“I’ve never worked so hard, but I really enjoyed it”

IAN COLE’s weekly round-up of sports and media quotes after wins for the England cricket team, helped by Kevin Pietersen’s double ton, Lewis Hamilton in the German Grand Prix, a world title win for boxer Amir Khan and a final stage victory for Mark Cavendish in the Tour de France

Double top: Kevin Pietersen celebrates at Lord's

“Could you stop talking to me while I’m racing?” Lewis Hamilton to the McLaren garage on his way to winning the German Grand Prix.

“For me, the Tour de France is so far ahead of anything else. My whole year is built around being in my best condition for here and to win as much as possible. I’ll keep coming back as long as my legs can keep trying to win” Mark Cavendish, winner of the points classification in the Tour de France.

There were some fairly complimentary things being said in the dressing room. Given the conditions, it’s right up there with hundreds I’ve scored. I’ve never worked so hard, but I really enjoyed it” Kevin Pietersen after his double century helped England beat India in the first Test at Lord’s.

“We’ve won seven out of eight series and the other has been drawn, but our ultimate goal in the long term is not just to be the No.1 side in the rankings, but the side everyone agrees is the best” Andrew Strauss, England captain.

“What’s doing?” Rupert Murdoch, chairman of News Corp, tries to suggest to the Culture, Media and Sport select committee that his calls to his newspaper editors were casual, kindly enquiries, and never involved trying to influence their editorial judgement. No. Not at all.

“You know when you wake up mid-dream and you just feel crap all day? I hate waking up mid-dream. This morning was horrific and painful” Rebecca Adlington, double Olympic champion, who won silver in the 400m freestyle at the world championships despite a poor qualifying swim.

“Why plunge into the deep end tomorrow? I hope everyone who saw this knows I have the speed and skill to go all the way. I’m only 24. Why rush it? I’ll be ready for Mayweather next year” Amir Khan beats Zab Judah in Las Vegas to unify the world light-welterweight titles.

Jessica Ennis: Note of caution

“People have basically put the gold medal around my neck already. It’s still a year to go and so much can happen, and it’s not one of those events like hurdles or something. It’s seven events and there are so many things that can go wrong. People don’t understand sometimes” Jessica Ennis, heptathlon world champion and SJA Sportswoman of the Year.

“I felt you had to twist my arm to get back in the pool. I was kicking and screaming, not wanting to swim. This year has changed me a lot. I can’t stand to lose, so I have to change something” Michael Phelps, eight swimming golds at the Beijing Olympics, has his sights on London.

“After 13 years of loyal service, needless to say this came as a shock. Given the circumstances of the past 18 months, working through Tiger’s scandal, a new coach and with it a major swing change, and Tiger battling through injuries, I am very disappointed to end our very successful partnership” Steve Williams is sacked as Tiger Woods’ caddie.

“There were days when I felt it was a waste of time. But there was never a moment when I wanted to throw in the towel. In the end, all the testing proved that there is no advantage with a prosthetic leg” Oscar Pistorius, South Africa’s double amputee, achieves the 400m qualifying standard for the London Olympics.

“I’m feeling sore and banged my knee but all I’m thinking about is the poor horse” Frankie Dettori after his mount Rewilding fell and broke a canon bone in front of the Ascot stands during the closing stages of the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes.

“Bang the goals in at one end, keep them out at the other and you’ll be up at the top. If you don’t keep clean sheets your goal tally has to increase by 20 per cent. It’s all about understanding what’s required to achieve success” Sam Allardyce, in charge at Upton Park for only six weeks, has worked out what’s wrong with West Ham.

“It doesn’t bother me one bit. I defend my club and that’s my job. Part of the problem is that when I make comments the media are on to the FA right away. They then feel forced to do something, they are afraid of what might happen if the don’t” Sir Alex Ferguson, on tour with Manchester United in America, warms up for another controversial season.

“Managers get a thick skin and I’m going to need mine. I’ve been a manager for nearly 900 games now. I’d love to get to 1,000 games at United because that would mean I’ve done something right. When you’re at Sheffield United at this level, losing is not an option” Danny Wilson, former Sheffield Wednesday boss, pleads for tolerance as he starts out across the city at Bramall Lane.

“At the time you don’t suspect there is something wrong. When people tell you to your face you have got their vote, you want to believe them. Then, when the vote happens, you start to think ‘that’s weird’” David Beckham, England 2018 World Cup bid ambassador, on corruption within FIFA.

“It’s too early. We finished on May 21 and we were back on June 23. Some of my players have had a fortnight’s break” Neil Lennon, Celtic manager, as the Scottish Premier League kicks off again.

“I knew it was time because I couldn’t play like I wanted to any more. When you have been at the top for quite a long time and then don’t perform the way you want or expect, you feel disappointed and get to the point where you have to say ‘Stop’. It’s really difficult because it is such a part of your life. It is your life” Patrick Vieira, 35, starts out in his new role as a youth ambassador at Manchester City.


  • Thu Aug 18: Lunch with Sir Clive Woodward, performance director of the BOA, on plans for the 2012 Olympics with just one year until the London Games. For booking details click here.
  • Mon Sep 12: SJA Autumn Golf Day, Muswell Hill GC. Click here for more details and to book yourself in for the day.
  • Wed Dec 7: SJA 2011 British Sports Awards – Booking now open. For more details, click here.

All details subject to alteration. Keep checking for updates