The Premier League is never short of drama and controversy, with players remembered as much for their skill as their passion. However, some players walk a fine line between being committed and actually getting themselves committed.

In a special Halloween poll by Betfair to find football’s scariest players, footballing and Hollywood hard-man Vinnie Jones came out as the scariest player of all time. Ex-Crazy Gang man Vinnie won with a massive 33% of the vote, ahead the likes of Roy Keane (21%), Duncan Ferguson (14%) and Luis ‘The Vampire’ Suarez (5%).

When voting for Vinnie, perhaps the poll had taken heed of Sir Alex Ferguson’s recent analysis of Keane, “The hardest part of Roy’s body is his tongue”. As Gazza will testify, Jones’ clenched fists are far harder than Keane’s “acid tongue” or for that matter his “eyes narrowing to wee black beads”.

Clearly still hurt by Vinnie Jones’ treatment of ‘Gazza’ and his crown jewels, fans in the North East played a major part in getting him to the top of the rankings – 43% of those in the North East voted Jones as football’s scariest player.

Two of the Premier League’s most controversial current players, Luis Suarez and John Terry, came fourth and fifth respectively with only 5% and 4% of the overall vote. In a sign of the times, the Premier Leagues top three scariest players are all retired, proving modern footballers don’t strike quite the same fear into opponents as their predecessors.

As a mark of respect to the game’s scariest players, Betfair commissioned pumpkin carver extraordinaire Dave Finkle to carve the faces of those chosen as the fans’ fearsome favourites onto pumpkins, just in time for Halloween – just don’t go asking any of them “Trick or Treat”.

 

Betscare Poll – Top 5 Scariest Footballers

 

Vinnie Jones – 33%

  • A defensive midfielder, Jones will always be remembered for the physical part of his game. Whether it was biting noses, squeezing testicles or extracting lumps of leg with his boots, he was a hard player to like, receiving 12 red cards during his career.

Roy Keane – 21%

  • Dubbed as the man with an ‘acid tongue’ and eyes like ‘wee black beads’  by Sir Alex Ferguson, the all action midfielder, with the hardest stare in football, scared the opposition before they even walked on the pitch. His famed aggression crossed the line after his horror tackle on Alfie Haaland in the 2001 Manchester derby, breaking his leg and virtually ending his career.

Duncan Ferguson – 14%

  • One of the hardest men in football, ‘Big Dunc’ is remembered for his competitive and combative style of play on the pitch as well as off it. Sent off nine times in his professional career he was often found on the wrong side of the law, as well as being the first professional player to be arrested for an in-game incident. Things weren’t confined to the pitch however, when confronted with burglars in his own home, the Scot walked down stairs, confronted the two assailants and arrested them – leaving one in hospital – and making him an instant fan favourite.

Luis Suarez – 5%

  • The Liverpool striker has been sent off twice in his career for trying to bite chunks out of the opposition, though this doesn’t elicit quite the same fear in  fans across the country as the old professionals do. However, in this case, his bite is just as as bad as his bark.

John Terry – 4% 

·         He may not be liked by many people outside Chelsea, but the former England captain’s all-action style and hard-man image are cultivated in playing on the limit of the rules. However, it is his off-pitch antics that probably scare fans and team mates  the most.

 


 

The research was commissioned by Betfair and carried out by One Poll, among 1000 males aged 18-54.

 

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