The 20 Questions Game

20 Questions…

For those of you who subscribe to our podcasts (which you can do on iTunes here), you’ll be fully aware of the 20 Questions game we play – where one member of the pod comes up with a player from a bygone Premier League era, and the rest of the team have 20 yes or no based questions to find out who it is.

It may have been the case that you’ve been left at times wondering just who was that 20 Questions player which the team came up with? Well, fear no more as here is the definitive list of the players that have been mentioned so far, all in glorious nostalgic form:


In order of appearance (with details of first and last appearance dates in Premier League):

(Barnsley; 1997-1998)

(Aston Villa; 2000-2003)

(Bolton Wanderers, Charlton Athletic; 1997-2005)

(Chelsea, Fulham; 1997-2003)

(Chelsea; 2005-2006)

(West Ham United; 1998-2001)

(Nottingham Forest; 1992-2000)

(Everton; 1999-2002)

(Ipswich Town, Tottenham Hotspur; 1994-2004)

(Everton, Sheffield Wednesday; 1992-2002)

(Bolton Wanderers; 2001-2002)

(Sheffield Wednesday; 1995-1998 & Everton, Fulham; 1999-2007)

(Newcastle United, Everton; 1994-1997)

(Leeds United, Bradford City; 1992-2001)

(Southampton; 1999-2005)

(Manchester City; 1995-1996)

(Swindon Town, Manchester City, Sunderland; 1993-2001)

(Fulham; 2004-2009)

(Crystal Palace, Blackburn Rovers, Bolton Wanderers; 1998-2006)

(Arsenal; 1995-1997)

(Chelsea, Southampton, Crystal Palace, Nottingham Forest, Sheffield United; 1992-2007)

(Bolton Wanderers; 2003-2004)

(Leeds United; 1992-1995)

(Sheffield Wednesday; 1999-2000)

(Portsmouth; 2005-2006)

(Wimbledon, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur; 1992-2000)

(Liverpool, Wimbledon, Manchester City, Wolverhampton Wanderers; 1995-2004)

(Nottingham Forest, Blackburn Rovers, Derby County; 1994-2001)

(Southampton; 1996-2005)

(Norwich City; 2004-2005)

(Middlesbrough; 1997-1999)

(Liverpool; 1999-2001)

(Sunderland; 2002)

(Manchester City; 1992-1996)

(Aston Villa, Everton, Bolton Wanderers; 1995-2003)

(Southampton; 1996)



The man who will now eternally be known as the first ever player on the OptaJoke Podcast’s 20 Questions game, and arguably one of the most difficult players chosen so far – the team never guessed Clint Sherwin Marcelle when he was offered up. The former Barnsley man scored the goal which promoted the Tykes to the top flight and played just one season in the Premier League in 1997-98 and then subsequently sunk into football journeyman territory – playing for the likes of Darlington, Scarborough, Hucknall Town, Tamworth and finishing his career at the intriguingly named Armthorpe Welfare. Wikipedia tells us he now runs the  “Clint Marcelle Football Academy”…believe that if you like!

Here’s his most famous moment however – the goal which promoted Barnsley to the Premier League…


ALPAY (Pod 16)

Full name Alpay Fehmi Özalan, he played 57 league games for Aston Villa between 2000 & 2003, and for a period became one of the most hated men in English football in late 2003 after a run-in with David Beckham during the Euro 2004 qualifying campaign…this promptly resulted in his contract being terminated at Villa Park. After ending his career in Germany in 2008, he is now a member of the management committee of Siirtspor – a club who play in the third tier of Turkish football.

Here’s a video of him doing a ‘Nigel de Jong’ on Clarence Seedorf, accompanied by some pleasant rap music…


MARK FISH (Pod 17)

With over 200 Premier League appearances, Mark Anthony Fish was one of the best-known stars of African football in the late 1990s, and plied his trade in England with Bolton Wanderers and Charlton Athletic between 1997 & 2005, suffering mixed fortunes in terms of relegation and success at both clubs. A sturdy centre-back who was linked to Manchester United early in his career, a cruciate ligament injury ended his career at the age of 31 while on loan at Ipswich Town. He became an Ambassador for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa along with great names of recent African football history such as George Weah, Roger Milla and Lucas Radebe.

Here’s Mark promoting a charity called “1 goal”…which was probably the same the number of career goals he scored… (Apologies for the cheap pun!)



The second player in OptaJoke Podcast history to not be guessed by the team, Bjarne Goldbaek spent 5 years of his career in South-West London with Chelsea and then Fulham. Joining the Blues in 1998 with Brian Laudrup going in the other direction to Copenhagen, he gradually fell out of favour at the Bridge and moved a couple of miles to Craven Cottage to help Fulham be promoted to the Premier League in 2001. After moving to Germany in 2003, he retired a couple of years later and became a pundit for Danish sports channel Kanal 5. Therefore, think of him as the Scandinavian Jamie Redknapp.

Here’s officially the 43rd best goal in Chelsea’s history, from Bjarne Goldbaek…



A once shining defensive light of Spanish football, Asier del Horno Cosgaya was one of Jose Mourinho’s signings during the Summer transfer window of 2005. Costing £8 million, it may have been small change for Abramovich, but after winning the league in his first season he promptly left and moved back to Spain despite being a first team regular. Many would argue this was the downfall to Del Horno’s plan as since then injuries have plagued his career and has become a forgotten man of Spanish football – as the national team go from strength-to-strength, a man who once scored in a friendly against England has struggled for fitness and first team appearances. At 29 years of age, he currently plays for La Liga side Levante – by no means a flop but certainly not the star he could have been.

Here’s Asier and Lionel Messi rolling around on the floor looking like idiots in an attempt to win the referee’s affection…



Chosen as the 20 Questions player in the week when the world watched in amazement as the 33 Chilean miners escaped from their underground vault, Javier Luciano Margas was an eccentric defender who played for Harry Redknapp’s West Ham United between 1998 & 2001. Playing for some of his time with the Hammers with claret and blue hair, he became more a cult player than a loyal stalwart to the club. Never really sure if he was coming and going, a couple of years ago Harry Redknapp wrote of the time when Margas’ wife became homesick and went back to Chile so Javier moved into a hotel. One day Redknapp alleges he and the club’s chief executive Peter Storrie visited Javier, but upon seeing them, he jumped out of the window and made a swift exit to the airport. He never played in England again. Since retiring he became a youth team coach at a former club of his in Chile and now runs his own business.

Here’s what appears to be a larger Javier Margas talking about West Ham United…


IAN WOAN (Pod 21)

The first Englishman to appear on 20 Questions, Ian Woan was a member of the Nottingham Forest team that were part of the debut Premier League season, and in total played for 10 years at the East Midlands club. Having never been capped for his country, he left the City Ground in 2000, and after a season at Swindon Town, finished off his career in America in the MLS. Nowadays he is first team coach at Portsmouth, and upon a recent trip to watch Swindon play, I discovered a two-page spread on him in the programme talking about his time at the County Ground which I’ve gone to the trouble of finding for you…

Here’s a 7-1 victory for Nottingham Forest against Sheffield Wednesday during the 94-95 season in which Woan scores, and has a chat to the camera…



Born in 1971, Joe-Max Moore joined Everton in 1999 and became an instant success at Goodison Park by scoring 5 goals in his first 5 games. However, over time he became more of an Ibrahima Bakayoko character than a Big Duncan Ferguson one for the Toffees and his career on Merseyside began to wane as he managed just 3 more league goals during his 3 years at the club, with an injury ultimately ending his time in England in late 2002. Despite that, his career record is relatively successful – enjoying spells in Germany and playing at 3 World Cups for America, while at the same time earning 100 caps for his country. He is the fourth highest goal scorer in the USA’s national team history, and currently spends his days working for his home-based business ‘Xowii’.

Here’s a video with Joe-Max Moore talking about him earning 100 caps for his country…



Mauricio Ricardo Taricco is an Argentine who spent the vast majority of his career playing in England – predominantly for Ipswich Town and Tottenham Hotspur between 1994 & 2004. After drifting into the wilderness, he came back into the English football limelight in November 2009 when Gus Poyet installed him as assistant manager at Brighton & Hove Albion and they currently sit pretty at the top of League One. Then, through amazing coincidence, after being mentioned on the podcast, he promptly scored for Brighton in the FA Cup against FC United of Manchester having previously been sent-off against Woking. Next month he’ll be called up to the Argentina national squad.

Speaking of the FA Cup, here’s the match between Brighton & FC United in which Taricco scored…



Andrew George “Andy” Hinchcliffe is a former England left back who played for Everton & Sheffield Wednesday in the Premier League (along with Man City before it’s birth in 1992). Known for being a regularly occurring sticker in the Panini Premier League sticker books, he won the FA Cup with Everton in 1995 & collected 7 England caps, the first coming during Glenn Hoddle’s first game in charge of the country in late 1996. Since retiring he’s become a successful pundit & co-commentator for Sky Sports.

Here’s the 1995 FA Cup Final, which Hinchcliffe won with Everton, including some fun sounding foreign commentary…


BO HANSEN (Pod 25)

Bo Jannik Nyby Hansen was a striker who played one season for Bolton Wanderers in the Premier League during the 2001/02 season, but only managed to score one league goal – Middlesborough being the unlucky team. He did however manage 15 league goals during 96 appearances for the Trotters during his time at the club in the old Division One. He was a one-cap wonder for Denmark, and had to retire in his early 30s due to osteoarthritis after returning to his homeland after leaving Bolton when they were relegated. Unbelievably, not even Wikipedia tells me what Hansen has gone on to do since retiring from the game in 2004…answers on a postcard please.

Considering Hansen is officially the most elusive player in the 20 Questions Hall of Fame, this video of bloopers includes him, but he only appears briefly at number 15…



The lone Welshman in the 20 Questions Hall of Fame so far, Mark Anthony Pembridge was a left-sided midfielder who played at a variety of clubs in England during the 1990s and 2000s, and was one of a handful of British players to play abroad during his career – granted for only one season – at Benfica in 1998 when Graeme Souness was in charge. A fiery redheaded character, he first appeared in the Premier League in 1995 with Sheffield Wednesday, but regular injuries tended to impact his season appearances. He also played for the same Everton team as fellow 20 Questions player Joe-Max Moore around the turn of the Millenium. After retiring from the game, he stayed on at the final club he played for, Fulham, and is currently a coach for the academy at the South-West London side.

Here’s a great result for Wales in which Pembridge played – their 2-1 win over Italy during the Euro 2004 qualifying campaign…



Say what you like about the 20 Questions players, they’re certainly obscure…and no more so is that true than Marc Hottiger. Although don’t say that to Newcastle and Everton fans, who he played for between 1994 and 1997 – although many worst XI all time Everton websites do list Marc Hottiger along with the likes of Ibrahima Bakayoko & Brett Angell. A standard defender, he’s well known in his home country of Switzerland having represented them 63 times, including at the 1994 World Cup and Euro ’96. There’s not much known about Hottiger since he retired from the game in 2002 after finishing his career in his homeland at FC Sion, but I’m sure Magpies and Toffees fans will remember him fondly…

Hottiger took part in this match between Switzerland and the USA at the 1994 World Cup…



David Wetherall was a traditional English central defender who never played for his country, but played a combined total of over 500 games for Leeds United and Bradford City between 1991 and 2008. He won the league title with Leeds in 1991/92 – the final season before the arrival of the Premier League, but the one moment many neutrals will remember him for is his headed goal that saved Bradford from relegation in 2000. Before becoming a footballer, he completed a degree in Chemistry from the University of Sheffield, and after retiring had a brief stint as manager of Bradford, and has since been heavily involved with anti-racism campaigning in football.

Here’s Wetherall’s goal in Bradford’s 1-0 victory over Liverpool on the last day of the 1999/00 season which kept them up…


JO TESSEM (Pod 29)

Born in Norway, Jo Tessem attempted to make a name for himself on the South Coast between 1999 and 2005 during his time at Southampton and became one the ultimate ‘utility’ players in Premier League history. Primarily a striker by normal trade, his first game for the Saints resulted in him playing right-back which summed up his time at the club – in his later years he dropped out of favour and was sent out on loan, but did collect a runners-up medal for Southampton reaching the FA Cup Final in 2003. He returned to Norway after leaving Southampton, but returned to nearby Bournemouth on a short-term deal in 2008 and was relegated that season. He also tried to foray into management in the lower leagues of the English pyramid system but promptly stopped after one season.

Here’s a goal from Tessem in their match against Norwich during their run to the FA Cup Final in 2003…



Born in 1960, Eike Immel is not only the first goalkeeper to appear in the Hall of Fame, but also the oldest member of this elite panel of footballers so far. He’s that old in fact, he only played internationally during the time of the Berlin Wall, but was always deemed second or third fiddle to Harald Schumacher and Bodo Illgner in the national team. After a long and successful career at Borussia Dortmund and Stuttgart, he joined Manchester City in 1995 for their ill-fated season under Alan Ball, despite having players such as Georgie Kinkladze, Uwe Rosler and Niall Quinn at their disposal up-front and Immel playing every league game that season. Since retiring he has gone on to coach at a number of clubs, and in 2008 appeared on “Ich bin ein Star – Holt mich hier raus!” – the German version of “I’m A Celebrity – Get Me Out Of Here!”

Here’s Eike Immel making the most of his celebrity status in Germany and dueting with a man who looks like Tony Blackburn’s dad in what can only be described as a bloody awful song… they’re no Hoddle & Waddle…



Nicky Summerbee was born into somewhat of a footballing dynasty with his father, grandfather and great uncle all having played professional football before him. Born in Altrincham, he began his playing career at Swindon Town which also signalled the beginning of his Premier League career during the 1993/94 season. He then moved to the team he supported as a child – Man City – but relegation occured in the same side as fellow Hall of Famer Eike Immel. Spells at Sunderland, Bolton, Nottingham Forest, Leicester City and Bradford City all followed before finally hanging up his boots in 2006… yet this ridiculous agency website suggests Summerbee should have come out of retirement for the 2010 World Cup to help England out – anything to help flog him on the after dinner speakers circuit! Nicky is also one of the few members of the 20 Questions Hall of Fame to be on Twitter – you can follow him here.

Here he is causing havoc down the right-wing for Man City during a match in the 1995/96 season…



Not to be confused with his reverse namesake John Collins, Collins John spent 5 years at Fulham in the Premier League between 2004 & 2009, while also having brief spells on loan at Leicester City and, of course, Watford. He netted 20 league goals for the Cottagers, with the 05-06 season being his most prolific, but found himself in and out of the side far too regularly. After leaving Craven Cottage, he moved to Belgium, and then to the USA by joining Chicago Fire. However he left the MLS in November last year and at present he is currently unattached, despite being just 25 years old and having represented his country at international level.

Here he is scoring a free-kick for the Chicago Fire in September 2010 – clearly not enough to keep his job however…



It’s amazing to think Matthew Brooke “Matt” Jansen is still only 33 years old, and to many could have gone on to bigger and better things but for a severe motorcycle accident which nearly killed him in the summer of 2002. Born in Carlisle he plied his Premier League trade at Crystal Palace, Blackburn Rovers and Bolton Wanderers, suffering his share of agony with relegation bouts, but also success as being part of the winning Blackburn Rovers side who won the League Cup in 2002 – Jansen scoring one of the goals in the final. After an illness ruled him out of an England friendly just before the 2002 World Cup, he was left out of the squad to Japan & South Korea and fate resulted in his near-fatal crash which left him in a coma. Miraculously, he managed to play football again, albeit sporadically due to injuries both physically and mentally. Despite all his problems, today he can be found up-front in the 8th level of the football pyramid at Chorley FC in Division One North of the Northern Premier League.

Here is a young Matt Jansen shining as a promising striker for Crystal Palace…



Forget Bergkamp or Overmars, it was Glenn Helder who was the first Dutch import into the Arsenal Premier League squad and was George Graham’s last signing for the club in early 1995 – unfortunately Graham left a week later and that signalled the beginning of the end for Helder as he never suited Bruce Rioch’s plans at the club and struggled for form and made just 39 league appearances for the club. After a promising start to his career, graduating from the Ajax Academy he had decent spells at Sparta Rotterdam and Vitesse Arnhem which led him to England but his career faded rapidly after his time here. He has had his brush with the law since retiring and has admitted trying to commit suicide in the past but is thankfully still with us. Nowadays, he’s an accomplished musician and can be found drumming in places like this.

Speaking of music, here’s Glenn playing drums on the ‘Double Dutch Bus’…



Born in 1974, Neil Jason Shipperley is the definitive ‘big man upfront’ type of footballer who ruled the second tier of English football but never quite cracked the Premier League. Beginning his career at Chelsea at the very start of the Premier League in 1992-93, he moved to several clubs during his time in the top flight but suffered relegation with Crystal Palace twice – once in 1998 having won promotion with them the previous season, and then again in 2005 after just one season having scored the winning goal in the Play-off Final the season before. He was also relegated with Nottingham Forest in 1999, and he even made a fleeting appearance for Sheffield United in their Premier League campaign of 2006-07 after yet again gaining promotion from the second tier. Amazingly, he even had a very brief spell at Watford during his career! Nowadays, he is apparently manager of Walton Casuals who are part of Isthmian League Division One South and he’s certainly ‘enjoying’ retirement if you’ve seen the size of him!

Unbelievably there aren’t many decent quality videos of Shipperley on YouTube, but here’s part of the 2004 Play-off final which he scored in…with some annoying music rather than commentary I’m afraid…



This man is really plunging into the depths of the Premier League’s vast collection of players from years gone by – Born in 1973, Mário Jardel de Almeida Ribeiro had a brief spell at Bolton Wanderers during the 2003-2004 as part of one of Big Sam Allardyce’s gamble signings – this one didn’t exactly pay off though. Jardel himself was a promising talent as a young Brazilian and his goals-per-game ratio is up there with the very best (For Vasco da Gama, Gremio, Porto, Galatasaray and Sporting Lisbon he scored a staggering 262 goals in 290 games), but at Bolton he managed just 7 league games without scoring, although did help Bolton on their way to the League Cup Final that season, finding the net 3 times in that competition. He was then promptly released to Newell’s Old Boys in Argentina in August 2004 and his name was never mentioned at the Reebok Stadium again – had Bolton paid more than €1.5 million for him he could have been considered one of the Premier League’s all time flops, instead he’s a forgotten man. In his later years it’s suggest on Wikipedia that he appeared as a trialist for St Mirren on the 14th July 2007, although this website suggests this may be a hoax, and records denote the game it refers to was actually played on the 17th July

Here’s ‘Super’ Mario in his better years – these are some of his goals at Galatasaray….



Another podcast, another forgotten Premier League player – this time around it was Jamie Mark Forrester. A name which may be well known to some of you in Football League circles after a long career at places such as Scunthorpe, Northampton Town and Lincoln City, but many may not realise he began his career in England at Leeds United at the start of the Premier League era (although not before starting out at Auxerre first!). He made just 9 first team appearances for the Whites before moving to Grimsby Town during the 1994/95 season. He was part of the “Class of ’93” which won the Under-18 European Championships for England and did manage to win the FA Youth Cup with Leeds that year (scoring a great goal in the process), defeating a Man United side containing the likes of David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Gary Neville…and Robbie Savage. He also appeared in the Merlin 1994 Premier League Sticker Book as one of the ‘Rising Stars’ of the game, along with fellow Hall-of-Famer Neil Shipperley and the likes of Darren Eadie, Steve Froggatt, Darren Caskey and Neal Bartlett (nope, me neither, but has apparently played for the likes of Fareham Town, Hastings Town and Tring Town!). Today he resides in Lincoln and has reportedly set-up his own academy. You can also follow him on Twitter here.

There’s no footage circulating on YouTube to our knowledge of his Leeds days, but here’s Jamie scoring two for Northampton Town against Cambridge during the 2000-01 season…



Born in 1974, Gerald Sibon attempted to set alight the blue & white side of Sheffield from 1999 onwards, but unfortunately suffered relegation with the club in his first season. A bustling forward, he did become a fans favourite at Hillsborough during his time at the club, being top goalscorer 3 seasons running but unfortunately he had just one season at the top level with the Owls. He joined from Ajax for £2 million but the season he joined would always be a struggle after Sheffield Wednesday lost 8-0 to Newcastle in September 1999. After leaving Wednesday in 2002, he returned to the Netherlands to play for Heerenveen and PSV, with whom he won 2 league titles, before heading to Australia to play for Melbourne Heart in their inaugural season in the A-League. Oddly enough, he was also selected for the Dutch squad at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, despite being 34 years old at the time and the requirements of an ‘under-23’ squad…you are allowed a couple of older players, but I’m not sure the IOC quite had 34-year-old veterans in mind! He recently left Melbourne after his contract was not renewed, but it’s believed he still resides in Australia.

Here’s one that all Sheffield Wednesday fans will love, Sibon scoring an impressive goal against their city rivals Sheffield United…



Despite playing in the Premier League just 5 years ago, none of the team on the Podcast managed to guess Jhon Eduis Viáfara Mina. Born in 1978, this Columbian midfielder won the 2004 Copa Libertadores with Once Caldas from his homeland, enjoyed the 2005/06 season in the Premier League with Portsmouth under the reign of the much maligned Alain Perrin, scoring a single league goal in fourteen first team appearances. After Harry Redknapp decided he didn’t like the look of him, he was shipped off on loan to Spain and then in 2006 he signed for Pompey’s south coast rivals Southampton. Although never playing in the top flight with the Saints, he is arguably better remembered by most neutrals for his time at St Mary’s and nearly getting the team back into the big time during their near play-off miss in 2007. In 2008 however, homesickness kicked in and he returned to Once Caldas and today is playing for ‘Junior’ (formerly Atlético Junior) in Columbia.

Here he is playing and scoring twice for Southampton in their penalty defeat to Derby in the 2007 Championship play-offs…



Born just a few weeks before England won the World Cup in 1966, John Robert Scales was a former England international central defender who plied his trade for no fewer than 3 Premier League clubs. A member of the classic ‘Crazy Gang’ of Wimbledon who won the FA Cup in 1988, he played in the inaugural season the Premier League in 1992 with the South-West London side. A big move to Liverpool followed in 1994, which also saw him win his 3 England caps under the guise of Terry Venables the following year and a League Cup winners medal. A move to back to London followed in 1996 when he headed to Tottenham Hotspur, but unfortunately constant injuries saw his first team appearances limited. Since his retirement from the game in 2001, Wikipedia lists a variety of things which he’s alleged to have got up to, including coaching the English Beach Soccer team, and playing for an AFC Wimbledon Masters XI. What is confirmed however is he is now a company chairman, and regularly does punditry work on BBC and commerical radio.

John was part of the Liverpool team which played in the ‘Match of the Decade’ in the 1990s – their 4-3 win over Newcastle in 1996…well here it is for us all to enjoy…



At just 34 years of age, it feels as if Mark Kennedy has been around for decades…and he has. The first Irishman to appear on the 20 Questions Game, this left-sided midfielder rose to prominence after a famous goal for Millwall against Arsenal in the FA Cup in 1995. This saw a move to Liverpool, and at the time he became the most expensive teenage transfer in British football history. However, he struggled to ever hold down a place in the youthful side, competing for midfield positions with the likes of Steve McManaman and Jamie Redknapp. After a season at Wimbledon, he joined Manchester City in 1999 and won promotion in his first season, and then relegation the season after. A 5-year spell at Wolverhampton Wanderers followed, which again saw promotion and relegation to the Premier League occur in simultaneous seasons. After last appearing in the top flight with Wolves in 2004, he has since had spells at Crystal Palace and Cardiff City before joining Ipswich Town in 2010. He also managed 34 caps for the Republic of Ireland during his career.

As mentioned earlier, here’s the goal which made his career – during Millwall’s 2-0 win at Highbury in 1995…



Lars Roar Bohinen was a central midfielder who was part of the influx of Norweigan players into the Premier League during the mid-1990s – along with the likes of Øyvind Leonhardsen, Stig Inge Bjørnebye, Gunnar Halle, Henning Berg, Alf-Inge Håland and Jan Åge Fjørtoft, all of whom joined the Premier League in the early-to-mid 1990s and were part of Norway’s USA ’94 squad (in fact an impressive 12 of that 22-man squad played in the Premier League during the 90s). Bohinen began at Nottingham Forest under the guidance of Frank Clark, gaining promotion with them in 1994. After Blackburn Rovers won the league in 1995, he signed for the Lancashire side but was unable to help them retain the title. After a few seasons at the club he headed back to the East Midlands and joined Derby County for a transfer fee of around £1.5 million, but his time at the Rams was generally considered a mixed experience and never gained the love from the fans which the likes of Igor Stimac and Francesco Baiano earned during a similar period at the club. After retiring in 2003, he now works as a pundit in his homeland for commerical TV station ‘TV 2’ – he can also be found on Twitter here.

Here he is scoring a fantastic individual goal for Blackburn against Manchester United at Old Trafford…



Born in 1973, Claus Lundekvam was a one-club man in the Premier League era, appearing over 300 times for Southampton between 1996 & 2005, and then staying with them after relegation from the top flight that season. Joining from Norwegian side Brann, he was a regular Norway international as well during his playing career. The archetypal central-defender – strong, tall, and more likely to score own goals than goals in the right net – he was a hero at The Dell, and latterly St Mary’s, during his time at the club, captaining them for several seasons, and being part of the Southampton side who lost the 2003 FA Cup Final to Arsenal. Since confirming his retirement in 2008, he has had his brush with the law, both in terms of drink-driving and assault, but today he works as a ‘Premier League Expert’ for Norwegian TV channel TV2, and has recently discussed the possibility of returning to play the beautiful game for Austevoll – a second division side in Norway, and where Lundekvam was born and raised as a child. He can also be found on Twitter here, although as you can see, most of his musings are written in Norwegian so may not be much use to you!

Claus only ever scored two goals during his career on the south coast, and here’s the first of them – during a 4-1 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers in 2004…



Blink and you’d have missed his time in the Premier League, yet this man is the first person in 20 Questions history to have won the Champions League. Thomas Lund Helveg is currently Denmark’s third most capped international footballer of all-time, and plied the most successful part of his career in Italy, for Udinese and then both Milan teams. He did join Norwich City however, from Internazionale, in the summer of 2004 – for Norwich’s return season to the top flight. But ultimately struggled – he lost his starting place early on in the season, and due to injuries struggled to ever regain it – often playing in central midfield rather than his customary position in the back four, and then finally finishing the season at right-back. Norwich were relegated straight back to the second tier of English football, and Helveg swiftly moved to Germany with Borussia Monchengladbach. Today he currently works as the assistant coach at Odense BK in his native Denmark – the club where he started his successful career.

His time at Carrow Road may not have been a happy one, but every football fan remembers one thing from their 2004/05 season…Delia Smith shouting “WHERE ARE YOU?!”…



Born in 1969, Vladimir Kinder will be remember by all Middlesbrough fans…well, hopefully, for his short time as left-back at the club in the late 1990s which saw the club reach cup finals and suffer relegation heartache. He joined during the 1996-97 season in a star-studded team including Juninho, Fabrizio Ravinelli, Emerson and Branco which still managed to get relegated (although this was predominantly because of a points deduction due to them postponing a fixture against Blackburn Rovers). The season will always be remembered for them reached both the League Cup and FA Cup Finals, but losing both matches to Leicester City and Chelsea respectively. Kinder remained at the club for the 1997-98 season which saw them gain automatic promotion back to the Premier League, now with a side including the likes of Paul Gascoigne, Paul Merson and Marco Branca. Their return season in 1998-99 saw them cement their position in the top flight of English football with a finish of 9th. Kinder moved to FK Drnovice in the Czech Republic during that close season, having made 37 league appearances for the club, scoring 5 goals in the process. He also has the odd distinction of playing for two different national teams – being capped once for Czechoslovakia before it was separated in 1993, and then for Slovakia.

Kinder was part of the Middlesbrough team which played in one of the most famous FA Cup Semi-Finals of all-time – their 3-3 draw with Chesterfield in 1997. In arguably his most famous moment at the club, he was sent-off during this game…



When you think of Liverpool’s Premier League strikers, you instantly think of Fowler, Rush, Owen…but it could take several hours for even some die-hard Liverpool fans to name Erik Meijer. The Dutchman signed for the club on a Bosman transfer in 1999 during Gerard Houllier’s time in charge, but never managed to score in the Premier League – his only goals coming in the League Cup. Despite a physical presence which would suit the English game, even a loan spell at Preston North End failed to ignite his career in England. But he truly left his legacy at the club when he watched the 2001 UEFA Cup Final in Dortmund between Liverpool & Alaves in the Liverpool fans section of the ground, having gone drinking with many of them before kick-off! This incident, along with his sheer passion on the pitch, earned him cult status at Anfield, as confirmed by him appearing 99th on the list of “100 Players Who Shook The Kop” – sandwiched between John Wark and a player from the 1920s called Tom Bromilow. Today he still works in football, as the Director of Sport for Alemannia Aachen in Germany.

Speaking of the 2001 UEFA Cup Final, Meijer didn’t play, but at least he was certainly there in spirit – so here’s highlights of that exciting match…with some rather entertaining American commentary…



An Olympic gold medallist, but instantly forgettable for his time in the Premier League, Henri Patrick Mboma Dem was a well-travelled Cameroon striker who played for Sunderland during the second half of the 2001-2002 season. Signed by Peter Reid – team-mate Jason McAteer called his arrival a “breath of fresh air” – he scored on his second appearance, and his first start for the club, in a 2-1 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur, but never managed to hit the back of the net again during his time at the Stadium of Light. His career has seen him play in France, Italy, England and Japan and he holds an impressive international goal scoring record of 33 goals in 57 internationals, which includes a gold medal from the 2000 Sydney Olympics, and African Nations Cup winners medals from 2000 and 2002.  Since retiring in 2005, Mboma appears to have tried his hand at a number of things, and recently pledged his support to a pan-African reality TV football show called “African Football Dream Team“.

Mboma’s success at international level is very impressive, and here’s Cameroon’s 2000 African Nations Cup victory over Nigeria in which he also scored…



Only the second ever goalkeeper to appear in the 20 Questions Hall of Fame, and both played for Manchester City! This man stumped not only the guys on the podcast, but many of you at home – the elusive Welsh goalkeeper who played for City in the 90’s wasn’t Andy Dibble, but instead was the even lesser known Martyn Walter Margetson! Born in Neath in 1971, he began his career at Maine Road at the age of 18 and was a regular bench-warmer for many years to come – he never made his long-term break into the first team squad until after City were relegated in 1996 – making a number of Premier League appearances which you can count on just one hand! He left Manchester in 1998 and went on to play for the likes of Southend United, Huddersfield Town and Cardiff City in the Football League, during which time he earned a cap for his country in 2004. After retiring he went on to run a housing property company with his former Cardiff team mate John Robinson. Less excitingly however, he’s currently the goalkeeper coach at Cardiff City.

Naturally, there’s not much interesting footage of Margetson, but he was in goal for this legendary own goal from Man City’s Jamie Pollock…



The second man in the 20 Questions Hall of Fame to come from the Emerald Isle, midfielder Gareth Farrelly began his professional career when he was signed by Aston Villa in 1992 at the age of just 16 but didn’t make his debut until 1995. After just a handful of games for the Midlands club he moved to Everton for two years, and infamously scored his only goal for the club, against Coventry City, which also saw them stay up on the last day of the 1997/98 Premier League season. He then moved on to Bolton Wanderers in late 1999, and eventually helped them gain promotion to the top flight in 2001 – scoring the first goal in the Play-off Final along the way. However, despite the team’s promotion, Farrelly struggled to hold down a place in Sam Allardyce’s team, and from 2002 onwards had spells on loan at Rotherham United, Burnley and Bradford City, before moving to Wigan Athletic on a free transfer in March 2004. Later that year he moved back to Ireland to become player manager at Bohemians for a couple of years, and then solely as a player for Cork City. While at Cork in 2008 he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, but thankfully recovered back to full health. The last that was heard of him was he had signed for Unibond North side Warrington Town in 2010.

Having mentioned it earlier, he’s arguably his most famous moment as a player – scoring the goal which kept Everton up in 1998…


ALI DIA (Pod 50)

Not to be mistaken for the world’s all-time leading goalscorer in international matches – Ali Daei – this man is perhaps the individual which encapsulates the ethos of the 20 Questions Hall of Fame – obscurity, insignificant and unforgettable. Born in Senegal, Ali Dia played in just one match in the Premier League, coming on as a substitute for Southampton on the 23rd November 1996 against Leeds United. After coming on for an injured Matt le Tissier, he lasted 53 minutes before being subbed off for Ken Monkou. He never played for the Saints again. The legend of the story goes however, the manager of the club at the time; Graeme Sounness, received a phone call from an individual claiming to be the World Player of the Year George Weah. He told Souness that Dia was his cousin, had played for Paris Saint-Germain, and had played over a dozen times for his country. None of which was true of course, and the individual certainly wasn’t the former AC Milan striker! Dia was given a one-month contract, lasted just a couple of days, and after surprisingly being put on the subs bench by Sounness for the match against Leeds, managed to play at the Dell. By Monday morning, he had gone. Wikipedia says (with references) that he played briefly for non-league Gateshead after his short stint on the South coast, and he went on to study business at Northumbria University, graduating in 2001. Also, and perhaps most amazingly, the Daily Mail list him at only number 4 in the worst strikers in Premier League history!

A few football documentaries exist which mention Dia, and here’s one of them broadcast on Sky a few years back detailing his cult story in greater detail…


So there you go – all the legends of the 20 Questions game from the OptaJoke Podcast all in one place! If you’d like to check out the back catalogue of podcasts and relive the moments where these players were mentioned, you can find them on iTunes here or alternatively if you don’t have iTunes, on Libsyn here.


5 Responses to The 20 Questions Game

  1. Guy Hannah says:

    Is it Thomas Helveg?

  2. Joe says:

    Gary ‘the man mountain’ Doherty?

  3. Adam James says:

    Tomasz Radzinski?

  4. Guy says:

    I think i’m a bit late but just listened to the podcast and it must be a liverpool player, can only think of Smicer and Baros but think Baros is still playing so going to go for Smicer?

  5. carl james says:

    is week 47 who am i ,,patrick mboma sunderland

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