‘Football’s a funny old game Brian’ –Jimmy Greaves, footballer (Chelsea, AC Milan, Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham and England –goal machine!).
To some people Cricket, Golf, Tennis, Baseball and Snooker is just as funny. Not to mention Lawn Mower Racing, Tiddleywinks, Croquet and many others.
They are all mentioned in this book of sporting quotes along with the sportsmen and sportswomen who play them. As well as officials, spectators and the press. They can all be relied upon to offer some useful pointers along with often embarrassing insights into their profession.
This is a collection of sporting gems; some to make you laugh, some to ponder on the player’s expertise and other quotes best kept private and not spoken in public. The latter has given rise to what the American’s know as bloopers and what the British affectionately call ‘Colemanballs’ after that doyen of the BBC microphone David Coleman; and there are plenty of them in this book.
It is perhaps not a book to read cover to cover but dipped in to. Sports are listed alphabetically and include poetry, literature and newspaper reviews. There are serious musings on sport as well but as Bill Shankly, legendary manager of Liverpool FC once remarked: ‘Some people think football is a matter of life and death. I can assure them it is much more serious than that’, usually misquoted as ‘football is more serious than life and death’.
Here is a small selection:
American Football is not a contact sport. Dancing is a contact sport, football’s a collision sport.
Mike Ditka, Chicago Bears coach
I resigned because of illness and fatigue. The fans were sick and tired of me.
John Ralston, Coach, Denver Broncos
There was so much barging and shoving; it was like trying to get into a Glasgow pub on a Saturday night.
When I lost my world record I took it like a man; I only cried for ten hours.
I haven’t been this happy since my grandmother caught her tit in a mangle.
There is plenty of time to win this game and to thrash the Spaniards too.
Sir Francis Drake
Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.
This country would be in good shape if everyone got off their arse and did the sort of job Frank did the other night.
Terry Lawless, Frank Bruno’s trainer
I note from Frank Keating’s piece on Frank Bruno that Terry Lawless thinks that this nation would be in good shape if “everybody got off their arse and did the sort of job Frank did the other night.” I’m as patriotic as the next man, but if the way to put the Great back into Britain is to let hordes of Americans come over here to beat us all senseless, then I’ll beat Ian Botham to the front of the queue outside Australia House.
William Pennyman, Letters Page, the Guardian
The googly is not unfair, only immoral.
Bernard Bosanquet, inventor of the googly; an off break bowled with a leg-break action
If everything in this nation of ours was lost but cricket – her Constitution and the laws of England and Lord Halsbury – it would be possible to reconstruct from the theory and practice of cricket all the eternal Englishness which has gone to the establishment of that Constitution and the laws aforesaid.
A few gentlemen, some professionals, a couple you’d rather not introduce to your mother and at least one you’d cross Oxford Street to avoid.
Frances Edmunds on husband Phil’s England team mates
It’s difficult to be more laid back without being actually comatose.
Frances Edmunds on David Gower
I hope you enjoyed this very brief selection. You can read many, many more from Quote Sport Unquote by using the links below to buy the book.
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