Quotes of the week

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This is the first time a referee has brought me to tears. He is incompetent and negligent. I asked him to move from the line of sight and he wouldn't. Alex Higgins, snooker player, after losing 10-5 in the qualifying stages for the Embassy World C hampionship.

Think of the most emotional day in your life and multiply it by 25. I wanted to win so bad for everyone who have worked their butts off. And the fans. The crowd was the best since I've been here. It was the best bunch of beserk jerks since the days of Haight-Ashbury. George Seifert, the San Francisco 49ers head coach, after his team had reached the Super Bowl.

I've started to grow up now. I've got the choice of going back to the booze and gambling or to go the other way. It's up to me now. I am an alcoholic. My life was going nowhere. Paul Merson, the Arsenal footballer faces up to the future after six weeks in a rehabilitation clinic for treatment for alcohol and gambling addiction.

Football is art. It is skill and not statistics. You have to treat the ball like your lover. Ossie Ardiles, the former Spurs manager.

n I'm not getting into bed with Don King. Although he is a friend of mine I don't sleep with him! What we have is a good business arrangement. Frank Warren, boxing promoter, on Don King, his controversial associate.

I keep hearing things about changing the rackets and speeding up the game and stuff like that But every one of the guys who fast serves is over 6ft 2in. You can't do anything about that. That's why they are big servers. I think any player above six foot should stand in a hole, or get their ankles cut off, which is my preference. Pat Cash, former Wimbledon champion.

The fear of failure is swamping the desire to succeed. Howard Wilkinson, the Leeds United manager, on his team's recent poor run.

Compiled by Rob McLean

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