Vinnie Jones Handling Paul Gascoigne And Other Great Footballing Images

The beautiful game has delivered some wonderful snapshots over the years
16:00, 06 Feb 2023

It's one of the most well-known images ever snapped on a football field. Paul Gascoigne's face portraying total agony, Vinnie Jones' dial a picture of 100% ferocity. About three feet south, Gazza's unmentionables are being squeezed by the full force of the Wimbledon hard man's left hand.

That photograph, taken 35 years ago to this day, is among anybody's list of the all-time great footballing images. Here's a rundown of some of The Sportsman's favourites.

Vinnie Jones handling Paul Gascoigne’s tackle

On February 6 1988 against Newcastle United came an encounter which encapsulated Wimbledon's approach to silencing the opposition. Paul Gascoigne, one of the greatest English players of recent memory, comes up against the Dons' bad-boy midfielder and is on the receiving end of the ultimate exhibition of "letting him know you're there". This, like many of the Crazy Gang's antics, might not be looked upon so kindly these days.


Bobby Moore lifting Jules Rimet

It remains the single most iconic image in English football history. Moments after winning the World Cup with England in 1966, skipper Bobby Moore is lifted aloft by his teammates as he hoists the Jules Rimet Trophy at the old Wembley Stadium. Absolute perfection.


Hand of God

Staying with England supporters, this is a photo that still haunts Three Lions fans of a certain age to this day. This is the moment Diego Maradona used his hand to knock the ball beyond Peter Shilton and into the back of the net during the 1986 World Cup quarter-final against England. He later called it the 'Hand of God', but there's no apparition in sight in this shot...


The White Horse Final of 1923

The star of the show at the very first FA Cup final to be held at Wembley was a horse named Billie! With 300,000 fans descending for the clash between Bolton Wanderers and West Ham United and a capacity of only 125,000, the pitch became swamped until a police officer on a grey horse began the operation to clear the way for the players. The 'white horse' having done its job, the game kicked off around an hour late.

Lionel Messi kissing the World Cup trophy

In December 2022 we saw footballing deity Messi get his hands on the one trophy he had wanted to lift more than any other at the World Cup in Qatar. After Argentina defeated France in an enthralling final on penalties, fans from around the world couldn’t wait to see the Argentine wizard get to touch the glamorous trophy. He gave the famous golden figure a cheeky rub and a kiss as he walked by having collected his Player of the Tournament award. What a moment!


Maradona and the Red (Devils) Sea

Here's one that is all about perception. For many years people though the shot of Diego Maradona receiving the ball against Belgium at the 1982 World Cup with six defenders surrounding him was a measure of just how much teams were scared of his threat. The fact that it was a timely snap of the great man taking a touch following a free-kick and the heavily-stocked Belgian is just breaking up in his vicinity takes little away from this symbol of his brilliance.

Zinedine Zidane’s footballing farewell

The 14th and final red card of Zinedine Zidane's brilliant career will never be forgotten. His head-first attack on Marco Materazzi's chest during extra time of the 2006 World Cup final is etched into history. And as he made his way off the field, he was part of another unforgettable moment as he was captured making his sad walk past the World Cup trophy so many had hoped he would be striding away into the sunset with.

San Siro raining flares

In April 2005, one of the most iconic images in football history was captured as AC Milan and Inter clashed in the Champions League quarter-finals. Marco Materazzi and Manuel Rui Costa, rivals on opposite sides of one of football's most fiercest rivalries, united on the San Siro pitch as flares rained down from the stands and interrupted the feisty fixture. The match was unsurprisingly abandoned and Milan progressed to the semi-finals, but the match had given us this legendary image. File this under the category ‘football pictures that go hard’.

Gazza’s dentist's chair 

England headed to Euro 96 under a wave of criticism after most of the squad had been caught on camera enjoying themselves a bit too much on a pre-tournament trip to Hong Kong. So when Paul Gascoigne scored one of the best goals in the Three Lions' history against Scotland in Group A, he made certain the press would be eating their words. Recreating the exact pose which had been most criticised, Gazza assumed the 'dentist's chair' position, but this time had Alan Shearer squirt a well-placed water bottle at his mouth rather than copious amounts of alcohol. Suddenly the players were being hailed for their sense of humour in victory rather than their supposed recklessness of weeks earlier. Genius!


Jairzinho raises Pele aloft in the 1970 World Cup final

The footballing world was devastated by the Brazilian legend’s passing in December 2022 but his legacy lives on. Part of what made him great in an era when TV footage was still scarce is the fact he was the subject of so many beaitiful moments caught on camera. Chief among them is this famous celebration after he scored Brazil’s opening goal at the World Cup final in 1970 against Italy, with Jairzinho lifting the genius up to take the acclaim of the rest of his team. It's Pele at his absolute finest.

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