A year in words: the quotes of 1999

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Maybe I'm going to blow it but I'm going to enjoy it even if I do. Jean van de Velde on his five-shot lead after the third round of the Open Championship at Carnoustie. He lost out to Paul Lawrie.

I just didn't feel comfortable hitting a wedge. To me it's against the spirit of the game, and maybe it would have been against the spirit of a Frenchman. Van de Velde on why he did not play conservatively at the final hole.

I played 71 holes very well. Can I go out and play the last one again now? Next time, I'll play the wedge, I promise. Van de Velde.

This is really beyond a joke. He's gone ga-ga. Peter Alliss, BBC commentator, on the final hole at Carnoustie.

It's unfair. Tom Watson on the Open course.

If I were a spectator I'd ask for my money back. Nick Price.

They thought they could come here and rip it apart. Who the hell do they think they are? John Philp, Carnoustie course superintendent.

He came up on 18 and he told me: `I don't care if I win or not. I'm so excited. This is the most fun I've ever had.' Jerry Higginbotham, Sergio Garcia's caddie, after the Spanish teenager's second place in the US PGA.

He is in a comfort zone and I think he just enjoys it. He likes to earn his fat cheques each week. There is no harm in that - if you are motivated by that. Most of us go for 10 claret jugs. Nick Faldo on Colin Montgomerie.

It's serious and we are both out here to win, but at the end I will shake Ben [Crenshaw] warmly by the throat and we'll have a beer. Europe's Ryder Cup captain, Mark James, on suggestions that the contest had become too intense.

It certainly puts into perspective little things like missed putts. Van de Velde on the death of Payne Stewart.

Two jars of Russian caviare did the trick. Nikolai Latyshev, former World Cup referee, claims that Russian linesmen Tofik Bakhramov received a bung before the 1966 World Cup final.

I said I wanted us to draw them but I was only trying to look big. Chris Coleman, Fulham defender, on his side's FA Cup draw against Manchester United.

I told my lads if they signed for Man Utd they'd have to keep their shirts in the garage. Marcus Walmsley, Leeds fan, whose eight-year-old twins, Marcus and Edward, turned down United for Leeds.

I only drink when we win a trophy. Maybe people think I'm an alcoholic. Rangers midfielder Ian Ferguson after winning his 23rd medal with the Ibrox side.

The Tall Ships Race was on in Greenock. Clydebank manager Ian McCall explains why his side's Scottish League Cup tie with East Stirling attracted a crowd of 29.

I hope those anti-Semites don't lose to Cyprus on purpose. Dundee United and Israel footballer Jan Talasnikov on the Austrian national team in the Euro 2000 qualifiers, a remark for which he was dropped.

I stopped for breakfast on my way up to Lord's. Some bloke spotted me and called out: `You've got a job on your hands, haven't you?' Nasser Hussain on his appointment as England cricket captain.

Whenever we lose I call home and tell the wife to park the car at the next-door neighbours. Wasim Akram, Pakistan cricket captain, whose house is stoned whenever his team loses.

My nose could have gone through my brain. I'm just lucky I'm alive. Steve Waugh, after a collision during Australia's Test against Sri Lanka.

You can see the pleasure our boys get from the way we play. They tackle hard and enjoy hurting the opposition. It is part of our game. Samoa coach Bryan Williams on his Rugby World Cup side.

France played supermarket rugby, muzak rugby, the sort of easy-playing rugby you watch and think about something else. The former French prop Serge Simon on the early World Cup display against Namibia.

There was no malice. I didn't go for the guy's head. I decided just to rake his hand to release the ball. The South Africa centre Brendan Venter on his sending-off against Uruguay.

God gave us victory today - it had to be part of his game-plan. I've got a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I know he's my saviour. The South African fly-half, Jannie de Beer, on his five drop goals in the victory over England.

BUGGEUR! Wellington headline after France's win over New Zealand.

I'm going to leave it to the new generation, to the crash-it-up robots. David Campese announces his retirement.

If I win this tournament [the US Open] then I will buy two other trophies so we all get one. Goran Ivanisevic on his supposed multiple personalities.

It was like an alien abduction out there. Someone invaded his body and turned him into the greatest volleyer in the universe. Jim Courier, after his fourth-round defeat to Tim Henman at Wimbledon.

They ought to rename London Towers the Alton Towers, the way we have been up and down this season. Basketball player Martin Henlan.

We had 20 turnovers against a team which is no taller than the back of a chair. The England basketball coach Laszlo Nemeth, whose side with three players of seven feet lost at home to Switzerland in the European Championship.

Following Mike is like following Muhammad Ali. We're all Larry Holmes. Basketball player Grant Hill after Michael Jordan announced his retirement.

America would willingly take Clinton's retirement in exchange for Jordan's. Italian newspaper `La Repubblica'.

Some drivers will not let others through because they have long memories. But there are others out there who lack grey matter between the ears and simply don't care. Ron Dennis, head of McLaren, on Formula 1 back-markers.

We are not concerned whether the drivers like the cars or not. Because they are paid so much, they are not entitled to like or dislike them. Max Mosley, president of FIA, F1's governing body.

It is difficult to take when you win in Australia and see a six-paragraph report - five and a half paragraphs about Colin's crash and half a paragraph about me. Richard Burns, British rally driver, on his rival Colin McRae.

I didn't know whether to be sick, cry or just pass out. Decathlete Dean Macey, after his personal best in the 1500m secured a World Championships silver medal.

It takes a certain skill to have great Olympians in one decade and athletics in the hands of the receivers the next. Alan Pascoe, former 400m hurdle champion, on British athletics' troubles.

I can go home now, sleep at nights and be a nice person for a while. Carl Fogarty, after winning his fourth Superbikes World Championship.

When I entered the game, rugby league players were considered by a lot of ill- informed people to be fat, beer-drinking, balding prop forwards. Well they're not. They're dazzling, skilful athletes - and I wanted them to be recognised for that. The outgoing Super League Europe managing director, Maurice Lindsay.

Ten years ago you were called a poof if you played soccer. Alan Mullally, England bowler who was brought up in Australia, on the country's rising football fortunes.

Jeez, 80 per cent of our best athletes play Aussie Rules. Imagine what we'd be like if all those other guys started playing other sports. Pat Cash, former Australian tennis player, on his country's sporting pre-eminence.

If this had been in Australia, I'd have taken him out into the car park, or had it been a game of football I'd have smacked him in the eye. Ian Schuback, bowls player and former Australian Rules footballer, who fell out with his opponent David Gourlay at the Preston Guild Hall.

It looks as if I shall be eating soup in a basket tonight. Frank Warren after paying Don King pounds 7.2m in their parting of the ways.

I was a heartbeat away from disqualifying him. Another body slam, another forearm and he was out of there. The referee Dale Grable after Naseem Hamed's victory over Cesar Soto.

Whatever you say about Mike Tyson, at least in between biting ears and going to jail he came to the ring and fought. This made me want to puke. It shamed boxing. Naseem is just a silly little prick. He should stick to dancing. Bob Arum, Soto's promoter.

Holyfield's been through a lot of great fights, and now he's coming up to retirement. Lennox Lewis, the day before beating Evander Holyfield in their rematch.

I had a great time in boxing. I may come back. Muhammad Ali, after being given the BBC Sports Personality of the Century award.


`She's what I call a pitching wedge - looks good from 150 yards'

If you had six strong women on the committee of the FA, they would have stopped the tabloids months ago from hounding him, because that is what we're like. Eileen Drewery, on the sacking of Glenn Hoddle as England coach.

But then we wouldn't have so much to spend on petunias. Chris Gorringe, Chief Executive of the All England Club, on equal prize money.

I want someone a little younger than that. She's what I call a pitching wedge. She looks good from about 150 yards. Pete Sampras on Andre Agassi's relationship with Barbra Streisand.

If that had happened at home with my two little boys I would have smacked them both across the legs. Policewoman at the scene of a spat between Blackburn manager Brian Kidd and Liverpool coach Phil Thompson.

It does not matter if they are ladies, men or alsatian dogs. If they are not good enough to run the line they should not get the job. Gordon Strachan, after assistant referee Wendy Toms did not flag for an offside for his Coventry team.

Italian players behave like big girls, rolling around 25 times a game at the slightest excuse. They might as well put on women's underwear. Frank Lebeouf, of Chelsea.

He bought me a one-way ticket back to Rio. Susana Werner, on being dumped by Ronaldo.

David is actually a really intelligent person. He's really deep. Victoria Adams, on her husband, David Beckham.

They've already taken over tennis. Nobody can sell sweets and popcorn like they can. Tennis was dead before my girls came along. Richard Williams, on his daughters Serena and Venus.

We're going to have a competition to see who's first to win six Wimbledons. Serena.

I'm inconsolable. I was a very good friend of Jordan - he was probably the greatest basketball player this country has ever seen. Mariah Carey, singer, on being told of the death of King Hussein of Jordan.


`We shouldn't have shoot-outs. We should have a shoot-the-ref shoot-out'

You and I have been physically given two hands and two legs and half-decent brains. Some people have not been born like that for a reason. The karma is working from another lifetime. What you sow you reap. You have to look at things that happened in your life and ask why. Glenn Hoddle, in the interview that led to his dismissal as England coach.

I can't believe it. I can't believe it. Football, eh? Bloody hell. Alex Ferguson, Manchester United manager, after his side's last-minute victory in the European Cup final.

We've got an advantage, I suppose, because I speak the language. Kevin Keegan, England's German-speaking coach, on being drawn in Germany's group for the 2002 World Cup.

I want them all standing there singing the National Anthem. I'm not saying I'll drop them if they don't sing it - well, only if they're out of tune. Keegan, before his first England game, against Poland.

After last night, about 20. Keegan, after Scotland's victory at Wembley, asked how many Euro 2000 warm-up games he would like.

I blame the players. It was nothing to do with me. Ruud Gullit, then Newcastle manager, after defeat to Spurs.

People will say this is not before time. Who am I to argue?

Brian Clough on having a stand named after him at Nottingham Forest.

I hope they all get bloody diarrhoea. Clough on Manchester United's decision to opt out of the FA Cup to play in Brazil.

I don't like all these passes. Egil Olsen, Wimbledon manager, on his philosophy.

He might have stabbed a referee for all we know, like most of us want to do from time to time. The Rushall secretary Peter Athersmith on the importance of getting information on their Kosovan player, Dino Shabani.

Referees should be wired up to a couple of electrodes and they should be allowed to make three mistakes before you run 50,000 volts through their genitals. John Gregory, Aston Villa manager.

I don't think we should have shoot-outs. We should have a shoot-the- ref shoot-out. Gregory, after his side's Worthington Cup shoot-out defeat to West Ham following a late penalty decision.


`It sums up the Brighton, the Hove, and the Albion'

I was going at quite a high speed. The giraffe just crossed in front of me. Carlos Sainz on the problems of the Safari Rally in Kenya.

My dad played with Elvis quite a few times. Ian Feuer, Rushden & Diamonds goalkeeper and musician's son.

I've never been to Canada but I've seen where it is on the map. Marc Bircham, of Millwall and Canada.

Like the Tibetans, I have learnt to understand myself, even if you never fully can. Emmanuel Petit, of Arsenal.

He's big, he's black, he's had a heart attack. Arsenal fans' song for Nwankwo Kanu, who had cardiac trouble at Internazionale.

I like the English. You are les rosbifs. I like your accent when you speak French. And I like the English food. But not the vegetable. It is not green when you have cooked it. It does not look like a vegetable. Olivier Peslier, jockey.

Like running with a hair-dryer down your throat. Ray Mouncey, ultra- distance runner, on racing through Death Valley.

We wouldn't have been stupid enough to go out in that weather and play a silly-ass game and freeze to death. We would have been inside listening to jazz, joking and drinking rum. Earl Woods, Tiger's father, on the Scots' invention of golf.

We are not bringing the game into disrepute, so if you are going to write to the Rugby Union, such as it is, I have a message for you: don't be such a sad bastard, get a life. And before I hear from Major- General Sir Humpty-Dumpty Trumpton (RFU deceased), this really is just a bit of fun. Brian Moore on his video, `Moore's Pitbull Punch-Ups'.

I believe in Frankenstein, I believe in alien beings, I believe in God but most of all I believe in on-loan goalkeepers that can score goals in the 94th minute. Carlisle chairman Michael Knighton after Jimmy Glass's injury-time goal against Plymouth preserved his side's League status.

I've played my last match, scored my last goal and elbowed my last opponent. Blackburn's Martin Dahlin announces his retirement.

For me it sums up the Brighton, the Hove and the Albion. Chris Eubank on Brighton's sponsorship deal with Skint Records.

I've tried surgical spirit, Friar's Balsam and urine in a bucket. They are all pretty similar. Graeme Swann, Northamptonshire bowler, on toughening the skin on his spinning finger.

I've been putting my head in vinegar. Paul Ingle preparing for his featherweight title fight with Manuel Medina, who had suffered three stoppages due to head-butts.


`I'm not only here to play countries like Andorra and Armenia'

Marc plays only for himself. He makes me run like a dog. Nicolas Anelka, then of Arsenal, on his team-mate Marc Overmars.

Once again, I had to manage to score all on my own. Anelka, after another game.

The award means a lot - and at the same time nothing. It is something I hadn't given a moments thought to. Anelka, on failing to turn up to receive his PFA Young Player of the Year award.

Why should I? [watch the Charity Shield]. I'm no longer part of Arsenal and it doesn't interest me. To hell with the English people. Anelka.

I can't come into a team where everyone knows each other and can play together. It was very difficult. Anelka, after his first game for Real Madrid, in which he played poorly.

He has not got an important injury. What he needs is work and not rest. Real Madrid club doctor, after Anelka missed another match.

Today I am at a low and lots of people are torpedoing me. I know who they are and the day I am back at the top I will remember it. Anelka.

I'm very happy at Chelsea. But I don't want to be the club cretin. Frank Lebeouf, who feels he is underpaid.

I'm not here only to play against countries like Andorra and Armenia. Lebeouf, who said he would consider his international future if not selected to play for France against Russia.

English football is hard work - you have to run all the time. Nwankwo Kanu on life with Arsenal.

I don't like the foreign lads coming in and moaning, `the league's too long' or they need more days off or they're returning home. They should respect the English game. Paul Gascoigne.

Being in the same team as Michael Schumacher is like being hit over the head with a cricket bat four days in a row. Eddie Irvine.

`I can't help the way I look' - Tennis player Anna Kournikova

`To hell with the English people' - Nicolas Anelka, just after leaving Arsenal