Sports quotes of the week: 14Dec2007

The 59th annual SJA Sports Awards on Wednesday proved to be such a glittering affair, even the Daily Mail‘s Charlie Sale was forced to write a positive line or two about the event. So this week’s quotes come from Lewis Hamilton, Victoria Pendleton and Andy Ripley, plus Floyd Mayweather on Ricky Hatton, Sir Alex Ferguson on Ryan Giggs, and Tony Evans goes all posh

“When I started out, they told me not to be surprised if you’re half a second slower than Alonso, but I had no doubt that I could get closer than that” – Lewis Hamilton, pictured above accepting his award from Sir Bobby Charlton as the SJA’s Sportsman of the Year at our lunch in The City on Wednesday

“I love a bit of Dickens” – former England and Lions rugby international Andy Ripley making a presentation on behalf of the Prostate Cancer Charity at the SJA Awards lunch

“I would have liked to have been nominated but the BBC awards are not for achievements, are they?” – SJA Sportswoman of the Year Victoria Pendleton, miffed at not even making the shortlist for the BBC’s awards

“He has been fantastic, a great servant to this club and a great character. Not that many people have scored 100 goals for United” – Sir Alex Ferguson on Ryan Giggs, pictured

“It isn’t necessary to possess the skills of a Bletchley Park code-breaker to discern that when newspapers say the Special One is overwhelmingly the people’s choice, what they might mean is that he was voted in by a landslide at an editorial conference” – Hugh McIlvanney discerns a Mourinho bandwagon on to which the red tops have leapt

“Ricky Hatton is a hell of a fighter. I tip my hat to him. Nothing but the utmost respect” – Floyd Mayweather, after his TKO over England’s Ricky Hatton in Las Vegas in the early hours of Sunday

“This little fat beer-drinking English who’s fought no one, who’s over-protected and who’s only beaten a lot of has-beens, and yet it’s still so close. Personally, Floyd, I think you’ve got nowt to worry about” – Hatton, before the big fight

“He is the most complete young fly-half I have seen since Jonathan Davies, or even before” – former SJA sportswriter of the year, Stephen Jones, writing in the Sunday Times on Danny Cipriani

“I have two strikes. I am on the final line. I have to report every move that I do to make sure I don’t miss the testers. I feel like I am back at school and I have to report to the headmaster everywhere I go” – Mark Lewis-Francis on making sure he doesn’t miss a crucial third drug test

Alan Lee, 2001 Sportswriter of the Year, here writing in The Times on the Kieren Fallon case
“Fallon has endured much that could have ended his tumultuous career. He recovered from harrowing injury, emerged from a drink problem and saw out suspensions for offences ranging from pulling a rival off his horse to a failed dope test. He was no angel but still he rode on, the greatest of his generation, widely admired, scantly understood”

“I can confirm the story is true” – Fallon’s lawyer Christopher Stewart Moore, speaking the day after the court announcement on reports that the jockey had tested positive for banned drugs for the second time in his career

“People say we are having no luck, but we are – it’s just all bad” – Middlesbrough manager Gareth Southgate

“I think I’d be brilliant… My ego thinks I’d be brilliant. Actually the rest of me thinks I’d do it brilliantly” – Martin O’Neill, after ruling himself out of the running for the England job

“England do not have a game until February, so why make a decision over a bacon butty at 8.30am?” – Sir Alex

The Observer‘s Kevin Mitchell on the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year
“That’s the problem with the thing. It’s so middle-bloody-class. It’s so BB-bloody-C. It’s Sue Barker grinning as if Ally McCoist has told her a borderline joke, it’s Gary Lineker being low-key cheeky, it’s Adrian Chiles doing Black Country whimsy. It’s the BBC laughing too loudly like slightly squiffy parents at a children’s birthday party – and getting the mood wrong… At the end, it sometimes seems like Abigail’s Party, everyone standing over the corpse but still tucking into the canapes”

“Do they not realise that for eight months of the year in question, this particular personality was serving a ban for missing three drugs tests?” – Oliver Holt, in the Daily Mirror, railing against the BBC’s inclusion of 400m world champion Christine Ohuruogu in its shortlist for Sports Personality of the Year

“Monkey can only guess that Holt had no hand in the 10 sports men and women the Mirror put forward for the gong which included, yes, you’ve guessed it, Ms Ohuruogo” – Guardian Unlimited’s media diary

“If they released a Titus Bramble bloopers DVD, it would be four hours long” – Adrian Chiles

Online typo of the week:
Alan Hubbard, ports Diarist of the Year
– Pass the Sandemans, Al

“The whole idea of new laws will frighten some people” Michele Verroken, the former head of the anti-doping unit at UK Sport, on the announcement of a new independent drug-testing agency

“We do not want to be part of that system. We will reserve the right to handle all disciplinary matters in football” – FA spokesman Andrew Cooper rejecting a key proposal for the new anti-doping agency

“Jose took us to a new level at Chelsea. He is a fantastic manager… He could make a big difference. He enjoys the day-in, day-out stuff with a club side, so maybe it would not suit him. It is down to the FA to contact him if they want to speak to him” – England captain John Terry on the abilities of possible England manager Mourinho

Football chant of the week:
“Sven, Sven wherever you may be, You are the pride of Man City, You can shag my wife on our settee, If we win a cup at Wem-ber-lee”

Tony Evans, cast as the chippy northerner in The Times, visits Twickenham for the University match
“What right did these two university teams have to play at rugby union’s HQ rather than a campus playing field? Yes, Oxford and Cambridge. Two of the biggest names in, er, academia clashing head-on in one of the country’s best stadiums. University bloody challenge. And they’re charging £29 a ticket… Expecting a celebration of exclusivity, I discovered an institution that is dying on its feet”

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