A year in words: the quotes of 1999

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The Independent Online

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.

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 illinformed 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 £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.