“We fear a young man is dying and we are family again”

Football united, tributes to Mervyn Davies, more golfing rivalry and a Brit who is definitely not made of plastic. This week’s sports and media quotes

Fabrice Muamba in action before last Saturday's collapse

“Did we lose?” Fabrice Muamba‘s first question to his father when he regained consciousness after the Bolton midfielder collapsed at White Hart Lane.

“And then we fear a young man is dying and we are a family again. The football family, as FIFA brand it. And that is all it is, most days: a marketing man’s sound-bite. We curse and berate and denounce and abuse but advertisers would run a mile from that so, for public consumption, we are the football family. And that was how it must have felt at White Hart Lane on Saturday” Martin Samuel, in the Daily Mailsums up the feelings of a nation after Muamba suffered a heart attack during Bolton’s FA Cup quarter-final at Spurs.

“In our country and in Germany, we have a culture. We call it, ‘We would like to go for a pint and that pint is a pint of beer’” Sir Dave Richards, the Premier League chairman, during a Fawlty-esque trip to Qatar, which finished with him falling into an ornamental pond after accusing FIFA and UEFA of stealing the game.

“I’ve had some great nights but this will probably go down in club history” Roberto di Matteo, Chelsea’s interim boss, after the improbable Champions League comeback against Napoli.

“It was one of the fears but not the largest of them and when Kauto Star was gently advised by his jockey Ruby Walsh that it was time to go, that the great and often astonishing adventure was over, a huge wave of relief rolled across the valley” James Lawton, in The Independent, after Kauto Star is pulled up safe in the Gold Cup during a Cheltenham Festival which saw five horses die.

“Dad bought him for four and half grand. He was just a big stroppy two-year-old that wanted to shag everything” Donald McCain junior on Cinders And Ashes, who won the first race at Cheltenham – the William Hill Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.

“Wherever I went, to a restaurant, the house keeping, the room service, whoever I met just spoke about the 100th hundred. The 99 hundreds that I scored, nobody spoke about them” Sachin Tendulkar after he finally became the first player to score 100 international centuries with his 114 in a one-day match against Bangladesh.

“When I was seven years old our primary school headmaster asked us to ‘draw a picture that means Wales to you’. There were dragons and daffodils, leeks and pit-head wheels among the crayoned offerings. But me? I drew Mervyn Davies” Carolyn Hitt’s personal tribute to the Wales and Lions rugby star, who died last week at the age of 65.

Rugby great Mervyn Davies

“On the first morning he had a bag of six croissants, a Snickers bar and a pint of milk. By the time we had got as far as the Bridgend turn-off on the M4 he’d downed the lot! But that’s Ben, he has an amazing appetite, and an amazing appetite for life in general” Martin Fowler, Merthyr Tydfil coach on England’s Ben Morgan, who re-ignited his rugby career by playing in Wales.

“Yes, yes, yes (with apologies to When Harry Met Sally)” Robert Kitson, of The Guardian, gets rather excited when asked whether Stuart Lancaster should get the England job after his Six Nations success.

“Well I enjoyed it while it lasted! Congrats @LukeDonald! Impressive performance!” Rory McIlory Tweets his best wishes after losing his world No 1 status to Donald at the weekend.

“Thanks @McIlroyRory! You know anyone at the White House who could get me an invite :)” Donald Tweets back with a cheeky reference of McIlroy’s trip to meet President Barack Obama.

“I may be born a Fijian but I am British. I sacrificed half my body for this country and I love this country. If I qualify for London, I won’t just be representing Britain, but all the British soldiers who have been killed and maimed at war” Derek Derenalagi, Paralympic discus thrower, who watched the Beijing Games from a hospital bed and vowed to compete at London 2012 despite having both his legs blown off in Afghanistan.


Mon Apr 16: SJA Spring Golf Day, Surbiton GC. Click here for booking details.

Thu Apr 19: SJA Annual General Meeting, Fleet Street, 12.30pm. Click here for details.

Thu May 10: SJA Ladbrokes Lunch with former England cricket captain Alec Stewart. Booking details to be announced.

Mon Sep 24: SJA Autumn Golf Day, Muswell Hill GC. Booking details from Paul Trow at