- Ask Steven
Fergie's final trophy haulSteven Lynch May 13, 2013
How many trophies did Sir Alex Ferguson win during his managerial career? And did he win any as a player? asked Michael Davidson
Sir Alex Ferguson called time on his glittering career as a manager with 49 major trophies to his name. Most of them were won during his 27 years at Old Trafford: 13 League championships, five FA Cups, four League Cups, two European Champions League successes and the Cup Winners' Cup in 1990-91. Manchester United also won the Community (formerly Charity) Shield ten times during his reign, one European Super Cup, one Intercontinental Cup, and the FIFA World Club Cup in 2008. With Aberdeen Sir Alex won the Scottish League three times, four Scottish FA Cups, and one League Cup, the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1982-83, and the European Super Cup in 1983. And he also won the Scottish second-tier league with St Mirren in 1976-77. He wasn't quite so prolific as a player, although he did have a good scoring record - 170 goals in 317 matches for various Scottish clubs, including 66 in 89 games for Dunfermline Athletic. He won the second division title in Scotland with St Johnstone in 1962-63 and Falkirk in 1969-70.
Brian O'Driscoll is about to embark on his fourth British Lions tour. Has any player ever taken part in more? asked Tim Madeley
Brian O'Driscoll will become only the third player ever to participate in four British and Irish Lions tours when he takes the field in Australia shortly. The other two are also famous Irishmen, and they both actually went on five Lions tours. Willie John McBride, the legendary lock forward from Ballymena, toured South Africa in 1962, 1968 and 1974, Australia and New Zealand in 1966, and New Zealand in 1971. The pipe-smoking McBride famously captained the star-studded - and unbeaten - 1974 team in South Africa. His long-time team-mate Mike Gibson, a flying centre from Belfast, took part in the last four of those tours (joining the '74 trip as a replacement) and also went to New Zealand again in 1977. McBride played a record 17 Lions Tests, while Gibson is in third place on that list (alongside Graham Price of Wales) with 12; the England scrum-half Dickie Jeeps played 13 times. So far O'Driscoll has won only six Lions caps.
Which horse race is the best portent of success for the Derby? asked Philip Challis
It's arguable really, but probably the best pointer to horses in contention for the Derby in recent years has been the Dante Stakes (the 2013 race is at York on May 16). The winners in 2004 (North Light), 2005 (Motivator) and 2007 (Authorized) all went on to win the Epsom classic - however, since then the Dante winners have drawn a blank, most notably in the case of the Queen's horse Carlton House, a popular Derby favourite in 2011. The probable Derby favourite this year is Dawn Approach, which has just won the 2000 Guineas: it was sired by the 2008 Derby winner New Approach.
When was the last time all four semi-finalists in the world snooker championship were English? asked Karl Bell
The 2013 tournament - when Ronnie O'Sullivan was joined by Barry Hawkins, Judd Trump and Ricky Walden - was only the third time that all four semi-finalists at the Crucible were English. The last occasion was in 1991, when the eventual champion John Parrott beat Steve Davis in one semi-final, and Jimmy White beat Steve James in the other. Davis and White were also involved on the previous occasion, in 1987, contesting one semi while Joe Johnson beat Neal Foulds in the other one.
Rafael Nadal finally lost the Monte Carlo Open after winning every year since 2005. Has anyone else won the same annual tennis event eight years running? asked Martin Kucharek
Novak Djokovic's victory over Rafael Nadal in the recent final of the Monte Carlo Masters (as the tournament has been called since 2000) brought to an end the longest winning run in tennis history. Nadal had indeed won eight successive finals in Monte Carlo, winning every year since 2005. His only previous defeat there was to Guillermo Coria in 2003, when he was 16 (he didn't play there in 2004). Richard Sears won seven successive US Championships in the early days of that event (1881-87), while Eric Sturgess won his native South African Championship seven times running from 1948. Margaret Court won the Australian Championship (now the Australian Open) every year from 1960 to 1966. Pancho Gonzales and Ken Rosewall also had seven-year winning streaks in professional tournaments.
What is the best finish by a Briton in the Giro d'Italia? asked James Burton
Well, I'm writing this before I know the result of this year's race - but the best result by a Briton before this year came in 1987, when Scotland's Robert Millar finished second overall, behind the Irishman Stephen Roche. That year Millar became the only Briton to win the King of the Mountains jersey in the Giro - it was a green one then (it changed to blue in 2012).