The Villains Of The Year 2015

Conor Neville
By Conor Neville
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Voting is still underway in the Balls Man of the Year awards. Please don't forget to register your vote. Stand up and be counted.

In the meantime, while everyone is typing up end of the year lists, here are our favourite pantomime villains of 2015.

Mike Brown

If Mike Brown is ever nominated for an Oscar and doesn't win, we're in for a memorable night.

A perennial candidate for this accolade on these shores, Brown is badly in need of a scriptwriter to scribble out some notes for him to at least con the public into thinking he's taking defeat graciously.

Following the dramatic denouement of the Six Nations, he complimented France but couldn't help but juxtaposing their efforts with the alleged timidity of the Scots against Ireland.

Massive credit to the French for the way they fronted up for this game and for the way they played, compared to a few other countries.

Fair play to France, they played a game. I don't need to saying anything else. Everyone knows it.

It was fast paced, end to end. We played good rugby, they played good rugby. France turned up and made a game of it. They could have easily folded, so it was great to see that from them, from a spectator point of view.

This was as nothing compared to his testy exchange with reporters after England's loss to Wales in the second game of the World Cup.

Suzann Pettersen

Norwegian golfer Suzann Pettersen brazenly spurned golf's niceties on the second day of the Solheim Cup.

On the 17th green of their fourballs game, US golfer Alison Lee stood over a putt that would have left her and her playing partner Brittany Lincicome 1 up against the European pair of Pettersen and Charley Hull .

After the putt slipped by, Lee briskly scooped up the ball with her putter, assuming that the halve had been conceded.


That was good enough for Hull, who strode off the green, implicitly accepting that the hole had been halved.

However, Pettersen was having none of it. She hadn't conceded any putt.

The match referee could only award the hole to the Europeans. They were now 1 up heading for the final hole. The stunned Americans were no state to play the final hole and the Europeans won the match 2 up.


Both Lee and Hull were in tears afterwards. Commentators and ex-players tore strips off Pettersen. Zach Johnson labelled her a 'disgrace to the sport' and others piled on.

Duly motivated, the US, trailing 10-6 going into the final day, won the singles 8.5 to 3.5 to take the Cup.


Pettersen delivered an apologetic statement shortly after the match.

I am so sorry for not thinking about the bigger picture in the heat of the battle and competition. I was trying my hardest for my team and put the single match and the point that could be earned ahead of sportsmanship and the game of golf itself! I feel like I let my team down and I am sorry.

Karim Benzema



A step up from the other crop of villains on here in that his villainy could see him prosecuted.

In a story which the scriptwriters of Sky One's Dream Team would have rejected as too gaudy and outlandish, Benzema is under investigation for his role in the blackmail of French teammate Mathieu Valbuena over a sextape.

It has been reported that Karim acted as an intermediary between Valbuena and the blackmailers, allegedly urging his teammate to pay up in exchange for the sextape.

The Spanish press reported the contents of a conversation between Benzema and his childhood friend, who was also functioning as an intermediary for the blackmailers. In the conversation, Benzema told his friend what he had said to Valbuena.

I don’t think Mathieu is taking us seriously, he thinks it’s a joke.

I said to him: ‘I’m going to fix this for you.’ I gave him my word that there is not another copy [of the tape]. I said to him: ‘If you want the video destroyed, come to Lyon, see him directly.’

He asked me: ‘Can you see my tattoos?’ I responded: ‘You can see everything. I saw it a week ago, before coming [to the France squad].’

He panicked a bit. I said to him: ‘Do what you want, if you don’t want to pay, carry on with your life, but I have warned you.’

I then said to him that’s all I could do, that now my friend is in charge, who is the one that knows the person who has the video, that I don’t know him.

I said: ‘If you want to fix this, I can help you. I will give you their numbers and you can meet with them [and sort things out].

Benzema is the first international footballer to be banned by his federation for his alleged role in the blackmail of a teammate over a sextape.

Tyson Fury

A divisive one. On sporting achievement alone, Tyson Fury would surely deserve to win the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award. No other British sportsperson boasts a comparable achievement in 2015.

If he were in possession of scrupulously correct views on homosexuality and women then his achievement in downing Wladimir Klitschko and taking the World Heavyweight title would see him honoured with the main gong.


However, we're constantly being told that sportspeople are role models these days and thus there is no prospect of him winning.

Regardless of any of this, there's little doubt he also deserves to be on the villains of the year list.

His homophobia and gleeful misogyny are bad enough but his threats to Daily Mail journalist Oliver Holt - who he kindly re-christened Oliver 'the wankstain' Holt - were fairly sinister.

On the credit side, he announced his intention to run for parliament on a platform of aiding the homeless.  

Tiernan McCann

This may well precipitate a letter to the editor because amateur players and all that... Judging by his twitter account, we suspect that Tiernan McCann wouldn't mind being placed on a list of pantomime villains.

In the aftermath of his notorious dive against Monaghan, he spent the evening tossing out a series of cheeky retweets. These were subsequently unretweeted presumably on the urgings of some administrative jobsworth.

Not only that but his then twitter photo consisted of a picture of Oscar Wilde accompanied by the quote 'the only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about'.

McCann's audacious show of unmanliness had past players in pundits chairs frothing at the gob. The Gaelic football community regards divers as deeply morally suspect individuals.

Gougers and stampers are men of character and nobility by comparison.

And our alternative hero of 2015...

Chuck Blazer


Chuck's most villainous deeds stretch back further than 2015 but this was the year that this effervescent personality found overdue prominence.

2015 was an annus horribilus for Sepp Blatter and his associates within the morally dubious world of football governance. And this is largely thanks to the info gleaned from FIFA's Judas-in-Chief.

If Martin Amis decided to people one of his novels with an obese American administrator, he'd probably give him a name like Chuck Blazer.

In 2011, Mr. Blazer was apprehended by the FBI while in transit to a top-dollar Manhattan restaurant via his mobility scooter. His mode of vehicular transport on this as on many other occasions was prompted by his engorged waistline, which makes it hard for him to walk medium length distances in comfort.

The Feds confronted him with a sobering document indicating that he failed to pay tax on millions of dollars accrued via a range of mysterious activities over the past decade. He also failed to declare any income between 1992 and 1998.

Chuck thought long and hard and decided to turn informer on his former comrades.

The FBI fitted a bugging device onto his key fob, which he was to place, with the requisite inconspicuous nonchalance, onto the kitchen table while chewing the fat with other big swinging dicks from FIFA.

The recordings contained enough juicy bits to land Blatter and co in the swamp.

Mr. Blazer's lifestyle, which made Charlie Haughey look like a model of humble, ascetic frugality, has emerged as a particular fascination.

He had run a bill of $29 million in credit card charges and owns one luxury Trump Towers apartment in which he lives, eats and sleeps. But he has another luxury Trump Towers apartment for his cats to do likewise.

For his cats.

The reports from New York indicated that the cats themselves were 'unruly', which may or may not lead you to think that it was sensible of Blazer to seek alternative accommodation for them, however opulent and grandiose.

The apartment that housed the cats reportedly cost Blazer $6,000 a month.

Read more: Announcing The Nominees For Balls Man Of The Year 2015



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