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I’m one of the Premier League’s dirtiest players, but quit for Hollywood and reputation almost landed James Bond role


Vinnie Jones has gone from being a member of the ‘Crazy Gang’ to becoming part of Hollywood’s inner circle.

Not bad for someone considered to be the Premier League’s dirtiest ever player with seven red cards to his name.

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Jones built up a reputation as being a Premier League ‘hard man’ during his playing daysCredit: News Group Newspapers Ltd
The Wimbledon legend was sent off seven times in the Premier League

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The Wimbledon legend was sent off seven times in the Premier LeagueCredit: News Group Newspapers Ltd

Jones, who helped Wimbledon win an unlikely FA Cup in 1988 against Liverpool and also played for Chelsea and Leeds in his career, delighted rivals everywhere by retiring aged 34 in 1998 to pursue a career in acting.

And just like his playing days, he has forged a career out of being the ‘bad guy’ where he has starred in a number of cult classics – often typecast in violent roles.

Jones is the only player in Premier League history to be sent off at least seven times while featuring in fewer than 200 games.

He also set a Premier League record in the 1995/96 season when he became the first person to be given his marching orders on three occasions.

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The nine-cap Wales international also set the English football record for receiving the quickest yellow card, which came after just three seconds during an FA Cup tie against Sheffield United in 1992.

And just for good measure, he was also sent off while on international duty for a stamp on Georgia’s Mikhail Kavelashvili in a 1-0 Euro qualifier defeat.

His ‘hard man’ image has seen him become a hugely successful award-winning actor, with Jones winning the Empire Award for Best Newcomer and Best British Actor in ‘Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels’ and ‘Snatch’ respectively.

And he has also taken his talent across the pond where he has shared the screen with Nicolas Cage, Robert De Niro, Sylvester Stallone, Morgan Freeman, Bradley Cooper, Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen over the years.

He has since become a successful actor since retiring in 1998 at the age of 34

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He has since become a successful actor since retiring in 1998 at the age of 34Credit: Getty – Contributor
He has starred in Guy Ritchie's cult classics 'Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels' and 'Snatch'

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He has starred in Guy Ritchie’s cult classics ‘Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels’ and ‘Snatch’Credit: Rex

Starring in ‘Gone in 60 Seconds’, ‘X-Men: The Last Stand’ and ‘The Midnight Meat Train’ among others, Jones has shown he can be just as much as a villain off the pitch as he was on it.

Speaking on the talkSPORT Breakfast show, he revealed he was approached to be a baddie in the James Bond franchise.

While nothing ever materialised, he remains keen to be involved in a future 007 film.

He said: “I had interest a few years ago about being the bad guy in it – quite a few years ago.

“But it sort of never came [about], but you always live in hope.

“We will see how it rock and rolls, who knows? I’m always up for that, a good James Bond villain.

Jones helped Wimbledon win the FA Cup in 1988 where they shocked Liverpool to win it

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Jones helped Wimbledon win the FA Cup in 1988 where they shocked Liverpool to win itCredit: Getty

“I might retire if I got that! I might hang my boots up.”

Jones is now set to show his fans his softer side in a new reality TV show about the great outdoors.

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The 58-year-old told talkSPORT: “It’s on the farm, it’s about wildlife and conservation.

“It’s sort of the side of me that people don’t really know, so it’s enjoyable.”

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