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Vincent Peter "Vinnie" Jones (born 5 January 1965) is an English film actor and ex-footballer.

As a member of the "Crazy Gang", Jones won the 1988 FA Cup Final with Wimbledon F.C. Jones represented and captained Wales having qualified via a Welsh grandparent.

He has capitalised on his tough man image as a footballer and is now known as an actor for his aggressive style and intimidating demeanour.

Biography

Football career

Vinnie Jones was born in Watfordmarker to a father who worked as a gamekeeper. He started his football career in 1984 at Alliance Premier League side Wealdstone, during which time he combined playing football with being a hod carrier. He played one season with second-level Swedish club IFK Holmsund in 1986 and helped them win the league.

Later that year he moved to Wimbledon for a £10,000 fee. He was part of the 'Crazy Gang' team that won the 1988 FA Cup Final against Liverpool, arguably the club's greatest achievement. He subsequently played for Leeds United, Sheffield United, and Chelsea, before moving back to Wimbledon again in 1992. He played over 250 games for the Dons, before briefly becoming player/coach of QPR in 1998. When overlooked for the vacant post of manager of QPR, he announced he would move to Manchester United.

While a footballer, he became quickly infamous for his brutal "hard man" image, which frequently brought great criticism of his play. He was sent off 12 times in his career (second only to Roy Keane with 13), and holds the record for the quickest booking, having been booked after only three seconds of play. In one notorious incident he distracted Paul Gascoigne by grabbing his testicles. During another match, he ended the career of Tottenham defender Gary Stevens with a vicious tackle.

However, during his season at Leeds United—after which they won promotion to the top-flight as Champions of Division Two—Jones proved that he could thrive without the illegal side of his game, and under the stewardship of Howard Wilkinson received only three yellow cards in the whole season.

He also was the presenter of the infamous Soccer's Hard Men video released in 1992, which featured archived footage of himself and many other "hard men" of the game, and included advice for budding "hard men". After the release of the video, Jones was fined £20,000, banned for six months, and suspended for three years from The FA for "bringing the game into disrepute." Wimbledon chairman Sam Hammam branded Jones a "mosquito brain". Jones continued to find trouble. After exceeding 40 disciplinary points he was once again summoned to Lancaster Gatemarker, but failed to appear. The FA banned Jones indefinitely. Jones explained that he had "mixed up" the date of the hearing; the FA imposed a four-match ban and told Jones to "grow up." Jones commented later: "The FA have given me a pat on the back. I've taken violence off the terracing and onto the pitch."

Many of Jones' fellow professionals were quick to condemn both the video and Jones himself. One of his most vocal critics was David Ginola, who said, "Jones does not deserve to be considered a footballer. Getting kicked is part of the job in Francemarker as well as England, but the real scandal is that someone like Jones gets to be a star, to make videos and become an example for kids."

Jones was so desperate to play international football he looked to distant relations and was photographed wearing an Ireland shirt before being chosen by Wales. Though Jones is a common surname in Wales, the qualifying relationship was his maternal grandfather, who came from Ruthinmarker, north Walesmarker. He earned nine caps and even captained the side.

Jones's international call-up was however greeted with consternation and even ridicule by Jimmy Greaves, who said, "Well, stone me! We've had cocaine, bribery and Arsenal scoring two goals at home. But just when you thought there were truly no surprises left in football, Vinnie Jones turns out to be an international player!".

Jones has stated that he would eventually like to return to football, possibly with Leeds United as a fan of the club himself. Jones told Yorkshire Radio "I will come back without a doubt, Leeds fans gave me so much and it's a club very close to my heart."

Film career

Other works

In 1998 Jones published his autobiography, "Vinnie: The Autobiography", which was later revised and reprinted a year later to include information on his 1998 feature film debut in Guy Ritchie's Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.He later starred in Guy Ritchie's next blockbuster, Snatch as Bullet-Tooth Tony

On 6 December 1998, Jones appeared at the World Wrestling Federation pay-per-view Capital Carnage, where he played up his 'hard man' image, acting as a special guest enforcer for the main event. Before the match he had a (staged) fight with fellow enforcer The Big Bossman and was "red carded" and kicked out. He came back at the end of the show to drink beer with "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and referee Earl Hebner. Jones returned to the promotion, now known as World Wrestling Entertainment, on 18 February 2007 at No Way Out, where he claimed he had "kicked Stone Cold's arse" on the set of The Condemned.

In May 2002, Jones played a character in the music video for Westlife's single 'Bop Bop Baby'. In November 2002, he released an album of blues and soul songs on Telstar called Respect in the UK, as his musical debut under the tuition of Phil Edwards. He also appeared in a series of UK TV advertisements for Bacardi.

Jones appeared on the first episode of the second season of the current Top Gear in their 'Star in a Reasonably Priced Car' segment. He managed to make it around the track in 1' 53".

In 2000, Jones caused controversy when he appeared in an ad for a drink called "Red Devil". In the ad, Jones is pruning flowers in his garden when he sees a robin crying because its bird feeder is empty. Jones fills the feeder, and places it on the windowsill of his kitchen. Seeing the feeder, the robin flies at it, collides with the kitchen window, and slides down the pane while Jones bursts out laughing. Many parents said the ad (which drew about 390 complaints) was tasteless, and upsetting for children. Later, the ad was shown only after the nine o'clock watershed. The ad was eventually axed.

Jones was the first ever guest host for The Friday Night Project when it first aired on Channel 4 in February 2005. In the same year he also had a minor role in the film She's the Man as coach Dinklage. As of September 2006, Jones' image and voice are being used in a campaign by UK bookmakers Ladbrokes to promote greyhound racing, a sport Jones has been connected with in the past, as a racing dog owner and an enthusiast. Jones has recently appeared as himself in an RAC commercial also featuring his wife, Tanya.

Jones became recognized to American audiences in the 2006 movie, X-Men: The Last Stand, as the mutant, Juggernaut. Jones said that he would like to play Juggernaut in a spin-off. His famous line in the movie, I'm the Juggernaut Bitch!, is based on an already existing Internet parody.

The opening track of Joss Stone 2007 album Introducing Joss Stone features a short speech by Jones.

Jones narrated the TV series Vinnie Jones’ Toughest Cops. The series commenced airing in 2008 on ITV4 in the UK. Each episode to date has examined the work of a police force in a different country in the world, concentrating on dangerous aspects of the work. The first show concerned police in Colombia.

Vinnie performed a cover version of the song "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" on the popular British television show, TOTP2 in December 2002.

Jones is said to have been cast as The Kurgan in the remake of the 1986 cult classic Highlander

Personal life

During his football career he resided in Dronfieldmarker, near Sheffieldmarker. Despite his reputation as a lothario, he currently lives with his wife, Tanya, and their two children in Los Angelesmarker; they also have a home in Hertfordshire. His son Aaron now serves in the British Army. In 2005, he became president of Hertfordshire Agricultural Society. Jones is also President of NOBs (the National Organisation of Beaters and Pickers-up) and is a keen countrysports enthusiast.

After participating in a charity football match alongside fellow British Hollywoodmarker film actor Jason Statham, Jones was approached by a Los Angeles Galaxy scout and asked whether he would go for a trial at the club. Jones laughed off the offer by saying "You're 15 years too late".

He has had several brushes with the law. He was convicted of assaulting a neighbour in 1998. In December 2003, Jones was convicted of air rage offenses committed on a flight the previous May. Following his conviction, Bacardi withdrew the ads in which Jones appeared. In December 2008 he was treated for injuries and arrested after a bar fight at Wiley's Tavern in Sioux Falls, South Dakotamarker. The fight is alleged to have been started over Jones attempting to join a game of pool with patrons Juan Barrera and Jesse Bickett. Jones was alleged to have dealt a headbutt to Barrera, while Bickett allegedly struck Jones with a beer glass. Jones was charged with misdemeanor assault which could have landed him in jail for one year if he had been convicted. Jones was found not guilty after a two-day trial on May 15, 2009.

Career statistics



Filmography



Discography

Albums



Singles

  • "Wooly Bully" (1993)


References

External links



1986-87 Wimbledon First Division 22 4
1987-88 24 2
1988-89 31 3
1989-90 Leeds United Second Division 45 5
1990-91 1 0
1990-91 Sheffield United First Division 31 2
1991-92 4 0
1991-92 Chelsea First Division 35 3
1992-93 Premier League 7 1
1992-93 Wimbledon Premier League 27 1
1993-94 33 2
1994-95 33 3
1995-96 31 3
1996-97 29 3
1997-98 24 0
1997-98 Queens Park Rangers First Division 7 1
1998-99 2 0
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Year Title Role Other notes
1998 Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels Big Chris
2000 Snatch Bullet Tooth Tony
Gone in Sixty Seconds Sphinx
2001 Swordfish Marco
Mean Machine Danny Meehan
2002 Night at the Golden Eagle Rodan
2004 The Big Bounce Lou Harris
Tooth The Extractor
EuroTrip Mad Maynard
Blast! Michael Kittredge
Survive Style 5+ Killer
2005 Number One Girl Dragos Molnar
Hollywood Flies Sean (TV Movie)
Slipstream Winston Briggs
Submerged Henry
Mysterious Island Bob (TV Movie)
2006 Johnny Was Johnny Doyle
She's the Man Coach Dinklage
Played Detective Brice
The Other Half Trainer
X-Men: The Last Stand Cain Marko/Juggernaut
Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties Rommel (voice)
2007 7-10 Split Roddy
Strength and Honour Smasher O'Driscoll
The Riddle Mike Sullivan
The Condemned Ewan McStarley
Tooth & Nail Mongrel
2008 Loaded Mr. Black
Hell Ride Billy Wings
The Midnight Meat Train Mahogany
2009 The Heavy Dunn
The Bleeding Cain
Piers Morgan's Life Stories Himself TV Interview Show
Legend of the Bog Mr. Hunter
Year One Sargon
Not Another Not Another Movie Nancy upcoming film
Smokin' Aces 2: Assassins' Ball McTeague upcoming film
2010
You May Not Kiss the Bride Brick upcoming film
Magic Boys Jack Varga in production
The Irishman Keith Ritson upcoming film

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