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10 Of The Greatest Excuses In Sport In Honour Of Harry Redknapp's Knobbly Knees

By Barry Connaughton
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After it has emerged that Harry Redknapp's knobbly knees may not be the only reason he parted ways with QPR, we thought it might be a good time to go through the dodgiest excuses that have ever been given in sport.

Ronnie O'Sullivan 1997

O'Sullivan was leading 8-3 in the Masters final against Steve Davis. The match was interrupted by a female streaker and The Rocket claimed that the shock interruption had, er, broken his concentration. The lady didn't seem to cause the same distraction to Davis, for some reason, who won the next seven frames and the match.

Manchester United 1996 

Fergie's boys found themselves 3-0 down at half time in an away fixture against Southampton. They re-emerged for the second half wearing a new kit. Fergie claimed that the players were having difficulty seeing each other in the first half due to the grey kit that they had been wearing.

Tyler Hamilton 2004

After the cyclist had been accused of blood doping he came up with one of the more original excuses on this list. He blamed the foreign blood cells on his evil twin. Hamilton claimed the reason for a dodgy sample, when he was first busted in 2004, was his twin, who had died in his mother's womb.

Kenny Dalglish 1998 

After his Newcastle side were held to a 1-1 draw against minnows Stevenage Borough at Broadhill Way in the FA Cup Kenny decided that the reason for the poor result was that the wind probably suited the other team better and that "the balls were too bouncy".

Mervyn King 2003 

Another example of the wind being blamed here, what makes this bizarre is that it was at an indoor darts championship. After losing to Raymond van Barneveld in the World Darts Championships semi-finals King blamed his loss on the air conditioning being too high. Apparently it didn't affect his opponent as he throws a heavier dart.

Luis Suarez 2014 

When you get into trouble as much as Luis does it's no wonder he was running out of plausible excuses. After his most recent biting incident he claimed that he had lost his balance and ended up falling on his opponent (Chiellini) resulting in a sharp pain in his teeth. The Fifa commission didn't buy it an banned him from all footballing activities for four months.


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Shane Warne 2003

After testing positive for a banned substance the Australian leg spinner simply blamed his mother. 'My mother gave me a diet tablet,' he said he took the Moduretic pill to make him look less fat on TV. He was banned for 12 months.

All Blacks 1995

After the strong favourites lost a dire Rugby World Cup final they claim the reason they couldn't get the job done was that they had been intentionally food poisoned by their South African hosts.

Richard Gasquet 2009 

After enjoying a break out year on the tennis tour with a semi-final appearance at that year's US Open, Gasquet was given a 2 year ban after testing positive for cocaine. He blamed a waitress he'd spent a night kissing, claiming she was a user and must have accidentally transferred some of the drug into his mouth. Somehow it worked as his two-year ban was eventually cut to two months.

Stephen Ireland 2007 

The most famous example of sporting excuses in this country comes from the former Man City man. Ireland was due to play in a friendly against the Czech Republic but must not have fancied it too much. In order to get out of the game he claimed his grandmother had died, most people were sympathetic until it emerged that his granny was not only alive and well but shocked to read about her death in the newspapers.

He then changed his story to say his paternal grandmother had died. She also read about her own death and came forward to state she was in fact also alive. Ireland is then understood to have changed his story again, this time claiming that one of his grandfathers was divorced and that it was his elderly partner who had died. After that was also exposed as a lie he came forward and admitted that the real reason was that he had to deal with faimly issues with his girlfriend, effectively ending his international footballing career.

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