2007 Sports Quotes

From the Sunday Times

I feel like a woman at the minute, I can’t stop crying. All that’s missing is a pair of tits. Ricky Hatton gets in touch with his feminine side after losing to Floyd Mayweather.

There’s no secret we had a few drinks…there was water involved and a pedalo as well. Andrew Flintoff on his rigorous preparations for the Cricket World Cup

"I am an international player who has given his whole career to club and country, and I think I deserve more than this. Sensitive soul Sol Campbell on abuse from the terraces.

It is with a great amount of shame that I stand before you and tell you that I have betrayed your trust. I have let my country down and I have let myself down" - Marion Jones, the United States athlete, admitting that she had used steroids before the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Funnily enough, despite her constant denials, very few people were surprised by the revelation that she had cheated. She was subsequently stripped of the five medals, including three golds, she won in Sydney and banned for two years.

The style of how we play is very important. You know, omelettes, eggs? If you have no eggs, you have no omelette. And it depends upon the the quality of the eggs. In the supermarket you have Class One, Two and Three eggs. Some are more expensive and make better omelettes. So when Class One eggs are in Waitrose and you cannot go there, you have a problem." - Jose Mourinho, the former Chelsea manager, claims he was forced to shop for players at footballs equivalent of Asda during the summer transfer window. Jose, we miss you already

“I would like to sleep on my future as a coach. It’s what I do best, what I try to do best. I’m not going to throw away coaching just like that” Bob Woolmer, the Pakistan coach, following Pakistan’s exit from the Cricket World Cup in the first round on March 17. He was found unconscious the next morning and died.

“The pathologist’s report states that Mr Woolmer’s death was due to asphyxia as a result of manual strangulation. In these circumstances the matter of Mr Robert Woolmer’s death is now being treated by the Jamaican police as a case of murder” a statement by Jamaica police on March 22. The cause of death was later changed to natural causes.

“To be the England manager you must win every game, not do anything in your private life and hopefully not earn too much money.” - Sven-Goran Eriksson realizes too late where he went wrong.

"It’s so surprising. Like, who can know that I can be injured and retire in my match? - Nikolay Davydenko after his surprise defeat by Martin Vassallo Arguello became the centre of match-fixing suspicions. Who can know is rather the point, Nikolay

“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 thinks twice about ruling himself out of the running to replace Steve McClaren as England head coach

“I would never let a white boy beat me. You can print that. I would never lose to a white person.” Bernard Hopkins of the United States on Joe Calzaghe, the undisputed super-middleweight champion whom he is due to fight in 2008. He’ll get his arse kicked, full stop, Calzaghe replied.

"You got an MBE, right? For scoring seven at the Oval? It’s an embarrassment.’’ Shane Warne to Paul Collingwood of England during his final Test Match sledging to the end.

I feel like a cow on ice, especially on clay. Maria Sharapova takes a somewhat different line from the one favoured by most newspaper picture editors.

“I have huge disappointment for the nation and fans. But I will learn from my failure.” Steve McClaren again after he was sacked as England head coach in November following Englands failure to qualify for the Euro 2008 finals. Thats a weight off all our minds, Steve.

Ive had 17 million questions about second-season syndrome. Im fed up with the fing thing. Shove it up wherever. Its just fing hard whether its the first, second, or third season. Ferraris and McLarens win races and the others just compete. Steve Coppell, the Reading manager, after seeing his team concede seven goals at Portsmouth.

“I don’t think anyone outside the squad gave them a cat in hell’s chance of doing anything at all, but they were right in the game until the final whistle.” - Brian Ashton, the England coach, on his teams surprise run to the Rugby World Cup final.

“It’s been a crazy year and I honestly can’t say I’m really, really gutted. I’m not” new tax exile and Swiss resident Lewis Hamilton after losing the Formula One drivers championship in the last race of his first season.

The NBA locker room was the most flamboyant place I’d ever been. Guys flaunted their perfect bodies. They bragged about sexual exploits. They primped in front of the mirror, applying cologne and hair gel by the bucketful. They tried on each other’s $10,000 suits, admired each other’s rings and necklaces. Surveying the room, I couldn’t help chuckling to myself: And I’m the gay one. John Amaechi, former NBA star, after coming out.

“It doesn’t matter whether it’s cricket, rugby union, rugby league - we all hate England.” John ONeill, the Australian rugby union supreme, in advance of the Rugby World Cup quarter-final against England, the ‘worst-ever world champions’.

"He must be a miserable man in his life. Maybe he just doesn’t want me to pass his record.’’ - Muttiah Muralitharan, the Sri Lanka spinner, responds to Shane Warnes calls to test his bowling action under match conditions.

“McLaren got it wrong. They lost the championship for the mistaken decisions they made in the second part of the season. It isn’t a secret that they haven’t helped me much” - Fernando Alonso after the end of the 2007 Formula One season. “My job is to win the world championship. My job isn’t for people to love and hug me…it’s not a love-in. I want to have positive relationships with my drivers but it’s difficult sometimes” - Ron Dennis, the boss of McLaren…

“Just as many times I have cried with the Iraqis, in this circumstance I rejoice with them” - the Pope Benedict on Iraq’s Asian Cup victory.

“I find this accusation so horrendous, so monstrous, that I have decided to confront it head-on by talking to the press. I am frustrated and angry. I believe that I am absolutely, 100 per cent innocent. I assure you: I have never taken drugs. (But) accusations such as these don’t exactly provide me with motivation…so I have decided to no longer play tennis on the Tour” - Martina Hingis after testing positive for cocaine at Wimbledon…

"I hope that Napoli win these last few games. You watch, if we go up I will do a striptease.- Napoli fan Sophia Loren. They did win promotion back to Serie A, but the world is still waiting for her to fulfil her side of the bargain

“They were cleared with the referee in advance by the player. On the basis that they are underwear, they do not have to conform to the predominantly white rule. If they are above the hemline they are deemed to be underwear and not shorts.” a Wimbledon spokesman explains why Tatiana Golovins scarlet underpants were measured by the tournament referee. “They say red is the colour that proves that you’re strong and you’re confident so I’m happy with my red knickers,” Golovin said.

“If [Lewis] Hamilton wins the championship, he will also win it thanks to Ferrari because there is a lot of Ferrari in his car” - Luca di Montezemolo, the president of Ferrari. McLaren were fined a record $100 million and stripped of all their constructors’ points for having Ferrari data in their possession

"It’s inhumanly possible to play three hours in that kind of heat.’’ Maria Sharapova after a first-round match in the Australian Open played in 40-degree temperatures.

Last three games of the group, 15 points, absolutely fantastic. Ray Houghton shows why he was a footballer and not a maths teacher, getting carried away by Liverpools 9-point haul from its last three Champions League group games.

“I am not a ‘special one’. I’m a normal one. But my wife says I am special.” Avram Grant at his opening press conference after being unveiled as Jose Mourinho’s successor.

How many times have the Patriots done this? We find it hard to believe they did it just once Carl Mayer, a New York Jets fan, sues the New England Patriots for over $184 million in damages on behalf of fellow season ticket holders after the Patriots were caught illegally videotaping signals from Jets defensive coaches in New England’s 38-14 season opening win over the Jets.

Only when you open and taste the melon are you 100 per cent sure that the melon is good. Sometimes you have beautiful melons but they don’t taste very good and some other melons are a bit ugly and when you open them, the taste is fantastic." Jose Mourinho on bringing young players into the first team. Of course

“I was wrong for doing that stuff. What we should have done a long time ago was stand up - players, ownership, everybody - and said, ‘We made a mistake.’” - Jason Giambi, New York Yankees slugger, forgets that he had never actually previously admitted taking steroids.

“Gentlemen, if you want to write whatever you want to write, you can write it because that is all I am going to say. Thank you.” - England manager Steve McClaren before walking out of a press conference following an unimpressive victory over mighty Andorra.

“If they don’t want to come because their wife wants to go shopping in London, it’s a sad state of affairs” Roy Keane, the Sunderland manager, with his own unique take on players reluctance to sign for his relegation favourites.

I accepted full responsibility for missing the tests. The rule was there and the punishment was there. I took what was due to me. I can honestly say I am not a drugs cheat. I have been tested during the time of my ban and the time of my competition. Christine Ohoruogu, on her ban for managing to miss three drug tests.

Zaheer obviously came in and wasn’t too pleased - I think he prefers the blue ones to the pink ones" - Paul Collingwood attempts to defuse the jelly bean incident in England’s Test defeat to India.

“We were good friends until we started winning, then he started changing his mind” Rafael Benitez on the departed Jose Mourinho.

“There were about 30 text messages on my phone. I think 29 out of the 30 had ‘robbed’ in the text” - Mark Cueto on the try that did not count in the Rugby World Cup final.

“It’s not going to really change my life too much” - Kimi Raikkonen on winning the Formula One drivers title.

“I don’t know if I’ll be doing it at, what is he now, 82?” - Paul Jewell, the Derby County manager, on 65-year-old Sir Alex Ferguson.

“This is the icing on the gravy” - American Lucas Glover after qualifying for the Open.

“Congrats Australia!” the scoreboard at the Kensington Oval as the final between Australia and Sri Lanka ended apparently. The players were later ordered back to the field to complete the three remaining overs in virtual darkness. Australia eventually completed a 53-run victory.

We were on 65 per week when I played and I always say that if I was on 25,000 per week they could put boxes of tomatoes around the track and they could throw them at me if I had a bad game. George Connelly, the former Celtic defender, on abuse from the stands.

“99 per cent of the letters and e-mails are supporting us and that’s not bad. That’s as good as Saddam Hussein did, and he was fiddling the figures” - Ken Bates on retaining control of Leeds United.

I was only called in because I have a high profile, I add a bit of a profile to the investigation. I was particularly disappointed that the police should come knocking on my door at 6am with photographers from a well-known tabloid newspaper. My wife was absolutely petrified and if that’s the way to treat someone that’s not the world I was brought up in." Harry Redknapp, the Portsmouth manager, on his arrest in connection with an investigation into illegal payments.

"Last night we went down to give him a pat, he just snarled at us and said ‘Piss off and let me eat’. He has got an attitude, he thinks he’s good.’’ John Sadler, assistant trainer of Efficient, the winner of the Melbourne Cup.

"You know, I hate gay people, so I let it be known. I am homophobic. I don’t like it. It shouldn’t be in the world or in the United States. First of all, I wouldn’t want him on my team. And second of all, if he was on my team, I would, you know, really distance myself from him because I don’t think that’s right. And you know I don’t think he should be in the locker room while we’re in the locker room. Tim Hardaway, former NBA All-Star, on the possibility of a teammate being gay.

We went into South Africa with no direction, no shape and consequently no belief. It was the worst week I had known in international rugby" - Mike Catt on England’s performance against the eventual champions in the pool stage of the Rugby World Cup - before being recalled and helping England to the final.

When John Collins quit, I was listening to the radio and the presenter invited listeners to call in and say who was to blame for this. So, somebody sitting in the house, utterly clueless about the whole thing, thinks, Hey, I’m going to phone in here and tell them what’s what. I don’t have a clue what I’m talking about, but I’ll be on the radio. Gordon Strachan, the Celtic manager, on radio phone-ins.

“To see the president of our country sitting on the players’ shoulders holding the World Cup…is something to be really proud of. It doesn’t get bigger than that for us” Jake White, the South Africa rugby coach. Six weeks later he was out of a job.

"The wife did not teach the husband to swing a golf club.’’ - From a petition filed by the lawyers of Greg Norman, challenging claims that his estranged wife should get more than half the estimated 150 million he made during their 26-year marriage.

Sid Waddell from the recent PDC World Campionship “Captain Kirk isn’t showing much enterprise”