12 Of The Funniest Insults In Sport

By Conor Neville
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Sportsmen on sportsmen insults are relatively rare. These days, most sportsmen are at pains to talk up their opponents, lest their disrespectful comments are daubed graffiti-like on the opposing dressing room wall. You are also advised to talk up your team mates lest you damage their confidence or get yourself shipped out to another club.

These factors have witnessed the sad decline of sportsmen on sportsmen insults. Fewer of them again are funny. Here we've rustled up the 13 funniest insults in sport.

1. Roy Keane on Clive Clarke

A cruel one here. Roy Keane wasn't a major fan of Clive Clarke, the Irish defender he inherited at Sunderland. He quickly farmed him out on loan to Coventry. On a night when Sunderland lost in the Cup at Luton, the word filtered through to Keane that Clarke suffered a (thankfully non-fatal) heart attack while playing at Leicester.

Keane expressed his condolences and solidarity.

Is he OK? I'm shocked they found one, you could never tell by the way he plays

2. Ian Botham to Rod Marsh


Cricket allows for more standing around than most other major sports and so cricketers have more time to perfect and shape their insults.

Sledging can often seem as integral to the sport as bowling and batting. The great Australian team of the late 90s and early 2000s probably devoted more time to sledging than the more classical skills of the sport.

However, some of the best ones come from an older vintage. This gem of a response from legendary England all-rounder 'Beefy' Ian Botham is not politically incorrect but it is undeniably quick-witted.


Marsh: How's your wife, and my kids?

Botham: The wife's fine, the kids are retarded

3. Ron Atkinson on Carlton Palmer


Witty enough remark from Atkinson, who was capable of tossing out the odd nice jibe, not all of them racist.

The ungainly Palmer, who's presence in the England team (never mind the squad) circa 1992/93 is usually served to either highlight Taylor's poor selection or the paucity of resources available to him at the time, was the victim here.

He can trap a ball further than I can kick it

4. John Mullane on Ger Loughnane

More of an unintentionally funny one this one. Mullane wasn't going to lower himself to respond to Ger Loughnane's characteristically outrageous remarks about his retirement. No sir!

He is entitled to his own opinion but I’m not going to comment on that. If I have a comment to make I will make it in my own column in the Irish Independent. For now, I think when you are dealing with ignorant people the only way to deal with them is by ignoring them.

5. Ian Chappel on Geoffrey Boycott

Legendary opening batsmen and equally legendary co-commentator Geoffrey Boycott is one of England's biggest ever run-makers. He is also one of the most heavily slagged players in the history of cricket for the grinding slowness with which he accumulated his runs.


[Watch Video]

6. James Ormond on Mark Waugh

Mark Waugh was a fine opening batsman who won a great deal with Australia. However, his Ed Miliband of a brother had to go and become an even bigger legend.

Mark was damned with the cruel but rather clever nickname 'Afghanistan', on the grounds that he is the most frequently 'Forgotten Waugh' - a reference which is now rather dated. Here is an exchange with novice England bowler James Ormond.


Mark Waugh: Mate, what are you doing out here? There's no way you're good enough to play for England.

James Ormond: At least I'm the best player in my family

7. Eric Cantona on Didier Deschamps

"Water carrier" is now a part of the football lexicon. The first usage of the phrase is usually attributed to Eric Cantona, with his rather dismissive assessment of Didier Deschamps usefulness on a football pitch.

8. John Giles on Lee Carsley

You don't need to be a good player to stand in a wall

Giles made this remark after observing Carsley making a hash of standing in a wall while on Ireland duty. The remark was even more cutting because Giles implied that the art of standing in a wall was something even bad players have mastered. Something in his tone suggested that at that moment, he grouped Carsley in that category.

9. Jimmy Greaves on Vinnie Jones

In his familiar Cockney tones, Greaves was stunned at the news that Vinnie Jones was to become an international footballer, albeit for Wales.

Stone me! We’ve had cocaine, bribery and Arsenal scoring two goals at home. But just when you thought there were no surprises left in football, Vinnie Jones turns out to be an international player.

 11. Eamon Dunphy on Harry Kewell

This is not an elegant or a witty insult. But it has an upfront, in-your-face abusiveness which makes it funny when uttered in a television studio.

Fat and a clown. A fat clown for all to see.

11. Sam Snead to club player

This is an old one but a good one.

An incompetent but enthusiastic club player was mad for advice as to where he was going wrong. He successfully induced multiple Major winner Sam Snead to come out to the range and observe him taking a shot. Ideally, Snead was then to give him some sage advice which would improve his game immeasurably.

Sam pondered the club player's swing a and then told him that the problem lay with his stance.

Excited by the specific sounding nature of Snead's diagnosis, the club player asked what precisely in his stance was causing the problem.

You're standing too close to the ball after you hit it.

12. Len Shackleton to Directors

Back in the 1940s and 50s, Len Shackleton was one of English football's most gifted and entertaining attackers. He released his autobiography, 'The Clown Prince of Soccer', in 1956. In it he had one chapter entitled 'The Average Director's Knowledge of Football'. It consisted of one blank page.

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