Phil Shaw Chooses His Top 20 Quotes From the 20 Years of the Barclays Premier League.

“If Bergkamp thinks he’s gonna set the world alight he can forget it.” (Sorry Lord Sugar – you’re fired)

1. Interviewer: What would you be if you weren’t a footballer? Crouch: A virgin.
England striker PETER CROUCH reveals what Ruud Gullit meant by ‘sexy football’.

2. For Tony Adams to admit he’s an alcoholic took an awful lot of bottle.
Arsenal colleague IAN WRIGHT passes the audition for the BBC pundits’ panel.

3. I write like a two-year-old and I can’t spell. I can’t work a computer. I don’t even know what an email is. I’ve never sent a fax or a text message. I’m the most disorganised person in the world. I can’t even fill in the team-sheet.
In the High Court HARRY REDKNAPP rehearses his application for the England job.

4. I just yelled: ‘Off you go Cantona, it’s an early shower for you’.
Crystal Palace fan MATTHEW SIMMONS on the innocent exhortation that provoked Eric Cantona’s ‘kung-fu’ attack on him.

5. If a footballer presents himself as a family man then goes and has sex with a prostitute, should he gag her?
5Live’s NICKY CAMPBELL brings a whole new meaning to gagging order.

6. It’s a huge honour to wear No 7 at Liverpool. I think about the legends: Dalglish, Keegan and that Australian guy.
Uruguay striker LUIS SUAREZ, upholder of Anfield’s great traditions.

7. Vinnie [Jones] admits he threw a piece of toast at Gary Lineker. What he didn’t say was that it was still in the toaster.
The late TONY BANKS MP, Chelsea born, bread and buttered.

8. I was with David the fateful night he first saw the Spice Girls on telly and said: ‘See that girl who can’t dance or sing? I’m going to marry her’.
Beckham’s best man GARY NEVILLE on how two became one.

9. Carra doesn’t like me to fist him before games, so I give him a high-five instead.
Liverpool’s Spanish keeper PEPE REINA fumbles his idioms on Soccer AM.

10. I am not out of a bottle. I am a special one.
New Chelsea manager JOSE MOURINHO launches a thousand headlines.

11. We threw everything at them — the kitchen sink, golf clubs, emptied the garage. It wasn’t enough but at least my garage is tidy now.
The Bristolian burr of IAN HOLLOWAY, where logic and loopiness collide.

12. I think the fact that Alex Ferguson rested Howard Webb had a lot to do with the result.
After ‘the 6-1’, NOEL GALLAGHER savours definitely maybe the modern-day Man City’s greatest day.

13. If Bergkamp thinks he’s gonna set the world alight he can forget it. When the fog, ice and cold arrive, he won’t want to know.
Double Dutch by Spurs chairman ALAN SUGAR on Arsenal’s new foreign wastrel.

14. I’d only look as fast as Ryan Giggs if you stuck me in the 1958 FA Cup final.
Manchester City winger RICK HOLDEN hoping 1993’s new kid on the block will soon burn out.

15. If people come to your window and talk to your wife every night, you can’t accept it without asking what’s happening.
Arsenal manager ARSENE WENGER waxes philosophical on Chelsea’s courting of Ashley Cole, 2005.

16. I left out a couple of my foreigners the other week and they started talking foreign. I knew they were saying: ‘Blah, blah, blah, le bastard manager, f****** useless bastard’.
He can’t write, text or email but HARRY REDKNAPP understands ‘foreign’ at Portsmouth.

17. I call it squeaky-bum time.
The title race tightens and SIR ALEX FERGUSON books his place for posterity in the Oxford English Dictionary.

18. Alan Shearer is boring. We call him Mary Poppins.
Secretly taped Newcastle director FREDDY SHEPHERD anticipates public opinion by a decade.

19. A lovely chip by Van Nistelrooy. That was what I would call a dinky-do.
Venerable summariser JIMMY ARMFIELD shows the technical expertise that comes from having played the game.

20. What I said to them at half-time would be unprintable on radio.
Mullet loyalist GERRY FRANCIS redefines the term ‘mixed media’.

Two collections of football wit and wisdom compiled by Phil Shaw are currently available: The Book of Football Quotations and Tell Him He’s Pele…And Get Him Back On: The Funniest Football Quotes Ever (both published by Ebury Press).



  1. Pingback: Some Of The Best Quotes In Premier League History

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    James Mackie

    May 9, 2019 at 8:21 am

    Thank you to Phil Shaw for his detailed and insightful obit on Stevie Chalmers. A true scribe. Ta.

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