Soundbites, trash talk and strops: The standout quotes of 2015

As the camera picked out Kim Johnson while husband Zach was putting, Peter Alliss wasn’t going to let his final St Andrews Open pass without drawing at least one apology from the BBC:
Soundbites, trash talk and strops: The standout quotes of 2015

“She is probably thinking: ‘If this goes in, I get a new kitchen.’”

Even when having a strop with journalists, ex-Leicester manager Nigel Pearson remained curiously competitive:

“I think you’re an ostrich — your head must be in the sand. Is your head in the sand? Are you flexible enough to get your head in the sand? My suspicion would be no. I can. You can’t.”

Then IAAF vice-president Seb Coe lifted the carpet and got busy with the brush as the media stepped up suggestions there might be a little bit of drug use going on out there:

“It is a declaration of war on my sport. I take pretty grave exception to that. There is nothing in our history of competence and integrity that warrants this kind of attack.”

President Coe continued to reassure us:

“There is a zero tolerance to the abuse of doping in my sport and I will maintain that to the very highest level of vigilance.”

A slightly less bullish Coe in November after former president Lamine Diack became the subject of a French criminal investigation and a WADA report found a “deeply rooted culture of cheating” in Russian athletics:

“We will do whatever it takes to protect the clean athletes and rebuild trust in our sport. The IAAF will continue to offer the police authorities our full cooperation into their ongoing investigation.”

A little claret and blue confusion for David Cameron, who forgot he is a devoted Aston Villa fan:

“You can support Man United, the West Indies and Team GB all at the same time — of course I’d rather you supported West Ham.”

His explanation for the moment he should have become unelectable:

“I had what Natalie Bennett described as a brain fade. I’m a Villa fan… I must have been overcome by something this morning.”

Fabian Delph also had a change of heart regarding Aston Villa. A week before departing for Man City:

“I’m aware there has been intense media speculation surrounding my future and I want to set the record straight. I’m not leaving. I’m staying.”

Cardiff owner Vincent Tan finally changed the club’s red kit back to blue:

“My mother, Madam Low Siew Beng, a devout Buddhist, spoke to me on the importance of togetherness, unity and happiness … To paraphrase John F Kennedy: ‘Let us never compromise out of fear. But let us never fear to compromise.’”

After he was floored by a cameraman’s Segway following his World Championship 200m gold, Usain Bolt had a little jibe at the public enemy number one he’d just beaten:

“I’ll get over it. The rumour I’m trying to start right now is that Justin Gatlin paid him off.”

Kim Sears fell victim to the lip readers while fiancé Andy Murray played Tomas Berdych in the Australian Open semi-final:

“Fucking have it you Czech flash fuck.”

Nick Kyrgios took the tennis trash talk up a level during his Montreal Masters match with Stan Wanrinka:

“Kokkinakis banged your girlfriend, sorry to tell you that mate.”

No lip readers were required when Tyson Fury was in town:

“I believe a woman’s best place is in the kitchen and on her back, that’s my personal belief.”

Tennis still has a little to learn from the UFC. Ronda Rousey before Holly Holm levelled her in two:

“Fake ass, cheap-shotting, fake respect, fake humility bitch. Preacher’s daughter, my ass. I see through your fake sweet act now — you’re getting your ass kicked tomorrow.”

Conor McGregor satisfied the demand for that kind of thing without really trying too hard:

“My thoughts on Dennis Siver are: He’s a midget German steroid head.”

Caddy Steve Williams has gone right off former boss Tiger Woods:

“One thing that really pissed me off was how he would flippantly toss a club in the general direction of the bag, expecting me to go over and pick it up. I felt uneasy about bending down to pick up his discarded club, it was like I was his slave. The other thing that disgusted me was his habit of spitting at the hole if he missed a putt.”

Former Rugby World Cup winner Clive Woodward wasn’t backward in coming forward for the England World Cup inquest:

“The RFU has spent the past four years congratulating itself on the direction in which we’re heading, but the truth is we have marched confidently into a total mess. We are the laughing stock of not only world rugby but also sport and business.”

‘Sorry’ was all South Africa coach Heyneke Meyer could say, after his boys were shocked by Japan:

“I have to apologise to the nation. It was just not good enough. It was unacceptable and I take full responsibility.”

After Scotland-Australia, rugby’s famed equanimity in the face of referees’ decisions took a knock from Gavin Hastings:

“If I see referee Craig Joubert again, I am going to tell him how disgusted I am. It was disgraceful that he ran straight off the pitch at the end like that.”

Michelle Payne, after becoming the first woman to ride the winner of the Melbourne Cup:

“I dreamt about it from when I was five years old and my school friends were teasing me about it. When I was about seven, I said, ‘I’m going to win the Melbourne Cup’, and they always give me a bit of grief about it and I can’t believe we’ve done it.”

Sepp Blatter began the year his usual bullish self:

“I am a mountain goat that keeps going and going and going, I cannot be stopped, I just keep going.”

And everything still looked rosy when he was elected Fifa president for a fifth term in May:

“I am the president now, the president of everybody.”

He was still calling on the most reliable, upstanding character witnesses, such as Vladimir Putin:

“That is someone who should be given the Nobel Peace Prize. His contribution to the global humanitarian sphere is colossal.”

But by year’s end, Sepp was a “scapegoat”, with an eight-year ban from all football:

“I want to talk about betrayal. Today, first of all, I was very sad. But not anymore. Now I am fighting.”

Jose Mourinho kicked off an autumn of discontent with a rebuke for team doctor Eva Carneiro following the opening match of the Premier League season:

“I wasn’t happy with my medical staff, because even if you are a medical doctor or secretary on the bench, you have to understand the game.”

Four months of conspiracies and leaks and strops later, Mourinho eventually forced his own exit by throwing his team under a bus following the 2-1 defeat by Leicester:

“It’s a big frustration to accept, because I feel like my work was betrayed.”

Serena Williams pleaded for a little journalistic imagination after Roberta Vinci ended her calendar Grand Slam hopes in the US Open semi-final:

“I don’t want to talk about how disappointing it is for me. If you have any other questions, I’m open for that.”

Gary Player led the grousing as US Open golfers were sent to war on the unforgiving terrain of Chambers Bay:

“This has been the most unpleasant golf tournament I’ve seen in my life. I mean, the man who designed this golf course had to have had one leg shorter than the other.”

Ian Poulter just wasn’t that keen on the greens:

“They were simply the worst most disgraceful surface I have ever seen on any tour in all the years I have played.”

A $10m (€9.1m) FedEx Cup bonus is the kind of loose change Rory McIlroy spills through the holes in his pockets:

“Luckily, that amount of money doesn’t sort of mean much to me anymore.”

Just over a week before he was due to defend his Open title, Rory had an announcement:

“Total rupture of left ATFL and associated joint capsule damage in a soccer kickabout with friends”

The day we began to worry for Tiger Woods, good humour in the face of a US Open 80. Playing partner Rickie Fowler shot 81:

“The bright side is at least I kicked Rickie’s butt today.”

Roy Keane couldn’t see why the arrival of a second son would detain Robbie Keane ahead of the game with Germany:

“Yes, why wouldn’t he be? He didn’t have the baby. Unless he’s breastfeeding, he should be alright.”

Robbie felt his assistant gaffer might be better equipped in that department:

“Well he’s used to it, he’s got bigger tits than me!”

Roy also recalled his very first meeting with Alex Ferguson:

“We played a game of snooker at this house… I let him win.”

Rafa Benitez’s wife Montserrat Seara fought her husband’s battles:

“Real Madrid are the third of Jose Mourinho’s old teams Rafa has coached. We tidy up his messes!”

Naturally, Mourinho took it in good grace:

“The lady needs to occupy her time and if she takes care of her husband’s diet she will have less time to speak about me.”

Temporary Newcastle manager John Carver knew the end was near:

“I still think I’m the best coach in the Premier League.”

John Terry restricts football opinion to Champions League footballers:

“When players have not had a career, played at a really bad level... Robbie Savage being one. He’s dug me out a couple of times. You take it as a footballer, as an individual. I’ll take it from the Rios, Carraghers and Nevilles all day long. From others? Nah.”

Surfer Mick Fanning on making the acquaintance of a shark:

“I was waiting for the teeth to come at me while I was swimming. I punched it in the back.”

Team-mate of the year Lewis Hamilton after colleague Nico Rosberg won the final three F1 races:

“I think being a world champion sounds a lot better than winning a race.”

Kobe Bryant signed off:

“But I can’t love you obsessively for much longer, this season is all I have left to give. My heart can take the pounding. My mind can handle the grind, but my body knows it’s time to say goodbye.”

Stevie G headed for America:

“This has been the toughest decision of my life and one which both me and my family have agonised over for a good deal of time.”

JBM signed off again:

“I know that Cork will continue to challenge for major honours in the years ahead. I wish everyone the very best next year and in the years to come.”

Donal Óg Cusack took aim at the Cork county board:

“They know as much about serious level sport as I do about the sleeping habits of the Ayatollah.”

The Galway hurling panel explained their reasons for the heave against Anthony Cunningham:

“Where success at inter-county level often comes down to marginal gains, the disjointed tactical approach of Anthony and his management team is not good enough.”

Marty Morrissey had high praise for the Ploughing Championships fairground:

“That was the best ride I’ve ever had.”

Cork All-Ireland winning camogie captain Aisling Thompson talked sledging:

“Girls were bringing up my partner who had passed away when I was in my bad place and struggling with depression. It is tough to take, but I’m used to it at this point.”

Waterford manager Derek McGrath fought the battle with defeatism following the win over Cork:

“Between the field and here, if I meet another Waterford person who says ‘you’re in the All-Ireland quarter-final at least’. I think that’s a defeatist attitude... I met my own father on the field and he said ‘at least you’re in the All-Ireland quarter-final’.”

Laois manager Seamus Plunkett wanted something, anything, to be done:

“What is the objective here? Is the objective for the next 40 years to have an All-Ireland championship where only three counties can win it, because we’ve had that for the last 40 years? If that’s what they want, let them stand up and be honest and say it and we’ll all go away and do something else.”

After the win over Cork, Johnny Glynn emphatically set Joanne Cantwell straight on suggestions Galway only had one forward:

“It’s fucking bullshit, as you can see yourself.”

Joe Brolly felt Tiernan McCann’s hair-raising flop didn’t warrant a ban:

“The GAA don’t have a leg to stand on. They have to apply the law as it stands and the law is a yellow card. It’s not a police state... this is not North Korea.”

Brolly also got personal:

“Some people have said that Cavan football is as ugly as Marty Morrissey. I should apologise... to the people of Cavan for that.”

Michael Lyster’s horror later shamed him into a retraction:

“I want to say that what I said about Marty Morrissey was said in a spirit of affection, not literally.”

Conor McGregor walked the walk too:

“I see these shots, I see these sequences and I believe in them. I knew he would over-extend and I knew I’d catch him so Mystic Mac strikes again.”

At the RTÉ Sports awards, Martin O’Neill served a cold dish of revenge for Gilesy and Eamo:

“If I was listening at all to your punditry team, there would be little chance of us fighting back.

“But, thankfully, I didn’t listen to them, and particularly a couple, who should possibly be looking for other jobs themselves now, because they get it wrong so often.”

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