“Seve had looks, the charm and a remarkable talent”

The great Seve Ballesteros

This week’s sporting quotes are dominated by the death of Seve Ballesteros. By IAN COLE

“There was never a golfer like him and very few whose influence was so widespread, attracting youngsters and women among his army of followers. Seve had it all: the looks, the charm, the style and, of course, a remarkable talent” Sam Torrance, the former Ryder Cup captain, leads the tributes following the death, aged 54, of Seve Ballesteros.

“Ballesteros hated to be belittled as the car park champion, based on one shot on the 16th of Royal Lytham, his first Open triumph. He wondered why, in America, he was not equally revered for the birdie that followed or his final round at the same course in 1988, when he led The Open with two greats, Nick Faldo and Nick Price, in pursuit. Price shot 69, and would almost certainly have won the tournament in any other year, except Ballesteros shot 65…

“The pleasure he took in beating America in the Ryder Cup was always driven, in part, by his resentment at being considered just a hacker who got lucky” Martin Samuel‘s tribute, in the Daily Mail.

“He’s a good manager but talking like that harms Real. We have invested 450 million Euros in the past two years to build a team. If you lose, you can’t blame injuries, bad luck or the referee” Ramon Calderon, the former Real Madrid president, on manager Jose Mourinho’s outbursts after the Champions League semi-final defeat against Barcelona.

“There should be no terror and we can’t be frightened out of our skin. Our job is to find a solution to what Barcelona do. Of course, I would rather be facing Brechin in the final – with the greatest of respect to them” Sir Alex Ferguson, the Manchester United manager, prepares for a Champions League final against Barcelona after defeating Schalke.

“We all knew it was coming after expensive tickets for the finals in Moscow and Rome, but it remains a scandal. When fans have already shelled out a packet over a long season, and at a time when many are making season ticket renewals, it is a real strain for many” Manchester United Supporters’ Trust following news that Champions League final tickets will range from £80 to £300.

“This has been the hardest seven weeks of my career. It’s been a hard situation to deal with and especially, for me, not being able to speak out. I know we were guilty of a couple of technical infringements, but what’s been said about us stinks” Neil Warnock leads QPR back to the Premier League, despite the threat of a points deduction which never materialised.

“All I ever heard from my seven-year-old son was ‘Rooney, Gerrard, Lampard…Daddy’s at the bottom of the League with West Ham’. He was even getting a bit of stick about it at school. Then, the other, day, I overheard him telling one of his friends ‘Daddy’s Footballer of the Year you know’,” Scott Parker, who receives his trophy from the Football Writers’ Association on Thursday.

Robbie Savage, fully dressed?

“That’s not a pretty sight. It reminds me of Steptoe in the bath” Nigel Clough, the Derby manager, watches Robbie Savage strip to his underpants on the pitch at the end of his final game.

“We don’t know 100 per cent if this will work and be the most efficient system but we’re going to give it a try. It’s never been done before and we’re excited” Andy Flower. the England cricket coach, on the appointment of three captains – Andrew Strauss for Tests, Alastair Cook for ODIs and Stuart Broad for Twenty20s.

“I’m not drawn now into worrying about what I could have done or what I could do. I spent too long last year, and towards the end of the year before, thinking ‘Oh, I should be captain’ or ‘What would I have done differently?’ or ‘I resent Straussie’,” Kevin Pietersen.

“When I came here I was nobody. Now, every time I go into a restaurant or walk down the street everybody seems to notice me and wish me luck, which is brilliant and the way I want it to be. There are a lot of people who don’t really watch snooker but have started watching because of me, so I’ve got to keep doing my thing, to help a new generation coming through” Judd Trump, snooker world champion.

“I don’t like to see a horse sweating between its back legs like that. It’s a certain kind of sweat and it suggests a horse knows what’s about to happen and thinks it’s going to hurt” John Francome provides too much information in his role as a Channel 4 racing pundit.

“We want Lewis to attack but if you scrap with others, including your own team mate, you will damage your tyres. In a race that critical you can’t do that” Martin Whitmarsh, the McLaren team principal, on Lewis Hamilton’s kamikaze opening lap in the Turkish Grand Prix which resulted in him finishing only fourth.

Scott Hastings: Alasdair Reid has a point

“The process got under way at Murrayfield yesterday, trailed by a breathless press release which bore a picture of ‘event ambassador’ Scott Hastings in a sombrero. The point of this was never actually explained, but with the tournament still almost five weeks away – it takes place on the weekend of May 28/29 – we should probably brace ourselves for the prospect of yet more giants of the Scottish game making complete pillocks of themselves in a sequence of ever more preposterous poses” Alasdair Reid, in the Herald, underwhelmed by promotion for the Edinburgh 7s.


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 – note the date in your diary now.

All details subject to alteration. Keep checking for updates