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Vinnie Jones

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Biography

Vincent Peter Jones (born 5 January 1965) is an English-born ex-footballer (and former captain of the Wales national football team). Jones is also a successful film actor, capitalizing on his hard man image gained through his football. He is now famous for his aggressive style of acting and his very intimidating demeanour.

Jones was born in Watford to a father who worked as a gamekeeper. He started his football career in 1984 at non-league Wealdstone, during which time he combined playing football with being a hod-carrier. He then moved to Wimbledon in 1986 for a £10,000 fee. He was part of the 'Crazy Gang' team that won the FA Cup in 1988, 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 his retirement from the game.

While a footballer, he became quickly infamous for his brutal "hard man" image, which frequently brought much criticism of his style of play. He was sent off 12 times in his career, and once was booked after only five 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, he proved that he could prosper and play well without the illegal side of his game, and under the stewardship of Howard Wilkinson only received 3 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 received a £20,000 fine from The FA for "bringing the game into disrepute."

Vinnie has stated that he would eventually like to return to football, with it possibly being Leeds United he returns to football with. 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."

In Mean Machine, Jones played a famous footballer. He also had a part in episode 2, season 1 of the BBC show, Extras.

Vinnie Jones shares top billing with "Stone Cold" Steve Austin in the new WWE Films 2007 production The Condemned. Jones plays an ex-SAS soldier who is condemned to death row in an African prison but is offered a way out should he be able to defeat nine other convicts on a remote island that is being broadcast to millions via the internet. The movie sees Jones put in a decent, solid performance.

Jones was the first ever guest host for The Friday Night Project when it first aired on Channel 4 in February 2005. 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.

In December 2003 Jones was convicted of air rage offences committed on a flight the previous May. Following his conviction Bacardi withdrew the ads in which Jones appeared. He was convicted of assaulting a neighbour in 1998.



 


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