Athletes Acting: Vinnie Jones
Every week, I take a look at athletes who've taken up acting. This week, I'm getting European with it.
In North America, we mostly know Vinnie Jones as the Cockney tough guy from movies like Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch and Gone in 60 Seconds, or as the evil mutant Juggernaut from X-Men: The Last Stand.
In his native England, however, he's still best remembered as football's answer to Tie Domi; a player better known for his ability to take other players out of the equation, rather than find the back of the net. Jones first came to prominence in 1987, after he was photographed grabbing the testicles of Newcastle's emergent star Paul Gascoigne during a match. His profile increased as a part of Wimbeldon's 1988 "Crazy Gang" team, a group of ultra-flamboyant, hard-tackling oddballs who upset powerhouse Liverpool for the FA Cup. By 1992, he was hosting his own home video, Soccer's Hard Men, a Rock 'Em Sock 'Em-type video, featuring Jones and other hatchet men dropping star players.
Jones moved into film towards the end of his football career, while playing with First Division Queen's Park Rangers in 1998. That was the year he appeared in Lock, Stock, and later showed up as a special guest enforcer at the WWE's UK-only pay-per-view Capital Carnage. Since then, he's appeared in dozens of films, ranging from Kazakh action flick Eliminator to teen rom-com She's the Man.