Pompey, the Game's Afoot! ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS

Article excerpt

QUESTION Has any top footballer ever published a novel?

THE creator of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930), fits the description.

When Doyle moved to Southsea in 1882, the newly-qualified Scottish doctor began taking a part in the local community. He not only became a founder member of Portsmouth Football Club in 1884, but was also the team's first goalkeeper.

I wonder what his most famous creation would deduce from observing today's Portsmouth team and the relationship between Harry Redknapp and Milan Mandaric.

John Dowd, Portsmouth.

QUESTION Is it possible to buy a non-curly cord telephone wire that links the handset to the phone? My curly one is for ever in a tangle and, after several mishaps, is driving me to distraction.

THE use of curly cord was developed by the Western Electric company in the U.S. during World War II for various military communication purposes, not just on telephones but on things such as headsets, too.

Before this, telephone cable was straight - and regarded as somewhat cumbersome. …