VIN­NIE JONES

Midweek Sport - - FRONT PAGE -

THE ul­ti­mate soc­cer hardman Vin­nie Jones was a head­case on AND off the field.

The Wim­ble­don mid­fielder’s rep­u­ta­tion was ce­mented in 1987 when he was snapped grab­bing New­cas­tle’s Paul Gas­coigne by the knack­ers dur­ing a match.

But as well as hard tack­les and bru­tal fouls it’s his an­tics off the field that earns him a place in Bonkers FC.

His first con­tro­versy came with the re­lease of Soc­cer’s Hard Men, a video giv­ing tips and ad­vice on how to foul and get away with it. The FA fined him £20,000 for bring­ing the game into dis­re­pute.

In 1995 he bit a tabloid re­porter on the nose dur­ing a night out in Dublin, he was con­victed of ABH dur­ing a dis­pute over a stile, in 2008 he was in­volved in a bar brawl in South Dakota that “Left my nose hang­ing off”, and in 2003 was sen­tenced to 809 hours com­mu­nity ser­vice for an air rage at­tack.

But Balotelli should take note, de­spite all his bad be­hav­iour Vin­nie, 47, is now a Hol­ly­wood film star whose ti­tles in­clude Snatch, X Men and Mean Ma­chine.

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