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Sex and drugs and rock n’ roll: sports quotes of 2009

2009 IN REVIEW: A selection of some of the things said, and written, in the past 12 months that encapsulate the year in sport

“Send me something very naughty, go to the bathroom and take a picture” Tiger Woods in a text to cocktail waitress Jaimee Grubbs

“This situation is my fault, and it’s obviously embarrassing to my family and me. I’m human and I’m not perfect” Woods

“I always hated tennis” Andre Agassi

“I would in all possibility be sitting out a season of rugby. After having discussed this with my girlfriend, I took the view that adequate compensation for all of this would be the club apologising to me, extending my contract terms and paying off the mortgage on the house I own with my girlfriend” Tom Williams, the Harlequins player at the centre of “Bloodgate”, on his negotiations with the club over his ban

“Comedy has always been at the heart of what this club is all about” Garry Cook, Manchester City’s chief executive, at the start of the season offering a taste of things to come

“If I could, I would take this fucking ball and shove it down your fucking throat” Serena Williams‘s rant at a US Open line judge

“This is a special moment. At times I didn’t think we were going to make it. That makes it more special” Andrew Strauss reflects on England’s Ashes victory

“I can shake hands with who I want” Arsene Wenger after Arsenal’s 3-0 League Cup defeat to Manchester City

“Against Stoke I mark my 500th game and I believe I have shaken hands 497 times” Wenger further highlights those managers he dislikes

“The ball hit my hand, I will be honest” Thierry Henry after France’s World Cup play-off against Ireland

“What shocks me the most is that this player, at the end of the game, went to sit next to an Ireland player to comfort him ” when he had just screwed him. If I had been an Irishman he wouldn’t have lasted three seconds” Eric Cantona on Henry

PRESSING A POINT
CHINESE TAKEAWAY – News of the World back-page splash headline on story of billion-dollar bid to buy Manchester United by a businessman based in Bangkok

“They can suck it and carry on sucking it. This is for all Argentines, minus the journalists” Diego Maradona enhances his relationship with the world press

Roy Keane: “Whose phone is that? That’s the second time it’s gone off”
Reporter: “I think that’s my phone, sorry”
Keane: “Well why don’t you turn it off? You’re stitting there, that’s the second time it’s gone off. Why don’t you put it on silent?”
Reporter: “No it’s not the second time”
Keane: “Well why don’t you turn it off?”
Reporter: “Well I’ll turn it off in a minute”
Keane: “You’re just going to let it ring?”
Reporter: “Well I thought I’d let it ring, yeah”
Keane: “Oh right, that’s good manners.”

“You could visibly see him trying harder there as the frame went on. It might not have looked like it…” John Parrott in BBC snooker commentary

“I don’t think what he wanted to do got across to some players and also I think some of them are too thick to take it on board and not good enough to take it on board anyway to be perfectly honest with you” Craig Burley, TV pundit and nephew of George Burley, offers his insight into his uncle losing his job as Scotland football manager

“These players are under the thumb of the microscope” Phil Tufnell on Test Match Special

“He’ll put the wind up you when he gets the bit between his tail” Geoffrey Boycott in radio commentary

“He had a winner at the Curragh yesterday, that’s the Newmarket of France” Derek Thompson

FALSE MODESTY
“The great players cost a lot of money, and if you want them you have to pay it. I’m happy to be the most expensive player in the world” Cristiano Ronaldo on his £80 million move to Real Madrid

“It wasn’t so much taming the Beast ” more like playing with a tabby cat” David Haye on beating Nikolai Valuev for the heavyweight world title

“No one is ever going to be as good as I was” Paul Gascoigne

“Arsene Wenger needs to buy new players – and expensive ones too. Why? Because all the talented and inexpensive players are already with us at Arsenal” Andrei Arshavin

ON ME ‘EAD, SON
“If you don’t score at this level, unfortunately you aren’t going to get a win” Steve Bruce

“The game is simple: the more times you put the ball in the back of the net, the world is a better place, that’s for sure” Gordon Strachan

“In tennis, there has to be a winner sometimes” Roger Federer

“On the first Valentine’s Day I spent with my wife, I made her watch the curling. ‘Let’s see one more rubber and we’ll go out,’ I told her. It was the only rubber I got involved in that night, I can tell you…” Robbie Savage who may display a surprising interest in the upcoming Winter Olympics

“This free kick is going to be a left- or a right-footed strike” Gerry Armstrong on Sky

“Robinho has been literally non-existent” Lee Dixon on BBC radio

TRUE FAITH
John Inverdale: “So how can England beat the All Blacks next weekend?”
Jeremy Guscott: “Pray…simple as that!”

“I did not walk for the first four years of my life. Suddenly someone kicked a ball and the first person to stand up and run was me. All of the people in the church who had been praying for me told my mum: ‘Your son is walking because of football’. It is an amazing story but it is true” Emmanuel Adebayor


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MONEY, MONEY, MONEY
“A player doesn’t need to pay between 5 and 15 per cent of his wages to a guy to set up a bank account or buy him a new fridge” Gary Neville

“I feel like I’m in a sport that has had its good days and is on a downward spiral. The game is dying and, unless something happens, I ain’t going to these tournaments for £30,000” Ronnie O’Sullivan after a mundane victory at snooker’s Masters in January

“All I got after 15 years at the club was a cup of coffee in the chief executive’s office” Matthew Hoggard on leaving Yorkshire

“I want to help other clubs. I speak my mind and other chairmen should too. In fact, they can come and have lunch with me at Harrods, where I can serve them stags’ testicles from my Scottish estate. We all need big balls in this business” Mohamed Fayed

“I would like to see the people earning most in this country paying less tax as it is an incentive” Bernie Ecclestone, a billionaire, who once made a significant donation to the Labour party to ensure the continuation of tobacco sponsorship in Formula One

“If I had known you got a bottle of champagne for run-outs I would have practised more” Andrew Flintoff after getting out Ricky Ponting at The Oval

REACHING NEW HEIGHTS
“We never had a horse like him and very few people have. Very few trainers get the opportunity to train a horse as spectacular as him and we were very grateful that he walked though our gate” John Oxx on Sea The Stars

“It’s bizarre, it almost seems like it’s not real. To become a knight from riding your bike, it’s mad” Sir Chris Hoy

“Winning is a lot more sweet when it’s been difficult before, that’s for sure” Jenson Button

“I thought it wouldn’t hurt to try” Usain Bolt puts a lot into breaking the 200 metres world record at the world championships in Berlin

REACHING NEW HIGHS
“Slim dumps a small pile of powder on the coffee table. He cuts it, snorts it. He cuts it again. I snort some. I ease back on the couch and consider the Rubicon I’ve just crossed” Agassi in his autobiography on his experimentation with crystal meth in 1997

“I acted in a youthful and inappropriate way, not in a manner that people have come to expect from me. For this, I am sorry” Michael Phelps after the publication of a picture showing him smoking a bong

“It is a very serious substance and something over a period of time I have realised I have an issue with, something I think has basically ruined my life up until this point” Matt Stevens, the Bath and England prop forward, after failing a drugs test for cocaine

“At Middlesbrough the beer used to flow in the dressing-room the moment matches were over. The following day the players were supposed to work on their recovery but instead they’d just have a coffee and then get back on the booze once more. They used to eat Mars bars and chocolates, and when I said something about it they’d fire back, claiming it was to give them energy” Gaizka Mendieta on life at Middlesbrough from 2003-2008

“I started at 16 in Yorkshire’s second team and there was a can of lager at the table. Now it’s smoothies, ice baths and Twenty20 cricket” Michael Vaughan, on retirement, on the changes in top-class cricket

THE FINALS WORD
“They can complain all they want but France are going to the World Cup – get over it. France were there for the taking and Ireland didn’t do it. Same old story. Ireland had their chances in the two games and they never took them. But it’s the usual FAI reaction – ‘we’ve been robbed, the honesty of the game…’ It’s rubbish” Roy Keane


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