“If it continues like this, patience will be seriously tested”

IAN COLE’s weekly review of the week’s quotes from sport and the media

“We’ve established Great Britain as the dominant force in world cycling” Mark Cavendish, road race world champion.

Racehorse trainer Ginger McCain leads in Red Rum, Brian Fletcher up, after one of his first two Aintree Grand National wins

“Everyone saw the stroppy dad, the mouthing off dad, the saying-too-much dad… But to me he was a loyal, very straight man. He valued friendship beyond price. He was just my dad” Donald McCain on his father, Ginger, who trained the Grand National winner four times – including a Red Rum hat-trick – and who died last week, aged 80.

“When you shake hands with the devil you have to pay the price. Television is God at the moment… It shows itself quite clearly because when you see the fixture lists come out now, they can pick and choose whenever they want the top teams on television” Sir Alex Ferguson, after years of refusing to speak to the BBC, tells them it is Premier League paymasters Sky that he has a problem with.

“If you’d asked me, as a really small girl, ‘Where do you see yourself when you are 37 or 38?’ I’d have said ‘I’d love to have two kids, a boy and a girl’. That was what mattered. Certainly ahead of ‘I want to have won an Olympics’” Paula Radcliffe, who ran inside the Olympic qualifing time in Berlin, her first marathon for two years.

“I want to get back to family life.  Too often I’ve put myself first. Cricket can make you a selfish person and now it’s time to think of others” Dominic Cork, the former England all-rounder, calls time on his career, at age 40.

“I like Twenty20. For one thing, it means I can stay in bed until 4pm” Graeme Swann, who captained England in their two end-of-season matches against West Indies.

“Presumably Roman Abramovich has never heard of Garry Birtles, let alone Fred Binney” David Lacey, nearly a decade after retirement as The Guardian‘s football correspondent, still hits the back of the net with his weekly column, this Saturday on goalscorers. And Fernando Torres.

Sophie Gustafson (left) and Suzann Pettersen celebrate Europe's Solheim Cup victory

“This was the most exciting by far. We have had four wins, but this one tops all the others” Laura Davies, after her 12th Solheim Cup appearance ended in a victory for the European team.

“Every single moment in the All Blacks jersey has been a huge memory and I love it just as much as the first time I put that jersey on” Richie McCaw, New Zealand captain, who played in his 100th Test, against France in the World Cup.

“Even though no one believes it, we put it to bed on the Tuesday of two weeks ago. We’ve just got to get on and play rugby. It’s quiet ones from now on” Mike Tindall, back at centre in England’s 67-3 mauling of Romania but not allowed to forget the “Tindallgate” antics in a late night bar.

“I think the media overestimate themselves. The boys are out there playing rugby. They addressed last week’s events last week. It seems a long time ago to us” Martin Johnson, England manager.

“I’m surprised people feel so strongly about it and still talk about it so much. Surely, there should only be criticism if I drop the ball. If I drop it when I do a dive I’ll get the next plane home” Chris Ashton, who scored three tries against Romania and didn’t drop the ball during his celebrations.

“Heard a rumour that people are giving @LewisMoody7tips to get a revenge plum shot. That’s like giving Darth Vader advice on mind control” @MikeTindall13 in a Tweeted exchange of banter between England rugby captains from the Rugby World Cup, after Moody took a blow in his “crown jewels” in the game against Romania.

“Ever since I have been a manager I have wanted to get Liverpool away in the cup. I am in charge of a great football club and that is a tie I would relish” Nigel Adkins, Southampton manager, progresses to the fourth round of the Carling Cup but has to settle for Crystal Palace away.

“He’s a great Scouser and he did a great job on my house” Steven Gerrard on Brighton’s Craig Noone, a former Merseyside roofer who grabbed the Liverpool captain’s shirt after facing him in a Carling Cup-tie.

“I thought he was an absolute disgrace. I’m goingto fine him as much as I possibly can. It was amateur, Sunday League” Neil Warnock, QPR manager, rages after Armand Traore is sent off in the last minute against Aston Villa, who promptly equalised.

“It’s football pressure, it’s not the pressure of a dad with five kids who has to work to feed his family. Just because I’m chirpy doesn’t mean I’m not disappointed by the result” Owen Coyle, manager of Bolton, whose 3-0 defeat at Arsenal leaves them bottom of the Premier League.

Former world champion Lewis Hamilton took his car to the edge once too often in Singapore

“I have another five to 10 years. If it continues the way this is going – and I don’t think it will – then patience will be seriously tested” Lewis Hamilton, frustrated that his McLaren car lags behind the Red Bulls.

“How many races this year has he gone in the wrong direction? He never learns. Yesterday he tried to be Superman in the qualifying” Felipe Massa, not impressed by a Lewis Hamilton overtaking manoeuvre which saw both drivers end the Singapore GP early.

“It struck me that was an error – it was an error to even think that athletes should appear during the Games when they should be utterly 100 per cent focused on performance” Lord Moynihan, chairman of the BOA, takes credit for reversing his organisation’s earlier decision to force team members to attend a money-spinning banquet in the middle of next year’s London Olympics.

“When I used to play centre, the difference between my jogging pace and flat-out sprint was a mere facial expression” Francois Pienaar, a World Cup-winning flanker, demonstrating again that he has been the understated punditry star of ITV’s Rugby World Cup coverage.

“I feel I was massively overpraised and overcelebrated” Jonny Wilkinson on his “wilderness years” of injury after the 2003 Rugby World Cup win.


  • Wed Dec 7: SJA 2011 British Sports Awards. For details of how to book your tickets for this event, click here.

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