From Jordan to Jonny: quotes of the year

Click to follow
The Independent Online

She did sing "Who Let The Dogs Out?" to me and there's no need for that. Like I always say - she's got all the money in the world but it can't buy you looks. She's just a footballer's wife now, isn't she?

Jordan, model and former partner of Dwight Yorke, on Victoria Beckham.

If the British and the Australians want to keep cricket as a white and colonial sport, then they should do so alone because we are not interested in their rubbish. This is obviously not about safety and security, it is just political mumbo-jumbo.

Jonathan Moyo, Zimbabwe government spokesman, on the row over whether to fulfil World Cup fixtures in Zimbabwe.

Cricketing countries will have to ask themselves whether they should play in England, a country prepared to visit far more destruction on Iraq than Mr Mugabe has ever visited on his own land.

Imran Khan, former Pakistan captain.

Same old story. Lost the Ashes 4-1.

Nasser Hussain, England cricket captain.

He's a tree surgeon who once had to have his arm sewn back on, so facing Thierry Henry won't faze him.

Graham Westley, Farnborough Town owner/manager, on his centre-back Nathan Bunce, after drawing Arsenal in the fourth round of the FA Cup.

I'm glad they did it before I died.

Margaret Court, after Melbourne Park's Show Court One was renamed to honour her before the Australian Open.

People live an adventure, they are passionate. We cannot put everything into question after this accident. The competitors are adults. Everyone is master of his own fate.

Hubert Auriol, director of the Paris-Dakar Rally, after the death in a crash of the Frenchman Bruno Cauvy.

There is a psychological value... You can imagine when the players of an opposition team go out knowing that Darth Vader is watching them.

Uri Geller, Exeter co-chairman, on Dave Prowse joining the board of honorary directors.

There is nothing like wealth for dulling desire.

Barry McGuigan, doubting whether Naseem Hamed will return to the ring.

I don't know what's happening in the world. No one is content with what they are doing in their own life any more.

Hal Sutton, American golfer, on the plan for Annika Sorenstam to play some men's events.

We would like him to be our spiritual leader.

Zong Bohong, coach of Gansu football team, on their new recruit Paul Gascoigne.

I would like to be a woman, though I don't know why.

Djibril Cissé, Auxerre striker, who owns a Jean-Paul Gaultier dress.

If I'm going to lie on my back for an hour, I expect to be enjoying myself.

Margaret Johnston, Irish bowls player, who withdrew from an international because sports psychologists wanted her to lie on a towel and meditate.

We are mourning the death of democracy in our beloved Zimbabwe. We are making a silent plea to those responsible to stop the abuse of human rights in Zimbabwe ... We cannot in good conscience take to the field and ignore the fact that millions of our compatriots are starving, unemployed and oppressed.

Statement by Andy Flower and Henry Olonga on why they wore black armbands for their opening cricket World Cup match.

Poisoned by his mother? Good, very good. It ranks up there with "I got it from the toilet seat".

Dick Pound, chairman of the World Anti-Doping Agency, after Shane Warne blamed his mother for his positive drugs test.

If you are that full of yourself, as Arsenal are, it can come back to haunt you.

Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United manager, after Arsenal had taken an eight-point lead over his side in the Premiership.

Next, a man who's fulfilled every schoolboy's dream - he's won the Double, captained England and driven a car into a brick wall at very high speed! Ladies and gentleman, Tony Adams!

Sanjeev Bhaskar on The Kumars at No 42.

We lived the dream.

Peter Ridsdale, former Leeds chairman, who put the club £80m in debt.

If he thinks he's got pressure now, things are going to get 10 times worse.

George Best on Wayne Rooney.

It was easy.

Barry Geraghty, Grand National-winning jockey.

Should women become members? Yes.

Tiger Woods on Augusta National.

I won't tell Tiger how to play golf if he doesn't tell us how to run our private club.

Hootie Johnson, Augusta National chairman.

I am sorry. I am not allowed to talk.

David Beckham, on his omission from Manchester United's starting XI for the Champions' League quarter-final second leg against Real Madrid.

Never, never, never, never. Nothing, never, never, never. Not now. Not ever.

Florentino Perez, Real Madrid president, on the possibility of his club signing David Beckham.

I know Peter Kenyon and the manager are saying they want me to stay and that's good enough for me.


At least he won't be signing for Real Madrid.

Sky's Martin Tyler on Beckham's late-season injury.

We have been the best team.

Arsène Wenger, Arsenal manager, after his side's 3-2 defeat to Leeds gave the title to Manchester United.

I haven't felt this bad since I killed a man.

Uri Geller, Exeter City co-chairman and former Israeli paratrooper, after his club's relegation to the Nationwide Conference.

Oh blimey!

Matthew Pinsent, British International Olympic Committee member, on being told that Cherie Blair was being touted as London's Olympic bid leader.

I consider myself to be No 1 in the country, and will be until I retire.

Andy Caddick, England bowler.

He's absolutely the most gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous, person. I mean, I think he's sheer and utter heaven. I fell in love with him when he was on Parkinson and I thought, "David Beckham, you are just the cutest, sweetest thing". Isn't he lovely?

Stephanie Beacham.

You can never have too many stars.

Jorge Valdano, Real Madrid sporting director, after the club's signing of Beckham.

Becks hasn't changed since I've known him - he's always been a flash Cockney git.

Ryan Giggs.

If you want to know what we don't want, go to Silverstone.

Bernie Ecclestone, head of the Formula One Constructors' Association.

We left the hall with more physical injuries than his last 11 opponents combined.

Ellen Bach, boxing fan, on being caught up with her sister in the brawl involving Herbie Hide after Audley Harrison's win over Mathew Ellis.

Waving a magic wand and making everything right.

David Felgate, on his task as the Lawn Tennis Association's new performance director.

It makes the house that Jack built at Blackburn look like a bungalow.

Henk Potts, financial analyst, after the purchase of Chelsea by the Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich.

He spat on Russia by buying Chelsea. He abandoned our teams which need support.

Yuri Luzhov, mayor of Moscow.

Little worms.

Ken Bates, then Chelsea chairman, on the Financial Services Authority after they had announced an investigation into his club.

I do not think the bid rests in the hands of the Beckhams.

Barbara Cassani, London Olympic bid leader, after a warning from the IOC president Jacques Rogge about enlisting the Beckhams.

I feel awful for the person who died to save George.

Alex Best, George's wife, after reports he had resumed drinking.

I have flown economy and haven't had a problem with it. It is good discipline.

Peter Hill-Wood, Arsenal chairman, on why his club's players had to sit at the back on their pre-season trip to Austria.

I wanted to see how deep I could dig, but I found that I couldn't dig deep enough.

Nasser Hussain, resigning as England cricket captain.

Do you want me to buy a left-back or help to save children's lives? I'm not going to do both. Are people dying as a result of Port Vale's troubles? No. Get people to go down to the Donna Louise Trust, go into that hospice and have a look at the kids - that's where my money is going.

Robbie Williams, who had considered donating money to his home-town team.

People never know how good a driver is when they are in a Minardi.

Justin Wilson, on moving from Minardi to Jaguar.

I'd be happy to go with any 15 against any team in the world ... They can win the World Cup. If they play to their potential, I can't see anyone beating them.

Clive Woodward, England rugby union coach, on his preliminary World Cup squad.

If I go to the toilet it's front-page news.

Frank Bruno.

It is like getting into a four-wheel motor car, going off piste, switching out the lights, taking out the brakes and driving as wildly as you can around the rocks.

Neal McDonald, British sailor, on racing through a field of icebergs in the Southern Ocean.

The most horrifying thing in the world is to be without an adventure.

George Foreman, former world heavyweight champion, on considering a comeback at 55.

How could anyone think the side would be better off without me?

Paolo Di Canio on Glenn Roeder's decision to leave him out of the West Ham side towards the end of the season.

I have been a fighter all my life but this one has beaten me.

Ray Harford, shortly before his death from lung cancer.

The Romans conquered the world not because they held committees, but because they they killed the opposition. That's where I'm coming from.

Bill Sweetenham, the British swimming team's Australian coach.

If his golf matched his hair and personality, he'd be a world beater.

David Leadbetter, golf coach, on the flamboyant Briton Ian Poulter.

Why am I the best in the world? Because I am, that's all.

Claude Makelele.

We will not miss him. He can't head the ball and he rarely passes the ball more than three metres.

Florentino Perez, Real Madrid president, on Makelele's move to Chelsea.

This whole experience is like Fame Academy. We are in competition with each other yet we are also flogging our guts out together and becoming really good mates.

Martin Corry on the race for places in England's rugby union World Cup squad.

All the rudiments for success in life are to be found ironing trousers.

Chris Eubank.

Be careful. You're going to die tonight.

Artim Sakiri, Macedonia captain, to David Beckham during the European Championship qualifier.

People say things like "I'll kill you" during games, but that doesn't mean it's going to happen. Did anything happen to Beckham?

Sakiri, after the game.

Coming to Manchester City, if anything, is more exciting than being at Real Madrid.

Steve McManaman.

I've got to admit I've had a number of dizzy spells recently. I've never before had the chance to collect so many star players in one go.

Claudio Ranieri, Chelsea manager.

I wanted to be a garbage collector. He would drive past my house with his horse and cart, I loved that.

Hernan Crespo, the Chelsea striker, on his childhood ambitions.

Jesus, I only wanted you to pass the salt.

Roy Keane, after being given a tactical lecture by Tony Adams at a Uefa dinner.

The players are basically told, "You don't play for Fiji". If they go to the World Cup they don't have a contract.

Mac McCallion, Fiji rugby union coach.

It's not easy when someone pulls your ponytail.

David Beckham, on keeping his cool.

If the spit had hit me on the head I wouldn't have been annoyed but it hit the crescent and the star on my Turkey shirt.

Alpay, Turkey defender, clashes with Beckham in England's goalless draw in Istanbul.

Sometimes I believe we have the best judges money can... uh, well, the best judges.

Foreman on boxing.

It's a great weight off our shoulders.

Senior Tottenham player after Glenn Hoddle's sacking.

You expect to leave the dance with the ones you came with.

Andre Agassi on being the last of his generation still competing at the top level of tennis.

Take away the belt, the money, the Jag and people would still like me. What's the point of being a world champion if you're the biggest tosser under the sun?

Ricky Hatton, boxer.

What else can I say? How many times can I say it? How many times do you want to ask the same thing? How many times do you want to be wrong?

Martin O'Neill, Celtic manager, on being linked with the vacant Tottenham Hotspur job.

Perhaps darts is too working class for New Labour.

Robert Holmes, head of the British Darts Organisation, after the Sports Minister Richard Caborn refused to recognise darts as "a proper sport".

I spent a month in your country. There was one day where he wasn't on the cover of the sports section.

Andy Roddick, United States tennis player, on Beckham.

I'd love to appear in something like Sex and the City or Friends.

Anna Kournikova considers tennis retirement.

I started trying to pull the baboon out of the lion's mouth. It didn't work. So I hit the lion in the face with my fist, but it just closed its eyes. So I butted it.

Schalk van der Merwe, Namibia Rugby World Cup flanker, who runs an animal sanctuary.

I think he called himself Mustapha Poundnote.

Frank Warren, boxing promoter, on Chris Eubank's temporary conversion to Islam when in Egypt.

I'm beginning to look back at some things and find them funny. People say I thought I was Frankie Dettori. At least I picked a winner.

Frank Bruno, after his bout of mental illness.

The King of Spain.

Misprint on the mugs made for Ashley Giles' benefit season. He had asked for "The King of Spin".

Why are you shaking your head? I haven't finished answering your question yet. If you want to bet on England losing to France, fine.

Clive Woodward, to the French journalist who questioned England's tactics in the RWC group game against Wales.

I tell my players that no one likes England or carries them in their hearts. They are proud, arrogant ... England are Mike Tyson at the peak of his boxing career. They crush opponents.

Bernard Laporte, France rugby union coach, before the World Cup semi-final.

Il travaille dans les ombres. [He works in the shadows].

Serge Betsen, France forward, on his England counterpart Richard Hill.

I would rather gouge my eyes out with a rusty spoon than have O'Leary back.

Simon Jose, of Leeds United Independent Fans' Association, on reports that the former manager David O'Leary was set to return.

Danger - Boring Rugby Team Trains Here.

Sign put up on Manly Beach near England's hotel.

I've seen people writing that Barnsley should watch out now I'm here, even suggesting I should be banished from the game. For what?

Peter Ridsdale, the new owner of Barnsley.

I knew it wasn't going to be our day when I arrived at Links Park and found that we had a woman running the line. She should be at home making the tea or the dinner for her man who comes in after he has been to the football.

Peter Hetherston, Albion Rovers manager, on Scotland's first woman referee, Morag Pirie, who was running the line in his side's defeat to Montrose.

I don't know how you face people after that. When you go and speak to your mates and they ask what did you contribute to the game and you say "I fell, I fell like a big Jessie".

Gordon Strachan, Southampton manager, on Bolton's Mario Jardel after his defender Michael Svensson was sent off.

We've had everyone. Managers, agents, mothers, fathers, dustmen, cleaners applying.

David Pleat, of Tottenham, on the club's managerial vacancy.

Maybe it is because I'm a foreigner, but I can't understand why a footballer can't play until he's charged.

Sven Goran Eriksson, England football manager, after Rio Ferdinand was deselected by England following his missed drugs test.

Why leave a club that is two quid in debt and go to a club that is £80m in debt?

Nigel Worthington, Norwich manager, on speculation linking him with the Leeds job.

Get your kit off and you're in The Sun tomorrow.

Paul Ridley, former Sun sports editor, gives advice to the Women's Sports Foundation.

I know all England's batsmen very well and I have a special delivery for each one. I can get them all.

Muttiah Muralitharan, Sri Lanka spinner, ahead of the Test series against England.

I was in the supermarket and the lady on the vegetable counter heard it.

Jonny Wilkinson's mum on how she found out about her son's World Cup final exploits.

You still have egg and chips, Chinese from the same takeaway and your hair cut at the same place.

Will Greenwood on life after the World Cup.

I suppose it gives me something to talk to the Queen about.

Mike Tindall on his friendship with Zara Phillips, before the England rugby team's royal reception.

The BBC chose a guy I have little or no respect for. It was a bad error of judgement and a crass decision.

Clive Woodward, after David Campese presented his side with the Team of the Year award at the Sports Personality of the Year ceremony.

We are at liberty to keep playing Rio Ferdinand and that is what we are doing. Frankly this is an incomprehensible statement by Sepp Blatter.

David Gill, Manchester United chief executive, after the head of Fifa said United should be docked points for playing Ferdinand prior to his drugs hearing.

Bookings for getting stuck in are OK. Even the odd red card is all right, as long as it is for giving your all. I want my team to be horrible. I want opponents to hate playing us.

Dennis Wise, Millwall player-manager.

There would be no point having a rematch unless it was in England and my mum and two of my mates were doing the judging.

Robin Reid, British boxer, after his controversial defeat to the German Sven Ottke.

I set aside everything I learned under Arsène Wenger. It's a complete waste of time at this level. They just can't take a lot of information on board.

Tony Adams, Wycombe manager.

I would say that if he's interested he can get hold of my number and maybe we could meet up. I'd love to feel his tackle.

Jordan on Jonny Wilkinson.

I am always going to be 10 times more famous than David Beckham

Lennox Lewis