‘I’m in rude health. You’ll be gone before I am’

Steve Davis’s remarkable week at the world snooker, Sir Alex Ferguson’s (non-)retirement, the KGB, GBH and a rhinoceros at Chester Zoo all feature in this week’s sport and journalism-related quotes, compiled by IAN COLE

“We were lucky to get nil” Tony Pulis, the Stoke manager, faces up to a 7-0 drubbing at Chelsea.

“That’s given me hope I can still compete. I’ll go and put my arse in the hedge again. I’ll get my Zimmer frame out when I get back to the hotel” Steve Davis, 52, wins his first round match in this year’s tournament 10-9 against Mark King and then puts out defending champion John Higgins.

“The biggest thing for me this week has been his focus. He has walked past me in the corridor at the Crucible like I wasn’t there” John Parrott, a colleague of Davis in the TV gallery, adds to the tributes.

“Next time you hear that the newspapers are intent on undermining England’s players in a World Cup year, cast your mind back to the scandal-mongering of the internet gossips and pub bores over the past week or so” Oliver Kay, football correspondent at The Times, on the latest WAG-inspired football rumours on the web.

“You can’t talk to them. They ask for respect but it’s a joke. The whole Respect campaign is a joke. They tell you to go away if you try to talk to them. The linesman’s there to help, but he was stuck on mute. He didn’t say anything apart from ‘Go away’” Roger Johnson and his Birmingham team mates are unhappy after losing their derby at Aston Villa to a late, disputed penalty.

“It is absolute bollocks. A fucking Russian KGB agent buying a fucking paper without any fucking referral. I think it’s disgusting … I hope I don’t get shot now” Richard Desmond, owner of the Express newspaper group, shares his thoughts on Alexander Lebedev’s purchase of The Independent.

“It’s not a sending off. It’s GBH. Alan has a cut eye, smashed nose and chipped tooth. He’s lucky he doesn’t have serious facial damage” Steve Bruce, the Sunderland manager, on Alan Hutton, victim of a head butt from Hull’s Jozy Altidore.

“I’m not frightened of failure any more because after the failure with England I’ve seen the ultimate. It didn’t kill me and I thought ‘What more can they throw at me?’” Steve McClaren, one match from winning the Dutch League with FC Twente, is not scared of a return to English management.

“I have no intention of retiring. The only thing that determines my staying here is my health. Unfortunately for everyone I’m in rude health. You’ll be gone before I am” Sir Alex Ferguson, 68, again rules out retirement.

“I was very lucky to become famous at 35. All that ever happened to me is three things: I had a race-horse named after me, a rose and a rhinocerous in Chester Zoo” Sir Michael Parkinson, the SJA president, on fame as a journalist.

“We want to show some style and the quality we have at Arsenal and just be above all the rest, to show some gratitude for the players who played for this club. That’s what I want to happen. Doesn’t mean it will” Arsene Wenger tries to defuse a potentially hostile return to the club for Manchester City trio Emmanuel Adebayor, Patrick Vieira and Kolo Toure. As Wenger suspected, no chance in the case of Adebayor.

“The times he’s taken one in the privates and just picked himself up is amazing. He wobbles about a bit and then gets on with it. I wouldn’t want to insure him” Robert Green salutes the massive contribution Scott Parker, pictured right, has made to their West Ham side’s Premier League survival.

“The most viewed bit of horticulture in this country is in a bad state and that’s shocking. It comes down to political meddling. The initial design had to fit the site” Toby Buckland, presenter of BBC’s Gardeners’ World, joins the debate about the Wembley pitch.

“Nobody can explain how you feel. It’s one of those feelings you get in the pit of your stomach. The fans will be feeling it because it’s come to an end. It’s been a magnificent journey and a great dream. Little old Burnley in the Premier League. It’s been awesome” Brian Laws in the aftermath of relegation.

“I can’t stand it when athletes reel off a load of excuses. I am not trying to do that but I think I just wasn’t as prepared as last year” Mara Yamauchi shrugs off a disappointing 10th place finish in the London Marathon, following a 7,000-mile six-day, five-country journey by air, taxi and hire car.

“I’m sure what happened to his dad has been very difficult for him but he hasn’t shown it. He’s a mature lad and is handling the pressure that comes with his name. It’s another impressive part of his make-up. I’m excited by him” Martyn Moxon, the Yorkshire coach, in praise of the club’s new wicketkeeper-batsman Jonny Bairstow, son of Yorkshire legend David, who committed suicide.

“You get bored doing just rugby, PlayStations and DVDs. It’s nice to have a different buzz. Flying is a different high to what you get running around a pitch. I’d like to venture into the commercial flying world. I’ve done all the theory exams but as it’s Manchester and just about the rainiest place in the world, it’s taken a bit to rack up the hours” Mathew Tait, the Sale and England centre, reveals that his future may be up in the air.

“If they don’t get in, we are fucked, fucked, fucked” Richard Desmond, again, this time opting for the Tories at the up-coming General Election.

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