Which players were centurions at four or more football clubs? | Soccer

“I just saw that Rangers’ Scott Arfield has played 100 league games for four different clubs (Falkirk, Huddersfield, Burnley and Rangers). Is that a record or did someone do it at the age of five? muses Jesse Pajwani.

Tom Ayres wants to add three more names to the 4 x 100 club. “Alan Ball has achieved that feat at Blackpool, Everton, Arsenal and Southampton,” writes Tom. “Graham Alexander has made more than 150 league appearances for four clubs: Scunthorpe, Luton, Preston and Burnley. Tony Ford brought up his century four times, for Grimsby, Stoke City, West Bromwich Albion and Mansfield.”

Kieran Whooley offers great sleight of hand Chris Waddle, who hit triple figures for Newcastle, Spurs, Marseille and Sheffield on Wednesday.

But there is at least one man who has made 100 league appearances for five clubs. Some of you have mentioned Peter Shilton, who is that rare breed of fellow who has also always been great. He reached a century in Leicester, Stoke, Nottingham Forest, Southampton and Derby counties. And as Tom points out, he has also won a record 125 caps for England.

Peter Shilton, seen here at Nottingham Forest in 1978, tips the ball over the bar.
Peter Shilton, seen here at Nottingham Forest in 1978, tips the ball over the bar. Photo: Colorsport/Shutterstock

The longest punishment barren spell

“It’s been 100 league games since Leyton Orient scored a penalty.” tweets Chris Walsh. “Is that a record? If not, what is the longest run of this kind?”

In 2018 we touched the longest periods teams haven’t even been to awarded a free kick instead of actually scoring one. But Orient’s current dry spell doesn’t seem to be a record – not even in London.

“Crystal Palace went 148 league games (and 154 games in total) from October 5, 1946 to March 11, 1950 without scoring a penalty,” Calciocassini tweeted. “It is unlikely that this will be the longest run of its kind. Palace also had a streak of 118 league games (128 total) without scoring a penalty from September 1964 to August 1967, going mad with a streak of three in 10 games before putting down another streak of 99 games (119 total) in October 1967 to February 1970. That was around the time I started attending Palace games and I remember wondering if we would ever see a penalty taken.”

After surviving all those droughts, we sincerely hope you were at Selhurst Park on Easter Monday 1989.

Did Loftus-Cheek Write Unwanted History?

“Is Ruben Loftus-Cheek the first substitute to be substituted in the FA Cup Final?” asks Steve Pye.

The appropriately numbered Ruben Loftus-Cheek (12) came on for Chrisian Pulisic at half-time in extra time on Saturday before being replaced by Ross Barkley on penalties. But he didn’t make unwanted FA Cup Final history. Similarly, another Chelsea player, Arjen Robben, beat Manchester United 1-0 in 2007.

Robben came on for Joe Cole at half-time in regulation time but suffered an injury in overtime and was replaced by another Cole, Ashley. It was his last appearance for the club. So the record belongs to Robben, although Loftus-Cheek is the first to be sent off due to his penalty history.

Chelsea's Arjen Robben is treated just before his substitution in the 2007 FA Cup Final.
Chelsea’s Arjen Robben is treated just before his substitution in the 2007 FA Cup Final. Photo: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Who has scored the most second division goals?

“Aleksandar Mitrovic has scored 43 goals in the league this season, but I wonder which player has scored the most goals overall in the second division.” Bogdan Kotarlic asks himself.

Steve Hyde would like to open the tender for this one.

With 128 goals, Billy Sharp is the all-time leading scorer in The Championship. There may well be others who can beat the record before it was so called, or indeed in the Überseeligen second divisions, but this is your mark to beat

— Steve Hyde (@StevenJamesHyde) May 11, 2022

And, um, the Justin Horton Show might have shut them down.

It was 250 indeed – one of his goals came in the First Division just before retiring through injury at the age of 29 – although that’s still some way to go. Of course, we wouldn’t say that Brian Clough was the all-time top scorer in the second division. But he might have been in the top one.

Brian Clough in action for Middlesbrough where he scored 197 goals out of 250 in English football's second division.
Brian Clough in action for Middlesbrough where he scored 197 goals out of 250 in English football’s second division. Photo: Taken from image archive

knowledge archive

“Can you clarify who actually said first, ‘If he’s not involved in the game, what is he doing on the pitch?’ Was it Shankly or Blanchflower or neither?” asked Steve Antrobus in 2004. “In the last few weeks of the debate, I have seen various reports attributing the quote to both. I’m a Spurs fan, but I’ve refrained from sticking my neck out and claiming it’s Blanchflowers…until now!”

And it’s a good job Steve has done, as neither Bill nor Danny could rightly take credit for such insights (something today’s rulemaking suits would do well to listen to, and by their grande double decaf Skinny Latte Triple Frappuccinos). But you’ll be glad to hear you haven’t been denied your right to bask in the mirror of Spurs fame entirely, as the originator of the much-quoted phrase was actually White Hart Lane legend Bill Nicholson in his days as The club’s manager was – and not, as some Scouse neighborhoods would have you believe, Bill Shankly.

In fact, Shankly’s wordy assessment of the situation was, “If a player isn’t interfering or trying to gain an advantage, then they should be.” Which, we think you’ll agree, is very different.

knowledge archive

Can you help?

“How many clubs around the world have won the league title in their centenary and which was the first?” asks Maasai Graham.

Tennis superstar Rafael Nadal has often scheduled his matches to watch Real Madrid games.
Have there ever been football teams that asked to move their seasons because their players wanted to watch an event in a different sport?

— Ben Janeson (@BenJaneson) May 17, 2022

“Who is the oldest player to win their first medal in the Premier League or Champions League? And who made the most transfers before this career highlight?” Albert wonders in Vienna.

@TheKnowledge_GU Was today’s Everton v Brentford game the first game in the Premier League where one manager had a first name that matched the other’s last name? (Frank)

— Sam Carney (@samcarney_) May 15, 2022

“Since Rangers play Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League final, they play their third German team in the same Euro tournament, having previously considered Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig. Has anyone played more teams from the same country in one of the European club tournaments?” asks Hugh McGinley.

@TheKnowledge_GU This season’s shaky games had me wondering… has a team ever been mathematically relegated while outside the relegation zone?

— Alex Spirret (@AlexSpirrett) May 12, 2022

“Chelsea have just lost their third consecutive FA Cup final,” notes Chai. “Has any other club been heartbroken to lose so many or more finals in a row in the same tournament?”

@TheKnowledge_GU If you cite your report, KDB’s hat-trick was “the third fastest since the start of an EPL game,” and it was all with his left.

Was there a faster hat-trick for weak feet?

— Dave George (@lowertiefen) May 12, 2022

“Chelsea have been involved in five penalty shootouts this season: Villarreal, Aston Villa, Southampton and Liverpool twice. Is that a record?” asks Stuart Corby.

And in that sense…

Has there ever been a case where 2 teams had 2 penalty shootouts in the same season but with 4 different goalkeepers? #LivChe

– Alex Deakin ⚡️☀️❄️🌧 (@alexdeakin) May 14, 2022

“As a Bristol City fan it hurt to see Rovers get promoted but I have to admit it was an amazing effort. It was particularly unbelievable given that they had only spent the last five minutes (plus a lot of stoppage time) of the season in the top three. Can you beat that? And what’s the shortest time on the summit to win a title?” muses Neil McCormick.

Is Sergio Aguero the first footballer to receive a bookable offense statue?

— Andy Brook 🏆 (@andybrook1) May 17, 2022

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