Choice Signing/Weakest Link
Lee Hughes was the object of most clubs' desires, with supporters of 22 clubs nominating him as their one to sign. Nottingham Forest and, more predictably, West Brom were the two exceptions. The ginger one was followed by John Hartson (14 clubs), Tommy Mooney and Chris Bart-Williams (each 13 clubs) in the popularity stakes.
The Weakest Link polls were wide-ranging but included (deep breath) 179 different players, 15 areas of teams, 11 Chairmen, 10 Managers, 9 sets of Supporters, 7 Boards of Directors, 6 Coaches/Assistant Managers, 5 Ticket Offices/Admin Staff, 4 Mascots (including both Harry and Harriet), 3 Chief Executives, 2 Ex-Chairmen, 2 Stadia (and one lack thereof), 2 Bank Balances, 2 rival clubs and 2 Referees. There were also votes for one of each of the following: a fitness coach, a Chairman's Brother, an ex-Manager, a Travel Manager, a Director, a Toilet Cleaner, a set of supporters of a nearby Premiership club who play at Old Trafford, a Programme Seller, a set of caterers (guess), a tannoy announcer and a nation (the Norwegians). Supporters of 11 clubs claimed not to have a weakest link, whilst fans of 4 clubs thought everything was wrong and one individual didn't know.
Best Ever Elevens
Worthy of note are Steve Bruce - for making it into three best-ever elevens as well as winning "weakest link" votes from Palace before he's even taken charge of a game, and Stuart Pearce - for being the only person to unanimously claim a position in a best-ever team, no challengers daring to contest the Forest left-back slot. Eighteen candidates were suggested as Palace's best ever right-back, clearly a problem position, including one vote for Dean Austin, the club's "Weakest Link". Birmingham's 23 nominations in midfield, fourteen of whom were nominated once only, are probably also worthy of note. Finally, if anyone were in any doubt regarding the potential of Crewe's Dean Ashton, the fact that he gained two votes more than the next most popular nominee for the all-time team from this fabled production line speaks volumes. Is he seventeen yet...?
Manchester City fans, deep in Corrie country, expressed the highest degree of indifference to this category, followed closely by fellow Lancastrians Stockport and Burnley. The vast majority of Stuart's support came in Watford, unsurprisingly, although he did gather 15 votes from elsewhere. Zoe found favour in Barnsley, Norwich and Nottingham with one third of correspondents at each club voting for her. Kat, Lynn, Little Mo and Big Mo find their fanclubs in Norwich, Grimsby, Barnsley and Sheffield Wednesday respectively.
Overall, Zoe won the most votes (165) followed by Kat (143), Stuart (65), Little Mo (46), Big Mo (31) and Lynn (13). 275 obviously don't watch the right telly.
Most popularly received by Gillingham (who are virtually French anyway) and Norwich (where Delia's influence is clearly rubbing off), Aubergines were utterly rejected by the Yorkshire vote, the five Yorkshire clubs being the five with the lowest rate of acceptance in the division.
Walsall take the pie-eating crown, with an average of over 15 pies per supporter per season. If I was being really arsey I'd allow for the greater number of games Walsall fans saw. But I'm not. PNE and Pompey trailed in the Saddlers' wake. More revealingly Wimbledon and Palace came in 24th and 23rd respectively in terms of pie consumption... a message for the caterers at Selhurst, perhaps ?
PNE proudly boast the messiest living rooms, followed by Walsall. This paints a clear enough picture of our respondents from these clubs, who were also the highest pie consumers. Half of PNE's respondents likened their living rooms to Wembley Stadium... Pompey's vote may have been biased by the use of Steve Claridge as one possible response category. West Brom and Sheff U fans claim to have the tidiest living rooms.
Burnley fans were fondest of the sunny months, followed by Barnsley and Coventry, who can be excused for having had quite enough of the football season. Birmingham and Forest claimed to enjoy the summer the least.
Gillingham were Cricket's biggest advocates, followed by Bradford and Coventry. Stockport were the only side where less than half the respondents voted in favour, which is as good a commendation for Stockport as I can think of. Except the McVities factory...