Before he was Hollywood’s Bullet-Tooth
Susan Tony and Sphinx and Juggernaut, Vinnie Jones was one of football’s most notorious “hard men”, one of the most famous members of the “Crazy Gang” at Wimbledon who beat the “Culture Club” of Liverpool in the 1988 FA Cup final. Jones left the season after, then returned to the Dons in 1992, re-joining after a season and change spent at Chelsea.
While Vinnie did score a few goals in his career, he was known for his violent style that would surely not fly these days. Even back then he got into trouble for it, and he still holds the Chelsea record for fastest yellow card in a game at just three seconds after kick-off.
Perhaps the most famous incident of the many to choose from involves Vinnie introducing himself to Newcastle’s young star Paul Gascoigne in 1988. The two would later become good friends, though I wouldn’t advise following Vinnie’s methods of making friends. Here’s Gazza recounting the tale of the meet & greet and the flowers after, including that most famous photograph of England’s mercurial midfielder screaming in agony because he thought he lost his “family allowance”.
So why are we talking about Vinnie Jones and Gascoigne’s balls? As the headline surely tipped you off, a couple weeks ago, young Chelsea loanee Matt Miazga decided to follow suit in a match against SC Heerenveen, grabbing Denzel Dumfries where he shouldn’t have. Dumfries was later also elbowed by Tim Matavz, who was subsequently suspended for four matches. Miazga escaped without any punishment, but he was fined by Vitesse anyway for unsportsmanlike conduct. As announced yesterday, the unspecified amount of money paid by the 22-year-old went to Vitesse’s non-profit foundation, so at least some good will come out of this.
Here’s Deadspin to helpfully GIF the incident for us.