The bizarre and almost certainly suspect circumstances that have made Portsmouth the favourites to win this year's FA Cup have spurred me into a little research. (Or to be more precise, aimless wafting through Wikipedia.)
Trivia hounds will know that the only time Pompey have got their salty paws on the trophy was in 1939, and since competitive football essentially closed down for the duration of the war, they claim quite rightly that they have held the FA Cup longer than any other team. Some nerds may also be aware that manager Jack Tinn ascribed the team's triumph to his "lucky spats". What's not remembered so well is that Pompey's opening goal was scored by one Bert Barlow.
I'm sure I'm not alone in thinking that if more footballers were called Bert Barlow (and more managers wore spats, rather than unpleasant branded cagoules), the sport and the world would be a better place.
And it's equally intriguing that in the first FA Cup of which I have a coherent memory (1975), not only were all the players, officials and managers English, but five members of the losing Fulham team were called John.