On This Day In 1992: Vinnie Jones Fined £20,000 For Being Too F**king Hard For The FA’s Liking

Martin Cloake

17th, November 2015


“Excuse me referee, sir, but it is with great regret I must disagree with your decision”

It probably seemed like a perfectly good idea at the time: Just provide a bit of colourful commentary over a video of footballers kicking each other up in the air and bank the fee.

However, doing just that cost Wimbledon’s Vinnie Jones £20,000 and landed him a suspended sentence with the potential for a six-month ban.

The video, imaginatively titled “Soccer’s Hard Men”, featured such notable hatchet enthusiasts as Tommy Smith, Norman Hunter, Chopper Harris and Peter Storey getting stuck in.

While the footage was bad enough, it was Jones’s enthusiastic commentary, in which he described various ‘hard man’ tricks designed to intimidate opponents, that caused particular controversy once the FA caught wind of it.


Indeed, The FA declared that the video “glorified violence and foul play” – not an unreasonable conclusion in the circumstances – and charged Jones with bringing the game into disrepute. Wimbledon chairman Sam Hamman banned the sale of the video in the club shop and called Jones “a mosquito brain”.

On 17th November 1992, the charge was heard and upheld. Jones later appealed but the application was turned down.

Still, the video was number two in the bestseller list at London specialist sports bookshop Sportspages in the run-up to Christmas 1992, so a clear case of swings and roundabouts.

Seasonal cheer indeed.

You can follow Martin Cloake on Twitter at @MartinCloake and find more about his books and writing at www.martincloake.com

Posted in Hardmen, Newsnow, Retro, Videos

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