50 "Football is all right as a game for rough girls but is hardly suitable for delicate boys."
Oscar Wilde makes a fair comment - years before anyone started diving to win free kicks
49 "They finally found one."
Eddie "the Eagle" Edwards insults himself when asked how a brain scan after a ski jumping accident had gone.
48 "Hijo de puta."
Early in his career with Real Madrid, David Beckham gets into trouble for calling a linesman a son of a whore in Spanish and receives a red card. Beckham later said (in English): "I didn't realise what I had said was that bad. I had heard a few of my team-mates say the same before me."
47 "I would like to thank the press from the heart of my bottom."
Nick Faldo thought he was being funny after winning the 1992 Open, but he just looked like a pillock in Pringle.
46 "I'm not as nice as all that. In fact, I swore only last week."
Gary Lineker is not above self-mockery.
45 "Well bowled Harold."
Douglas Jardine congratulates Harold Larwood, his fast bowler, after he hit Bill Woodfull, the Australia captain, over the heart during the infamous Bodyline series in 1932.
44 ďAlan Shearer, heís boring isnít he? We call him Mary Poppins.Ē
Freddy Shepherd, the chairman of Newcastle United, doesn't sound too convinced of the worth of a man he had paid £15 million to sign.
43 "Four more years, boys."
A cutting comment from George Gregan, the Australia rugby captain, near the end of their semi-final win over the All Blacks in the 2003 World Cup as New Zealand head for yet another defeat in the global tournament.
42 "[American] Football combines the two worst features of American life: it is violence punctuated by committee meetings."
George Will, the American journalist, sums up their national game.
41 "I donít think heading a ball has got anything to do with it, footballers are stupid enough anyway."
A Premier League spokesman in 1995 comments on a report that brain cells are damaged by heading balls.
40 "Mr Agnew, I believe you have a slight swing in your flaw."
Jimmy Demaret, the American golfer who won the Masters three times, to his playing partner, the American vice-president Spiro T. Agnew.
39 "At least I have an identity, youíre only Frances Edmondsís husband."
Tim Zoehrer, the Australia wicketkeeper, points out that Phil Edmonds, the England spinner, is less famous than his writer wife.
38 "If they can make penicillin out of moldy bread, they can sure make something out of you."
A backhanded compliment, rather than an insult, from Muhammad Ali to a young boxer.
37 "Everyone thinks they have the prettiest wife at home."
Arsene Wenger's reply to Sir Alex Ferguson in 2002 when the United manager claims his side had been the best team in the Premiership.
36: "My wife just had a baby." "Congratulations! Whose baby is it?"
Joe Frazier stuns his boxing rival Ken Norton.
35 "You can't see as well as these f***ing flowers - and they're f***ing plastic."
John McEnroe's rant at a line judge is spoilt somewhat by the second clause.
34 "It's red, round and weighs about five ounces, in case you were wondering."
Greg Thomas, of Glamorgan, unwisely makes fun of Viv Richards's inability to hit the ball. Richards soons smashes it out of the ground and replies: "Greg, you know what it looks like. Now go and find it."
33 "Don't bother son, you won't be out there long enough."
Fred Trueman to a new Australia batsman during an Ashes Test who had turned to shut the gate after coming on to the pitch.
32 "My old pal, the plod from the second row."
Austin Healey's comments about Justin Harrison, the Australia lock, (he also called him a "plank") win him no friends during the 2001 Lions rugby tour
31 "He cannot kick with his left foot, he cannot head a ball, he cannot tackle and he doesn't score many goals. Apart from that he's all right."
George Best sums up the many talents of David Beckham.
30 "Like an octopus falling out of a tree."
David Feherty, the former Irish golfer, passes comment on Jim Furyk's swing.
29 "Stone me! Weíve 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."
Jimmy Greaves is shocked when the Wimbledon hard man is selected for his first cap, of eight, for Wales.
28 "Somebody compared him to Billy McNeil, but I donít remember Billy being crap.Ē
Tommy Docherty, the legendary football coach, on Rangersí Italian flop Lorenzo Amoruso in 2000.
27 "Lie down so I can recognise you."
Willie Pep, the American featherweight boxer, when asked by an old opponent if he recognised him.
26 "My God, look what theyíve given me. Do they think we are playing the blind asylum?"
Archie MacLaren, the England cricket captain, on the team selection for the fourth Ashes Test in 1902. His side lost by only three runs.
25 "Eighty per cent of the top 100 women are fat pigs who don't deserve equal pay."
Richard Krajicek, the 1996 Wimbledon champion, on why there should not be equal pay. Later, he clarified his comments, saying, "What I meant to say was that only 75 per cent are fat pigs." Charming.
24 "Leave our flies alone Jardine, theyíre the only friends youíve got here."
An Australian spectator at Sydney barracks the England cricket captain for swatting the local wildlife during the Bodyline series.
23 "If David Seamanís dad had worn a condom, weíd still be in the World Cup."
A harsh but possibly fair assessment of England's defeat to Brazil in the 2002 World Cup by the comedian Nick Hancock.
22 "What problems do you have, apart from being unemployed, a moron and a dork?"
John McEnroe calls it how he sees it to a tennis spectator
21 "He has turned defensive boxing into a poetic art. Trouble is, nobody ever knocked anybody out with a poem."
Eddie Shaw, the boxing coach, on Herol "Bomber" Graham, the British light-middleweight.
20 "You were 33-1 to win the Six Nations this year. Now you are 16-1. If you can keep Henson out of Church going into it, what are the chances?"
Sue Barker makes an ill-judged joke when speaking to the Wales rugby head coach about his star player Gavin Henson, who had started dating Charlotte Church, in 2005
19 "Pakistan is the sort of country to send your mother in-law to."
Ian Botham's flat joke backfires when his England team lose to Pakistan in the 1992 World Cup final.
18 "Only if there's an outbreak of bubonic plague."
Giovanni Trapattoni gives a blunt answer when asked if he will select Paolo Di Canio for his Italy World Cup squad in 2004.
17 "This is my island, my culture. Don't you be staring at me. In my culture we just bowl." "In my culture we just say f*** off."
What Viv Richards said to the Australia fast bowler Merv Hughes, and Hughes's response
16 "The local girls are far uglier than the ones in Belgrade. Our women are far prettier and they don't drink as much beer."
Georgi Hristov, of Macedonia, spoils his relationship with the locals when describing women at his new football club in Barnsley.
15 "Is the world's second greatest athlete gay?"
The slogan on Daley Thompson's T-shirt during the 1984 Olympics was not clever but the alleged reference to rumours about Carl Lewis certainly won attention.
14 "Joe Frazier is so ugly he should donate his face to the US Bureau of Wildlife."
Frazier took Muhammad Ali's taunt before their first heavyweight title fight in 1971 very personally - particularly when Ali then called him an Uncle Tom.
13 "Iím not the next [Anna] Kournikova ó I want to win matches."
Maria Sharapova, the Russian tennis player, brushes aside an attempted compliment.
12 "Who do you think you are, Steve Waugh?"
A very fine put-down from Michael Vaughan, the England cricket captain, to Ricky Ponting, his Australia counterpart, at the start of the 2005 Ashes that set the tone for a series when England, for once, refused to be cowed. Waugh, Ponting's predecessor, was well known for making sledging an art form.
11 "There are only three things wrong with the English team: they canít bat, canít bowl and can't field."
The only thing wrong with the writer Martin Johnson's summation of Mike Gatting's Ashes touring side in 1986-87 is they went on to bring home the urn.
10 "If it had been a cheese roll it would never have got past him."
Graham Gooch on Shane Warne's "ball of the century", which Mike Gatting missed.
9 "He covers every blade of grass, but that's only because his first touch is crap."
Dave Jones, the football manager, is honest about Carlton Palmer's skills.
8 "I should've kept my legs together, Fred." "So should your mother.".
Fred Trueman takes Raman Subba Row's dropping a catch at slip off his bowling well.
7 "He has everything a boxer needs except speed, stamina, a punch, and ability to take punishment. In other words, he owns a pair of shorts."
Blackie Sherrod, the American columnist, on a heavyweight boxing contender.
6 "Thereís no way you are good enough to play for England." "Maybe not, but at least Iím the best cricketer in my family."
James Ormond, the fast bowler, has a quick retort to Mark Waugh, brother of Steve, when he is sledged on his debut for England.
5 "Hands up if you think we're boring."
Not a great quote but this headline from the Sydney Daily Telegraph, above a picture of the England rugby team saluting their fans after beating France in the 2003 World Cup final, gets a high place in the list simply because of the result in the next match. Hands up who cares if we were boring?
4 "So how are your wife and my kids?" "The wife's fine, the kids are ********."
An exchange between Rod Marsh, the Australia wicketkeeper, and Ian Botham, the England all-rounder
3 "You were a crap player, you are a crap manager. The only reason I have any dealings with you is that somehow you are manager of my country and you're not even Irish, you English ****. You can stick it up your bollocks."
What Roy Keane allegedly said to Mick McCarthy, the Ireland manager, that got him sent home from the 2002 World Cup. Keane is now a responsible Premier League manager.
2 "Why are you so fat?" "Because every time I f*** your wife she gives me a biscuit."
Exchange between Glenn McGrath, the Australia bowler, and Eddo Brandes, the large Zimbabwean cricketer.
1 Whatever Marco Materazzi said about Zinedine Zidaneís sister
Or his mother or terrorism. No one is quite sure what the Italy defender actually said during the 2006 World Cup final, but Materazzi's insult rile Zidane so much that he headbutted him in the chest and was sent off.