Congratulations to Trust Member Anthony Holloway who answered correctly the Bluebirds Brainteaser quiz in the November edition of the Trust magazine Moving to a Different Beat. He wins £50. Also drawn out of the hat were Peter Charles and David Collins, who will each receive a runners-up prize of a copy of the excellent book “Real Madrid and All That” by Paul Evans, Trust Member, author and blogger on all things Cardiff City
Here are the answers to the quiz questions.
- For which club did Malky Mackay make most appearances as a player?
Norwich City. After starting his career at Queens Park in Glasgow, Malky signed for Celtic where he stayed for 5 years where he was never a first choice playing only 46 times. He joined The Canaries in 1998 staying for 6 years. His most momentous season at Norwich was his final one when Norwich won promotion to the Premier League as Champions of what was then Division 1. However, he did not get to play in the Premier League with Norwich as he was released at the end of the season but won his first cap for Scotland at the venerable age of 32. The following season he signed for West Ham who were promoted to the Premier League via the playoffs that season. He didn’t get to play in the Premier League with them either as he was released by them as well and joined Watford. However, perseverance paid off and at the end of the 2005/06 season, he achieved the feat of being promoted to the Premier League in 3 successive seasons and in the following season, at last, got to play in the top flight. He stayed with Watford where he coached and managed them before joining us as Manager in 2011. The rest, as they say, is history but, sadly, some of it a bit chequered.
- His only appearance for his first club was as a substitute in the 1994 FA Charity Shield at Wembley and he later went onto be a City favourite – who is he?
Peter Thorne. There can’t be many players who made their footballing debut and only club appearance at Wembley but Peter Thorne is one. He came on as sub in the 1994 FA Charity Shield for Blackburn Rovers, his first club. He shared the bench for that day with a future Cardiff City player, the diminutive Alan Wright. We signed Thorne at the beginning of the 2001/02 season. This period could be described as a spending spree with significant fees (for a Third Division team) paid for Neil Alexander, Spencer Prior and Graham Kavanagh who signed for a club record of £1m from Stoke City who then went on to benefit from a second Cardiff City club transfer record when we signed Peter Thorne for £1.7m. However, as we all know, this extravagance came back to bite us later. The 2002/03 season was notably productive for the Thorne/Earnshaw striking partnership scoring 51 goals between them. After playing 143 times and scoring 51 goals Peter joined Norwich City on a free transfer with the stipulation that they would pay £200,000 if they were promoted back to the Premier League in the following 2 seasons. They weren’t. He finished his career at Bradford City where, despite injury problems, his goals per game record was as good as at any of his previous clubs. The man with the magic hat!
- He made 235 appearances for the City in the noughties and is now coaching at The Terrors – who is he?
Neil Alexander is currently the goalkeeping coach at Dundee United. He was signed in May 2001 from Livingston as part of a Sam Hammam spending spree. He made his debut in the first League game of the 2001/02 season against Wycombe in a season that ended with the heartbreaking playoff defeat to Soke City. The followings season saw us reach the playoff yet again. The second leg playoff semi-final at Ashton Gate saw the City put in a backs to the wall performance to defend a slim 1-0 lead and Neil’s magnificent injury time save from a Brian Tinnion header ensured that we reached the Millennium Stadium for the final against QPR and we know what happened then!A blunder in what turned out to be his final game in March 2007 gave eventual Champions Sunderland a 1-0 win. He was not offered a new contract and joined Ipswich for the start of the next season. The following season the City struggled to settle on a first choice goalkeeper. David Forde, Michael Oakes, Ross Turnbull, (loan), Kaspar Schmeichel (loan) all played until we finally settled on Peter Enckleman and we all know how that ended!
- Two Icelandic Internationals have played for the City – one is Aron Gunnarsson who is the other?
Heidar Helguson. Signed in August 2012 from QPRsome 22 days short of his 35th birthday. Heidar played for us for one momentous season. His honours in British football were winning the Football League Championship twice, once with Neil Warnock’s QPR (he played against us in the entertaining 2-2 draw at CCS in April 2011 with memorable goals by Jay Bothroyd and Adel Taraabt) and then for the second time with us in 2012/13. An unspectacular but hard-working and consistent footballer, he played 39 times for us scoring 9 goals.
- He played 24 times for us between 2012 and 2014 and his namesake, according to Bill Shankly, “wasn’t born, he was quarried” – who is he?
Tommy Smith. August 2012 was the month where signing players from QPR seemed to be de rigueur. Heidar Helguson and Matt Connolly were signed and also Tommy Smith for a fee of £300,000. In his 8th game for us against Watford, a club he had previously had two spells with, he damaged his hamstring and missed 16 games. On his return in January 2013, he scored his only goal for us, the winner in a 2-1 win at Blackpool. When he was signed at the age of 32 he was never going to be a long term prospect. He received his Championship winners medal with us but never played in the Premier League for us the following season only making 3 appearances in Cup competitions. He was released after our relegation from the Premier League and then finished his career after one further season with Brentford. As for his namesake the Liverpool legend, he was an uncompromising player with a very uncompromising look on his face. It was said that Liverpool mothers kept a picture of Tommy Smith on the mantelpiece to keep their kids away from the fire.
- Currently with Panathinaikos this player scored 6 times in 27 games for us between 2012 and 2014 before we eventually lent him to Nottingham Forest and eventually cancelling his contract – who is he?
Frederico “Kiko” Macheda. Macheda first came to everybody’s attention in March 2009 when he came on as sub for Nani against Villa and scored an Impressive last minute winner to keep Manchester United on track for winning the Premier League. In the next league game, he came on as a sub for Berbatov and scored again. However, the next four years or so saw him not establishing himself at Old Trafford and 5 unspectacular loan spells in Germany, Italy as well as QPR and Doncaster. A 6th loan spell, this time at Birmingham went well and he scored 10 times in 10 stares and 8 sub appearance. He was their top scorer in 2013/14. Even though we signed him on a free transfer in May 2014 something in the back of my mind was saying “Oh no!”. His career at Man Utd started with a very big bang with an avalanche of publicity but seemingly culminating in an unfulfillment of potential. Perhaps there was no great potential in the context of Manchester Utd. Who knows? Anyway, he did not live up to his early promise with us either with 6 goals in 27 league appearances and was loaned to Forest at the end of the 2015/16 season. He made 3 appearances for them with little impact. At the beginning of the 2016/17 season he was left out a pre-season City tour and Paul Trollope transfer listed him. His contract was cancelled by mutual consent at the end of August 2016. In 2018 he signed a 3-year contract at Panathinaikos where things seem to have gone better for him. His 30 goals in 76 games have earned him a 3-year contract extension.
- Which former Cardiff City Manager is a UNICEF Ambassador?
OGS was made a UNICEF Ambassador in 2001 whilst still a Manchester United. Player. He has visited educational projects in Angola and Rwanda, supported initiatives in relation to AIDS awareness and child slavery and met Nelson Mandela. OGS always seemed to be a decent bloke. Perhaps not ruthless enough to be a great manager?
- Which current City player has the middle names Roberto Francisco ?
Kieffer Roberto Francisco Moore. Online research has not revealed anything about his background to suggest how he came by such exotic middle names. Perhaps they are not unusual for people born in Torquay?
- Which former Cardiff City player won 3 Scottish Premiership titles and a Scottish FA Cup between 2012 and 2014 ?
Choice of 2 players here. Both Joe Ledley and Adam Matthews fit the question both, of course, playing for Celtic. Joe Ledley’s achievements in a City shirt are well known to all but Adam Matthews did not quite live up to initial expectations. He was named Football League Apprentice of the Year for the Championship. He made his debut as a sub in August 2009 against Blackpool at the age of 18. Blooding 18-year-olds has not been much of a feature in City team selection since. His only goal for the City came in October 2009 when the Watford ‘keeper misjudged his 50 yard free kick allowing the ball to bounce over his head. Another memorable feature of his City career was taking the throw in that lead to Michael Chopra’s dramatic winning goal in the 90th minute against the Jacks in April 2010. In September 2010 he, unfortunately, put the ball into his own net away to Ipswich which leads to a stinging verbal attack after the game by manager Dave Jones. Many thought it was over the top considering his age and the poor performance by the rest of the team that day. He only made one more league start after that game and left to join Celtic at the end of the season when his contract ended. Currently with Charlton Athletic.
- He was in the City matchday squad for the 2010 Championship Play-Off Final and currently plays for Morecambe FC in League Two – who is he?
Aaron Wildig. A product of our youth system, he made his debut in August 2009 as a sub in the League Cup against Dagenham & Redbridge. He scored his only goal for us in a 5-1 defeat to Newcastle Utd in February 2010. During his short time with the City, he spent time on loan at Hamilton Academicals and Shrewsbury Town who he signed for after being released in May 2012 as part of a big clear out. He joined Morecambe in 2015 and currently forms part of a team challenging for promotion.