Latest Bluebirds Brainteaser: The Answers & The Winner

Congratulations to Trust member Paul Evans whose name was drawn out of the hat and is the lucky winner of the £50 first prize in the Bluebirds Brainteaser quiz in the September edition of Moving to a Different Beat – the Supporters’ Trust magazine.

Here are the answers:

  1. Which City manager has the first names Robin Michael?

Quite why Robin Michael Lawrence is known as “Lennie” I don’t know but he is one of the select band of managers who have had a career in management exceeding 1000 games. Lennie joined us towards the end of the 2001/02 season as a consultant to assist Alan Cork who, at the time, was presiding over a post-Christmas collapse in form that threatened the promotion that Sam Hammam expected him to deliver. With promotions to the top flight of English football with Charlton and Middlesbrough on his CV he was well qualified and on February 18,  2002, Alan Cork was sacked and Lennie was on hand to take over at short notice. His first signing for us was Andy Campbell on loan from Middlesbrough to replace the injured Earnie. That season ended with the disastrous playoff defeat to Stoke. Andy Campbell’s signing was made permanent the following season which ended with his famous goal in the playoff final and Lennie added another promotion to his trophy cabinet. With the club established in the second tier but in financial turmoil, Lennie made way for Dave Jones in May 2005. Lennie, however, did make another appearance at the City in 2016 as assistant to Paul Trollope. As we know that did not end well.

  1. This international scored on debut for the City in 2007 and shares a name with the Judge in the Lady Chatterley’s Lover Obscenity Trial – who is he?

Jason Byrne. Perhaps linking Cardiff City’s Jason Byrne to High Court Judge Sir Lawrence Byrne is a bit off the wall. He was famous for ridiculing the infamous prosecution statement in that case “Would you approve of your young sons, young daughters—because girls can read as well as boys—reading this book? Is it a book you would have lying around your own house? Is it a book that you would even wish your wife or your servants to read?” thus exposing how out of touch with reality the Establishment was at the time. Anyway, Jason Byrne was a bit of a punt by Dave Jones which did not come off. He was an established goalscorer in the Irish League and he came off the bench to score the winner away to Wolves in January 2007 in front of no City fans at all as they were banned from Molyneux but it was to the delight of hundreds of City fans at Ninian Park who were watching it on beamback. Byrne only lasted 11 appearances signing for Bohemians in Ireland in January 2008. He is the second-highest goalscorer ever in the Irish League and is Robbie Keane’s cousin. We got the wrong member of the family!

  1. Between 2019 and 2021 this City player and Northern Ireland International played 31 times on loan for a team that played at the Tony Macaroni – who is he?

Ciaron Brown. An integral part of the Mick McCarthy 5 Centre Half system that did so well in conceding 7 goals in games against West Bromwich Albion and Swansea in 2021. What was McCarthy thinking? We signed Ciaron in January 2018 after a trial period, his previous club being Wealdstone. He spent two loan spells at Livingston who play at the Almondvale Stadium which, at the time of his loan spells, was known as the Tony Macaroni for sponsorship reasons. The stadium is also referred to as “The Spaghettihad”. Ciaron was capped for Northern Ireland whilst he was with us but now plies his trade with Oxford United after having been part of the big clear-out last summer.

  1. He scored 63 goals in 159 appearances between 2006 and 2011 and his first name is Rocky – who is he?

What’s that coming over the hill…’s Rocky Michael Chopra. Michael had 4 spells at the City, 2 on loan. Initially signed for £500,000 from Newcastle in the summer of 2006 his eventful first season saw him score 22 goals from 42 league appearances including a hat trick against Leicester City and also 2 sendings off. Losing him to Sunderland for £5,000,000 after only one season was very disappointing but it was good business considering what we had paid for him. After his departure, the high profile arrivals of Messrs Sinclair, Fowler and Hasselbaink seemed as if it might assuage the feeling of disappointment but the reality turned out differently. Michael found his chances at Sunderland limited and rejoined us for 2 separate loan spells in 2008/09. Michael signed again permanently in July 2009 for a club record fee of £3,000,000 scoring 7 goals in his first 4 games including a hat trick at Plymouth. He finished that season with 21 league and cup goals. 2010/11 was his final season with us with 11 goals in 37 appearances. He suffered an injury which kept him out of 9 games at the end of the season his first start after that being the disastrous 3-0 defeat to Reading in the playoff semi-final. It was his last appearance in a City shirt. A troubled individual, City fans will have many happy memories. For me, the boots on fire goal celebration against Bristol City, his 4 goals in the 6-1 win against Derby and his 90th minute winner against the Jacks in 2010 stand out. Thanks for the memories, Michael.

  1. Which Cardiff City player shares a name with a Hollywood Actor who was nominated for an Oscar playing opposite Marilyn Monroe?

Don Murray. Film actor Don Murray was nominated for an Oscar for playing opposite Marilyn Monroe in the film “Bus Stop” in 1956. Marilyn Monroe appeared in 29 films and only 3 were considered good enough to have received acting Oscar nominations and Bus Stop was one of them. Actor Don Murray had long and successful acting career in films and television. The other Don Murray had a long and successful career wearing the number 5 shirt for Cardiff City.

  1. Which former Cardiff City goalkeeper was nicknamed “The Flying Pig” during his spell at Bristol Rovers?

Jim Eadie. We signed Jim from the extravagantly named Kirkintilloch Rob Roy. He made his debut for us in March 1970 and played 2 games in the absence of the man with the flat cap, Fred Davies. Fred joined Bournemouth at the end of that season and Jimmy Scoular, deciding that Jim was not to be No 1 keeper, signed Fumbling Frank Parsons from Crystal Palace. Frank played the first 10 games of the season the last one being a 4-3 home defeat to Middlesbrough in October 1970. It is worth checking out the highlights of this game on YouTube just to see a 25-yarder blasted in By Bobby Woodruff and a stunning volley by Peter King which I still believe is one of the best goals I have seen a City player score. Anyway, down the other end, despite saving a penalty, Frank was badly at fault for 2 goals which resulted in Jim getting the No 1 shirt for the remainder of a league campaign which saw the 5-1 defeat at Sheffield United and the end of our Division 1 promotion dreams. Jim started the 1971/72 season as first choice but some indifferent form resulted in new signing, the excellent Bill Irwin, establishing himself as first choice. Jim never played again for the City. After a short loan spell at Chester, he signed for Bristol Rovers keeping a clean sheet in his first 5 games and establishing himself as a favourite with the Gasheads acquiring the nickname “The Flying Pig”. I wonder if he looks back on his career and thinks of being in goals in a Cardiff City 1-0 win over Real Madrid as the pinnacle?

  1. This international ‘keeper has a name that contains 10 vowels and 14 consonants and played 6 games on loan for us in 2008-09 – who is he?

Dimitrios Konstantopoulos. We signed Dimi on loan from Coventry City in a season where injuries to keepers sent Dave Jones into the loan market. I think it’s safe to say that, without resorting to reference books, Dimi is the only Cardiff City goalkeeper to score an own goal on debut which he managed at Wolves when he dropped the ball over his own line to deny the City a win. He only played 6 games for us but his stay was studded with blunders including a costly one against Norwich. Conspiracy Theorists nicknamed him “Agent Dimi” as his previous loan spell immediately before joining us was with the Jacks. After his final game the on loan Stuart Taylor and a fit again Tom Heaton saw the season out.

  1. The last time The Stones played Ninian Park was New Year’s Day 1992 and those of us who were there have never forgotten it – please explain.

The Stones is the nickname of Maidstone United. I remember turning up on a sunny New Year’s Day. 1992 at Ninian Park. I was suffering from a hangover from the night before and ended up wondering how many of the City Team had been on the town as well as I witnessed what many City fans of a certain age consider to be one of the worst home defeats ever. City were unbeaten in their previous 8 league games with Chris Pike and Carl Dale banging them in regularly – they scored 56 goals between them that season. In contrast, Maidstone had only one win in their previous 11 games and were having significant financial difficulties. I suppose, in circumstances such as those, City fans should know better but, nevertheless, expectations were high and an above-average crowd of 8,023 turned out. A reasonable first half ended in a defensive shambles with defender John Williams deliberately handling the ball on the goal line resulting in a deserved red card on the stroke of halftime. Liburd Henry duly converted and we went into the break 1-0 down with only 10 men. In an abysmal second half Maidstone scored 4 more with only Gavin Ward in the City goal seemingly interested. This blot on the landscape turned out to be more of a blip as the City then went on a further run of 8 unbeaten league games. A bad day at the office or a heavy night – who knows but it was an awful day.  Anyway, Maidstone celebrated their record league win but in the close season, they went into liquidation following that season’s other financial victim, Aldershot.

  1. Which future Cardiff City player played for Leeds United in our famous 2002 FA Cup victory?

Robbie Fowler. He was one of 3 high profile “ageing legs” signings along with Messrs Sinclair and Hasselbaink in the wake of Michael Chopra’s departure to Sunderland. Arriving on a free but, I imagine, not insignificant wages, he made his debut at Carrow Road in September 2007 in a 2-1 win and he scored his first goals getting both goals in a 2-2 draw at home to Preston in his 3rd appearance. A recurrent hip problem and his subsequent injury record did make some of us wonder about the effectiveness of the club’s medical procedures when signing but perhaps he was regarded as a bit of a gamble that might pay off with the added advantage of shirt sales. Anyway, the inevitable hip operation meant only 13 League and Cup starts scoring 6 times. His one season here could hardly be called a success. A player with an envious goal-scoring record at the highest level in his heyday, Fowler was very much a “Marmite” character with his infamous cocaine-sniffing goal celebration and on pitch homophobic gestures towards Graeme Le Saux resulting in deserved vitriol being aimed at him.

  1. He shares a name with one of the Trumpton Firemen and left the Cardiff City coaching staff in May 2022 – who is he?

For people of a certain age the Mantra “Pugh, Pugh, Barney McGrew, Cuthbert, Dibble, Grubb” brings back fond memories of the stop-motion days of animation exemplified by Trumpton, Camberwick Green and later Wallace and Gromit. Innocent times before the prevalence of computer animation and CGI. And amongst those names read out in the roll call by Commander of the Trumpton Fire Brigade, Captain Flack, is the name “Dibble” which in the context of this question can only refer to Andy Dibble. Andy made his debut for us in goals in May 1982 in what was Ron Healey’s last season with us when we were relegated to Division 3. The following season he played 24 times in competition with Steve Humphries, Martin Thomas, Jim Brown and Eric Steele. However, it was in 1983/84 that Len Ashurst made him first choice and he played 47 times. However, our financial difficulties meant that we could not turn down a bid of £125,000 from Luton so he, together with Gary Bennett and Gordon Owen were sold to fill the coffers and we did not have a goalkeeper that was virtually ever-present in a season until George Wood in 1988/89. After leaving Luton he spent 9 years at Manchester City and rounded off a 24-year playing career in 2006 at Accrington Stanley. Andy is now goalkeeping Coach at Motherwell.