In this new feature, we trawl the world of football to compile the ultimate A to Z of dubious football knowledge. Each entry covers a different letter, so let's start at the beginning...

A is for...

Advertising boards

First spotted in the British game during the early 1970’s, the ‘A-board’ has mutated from plywood eyesore into electronic… eyesore. Early versions promoted companies and products that today seem unthinkable such as Double Two Shirts, Gola sportswear and Wrigley’s Spearmint before Chelsea took the niche approach of advertising recently released feature films including ‘The Exorcist’ and several epics in the ‘Emmanuel’ series. A capable barrier against the celebrating Gordon Strachan, the modern advertising board today provides an animated video distraction for the most boring of games, and, sadly, many of the exciting ones too.


Joint worst team in Europe at present and possibly always will be. Reached a high point in the FIFA World Rankings of 125 in 2005. Only ever beaten three teams in their history; Albania, Belarus and Macedonia. Only ever scored two goals in a single match on one occasion – the World Cup qualifier in 2000 at home to Cyprus which they lost 3-2.

Arbroath FC

Football team located on the east coast of Scotland. Famous for their 36-0 victory over Bon Accord in 1885 and wrongly so on account of the fact that Bon Accord were in essence a cricket team that had received an invitation to play in the Scottish Cup by complete accident. Among their current squad is Gavin Swankie, a former Scottish League Division 3 Player of the Year whose name we’re hoping to see on Final Score just once with the ‘s’ moved before the space rather than after it. Yes, we are childish.

Arthur Albiston

Former Scottish international defender who was a regular number 2 in the Man United team of the late-70’s and early-80’s. Struggled to secure a regular first team place until Arsenal caretaker-manager-to-be Stewart Houston was injured on the eve of the 1977 FA Cup Final. Albiston took his place in the team, earned a winners’ medal and offered it to Houston who subsequently declined, although in our opinion he should have grabbed it with both hands with a gleeful lack of regard for his fellow professional. Went on to play for West Bromwich Albion, Dundee and Molde (briefly) before becoming a junior coach at Man United and a summariser of reserve team games on MUTV.


...or ‘Asian Football Confederation’, the body which administers football for over half the world’s population. Formed in 1954 by twelve nations, only three of which have ever played in the World Cup Finals even to this day (Indonesia/Dutch East Indies, Korea Republic and Japan). Of its current 46 member nations, Australia were members of the Oceania confederation until 2006, while Guam has always been in the Asian section despite technically being located in the Oceania region. Five countries that are Asian by geographic location (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Israel and Kazakhstan) are actually members of UEFA, thereby making the whole thing about as shambolic as Mohammed Bin Hammam’s recent spell as President of the AFC.

Next time we'll be covering the letter B, so if you have any suggestions for what we should include, drop us a line to carnies [at] footballfairground [dot] com or leave us a comment below...

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