Regtransfers.co.uk: The World of Personal Number Plates has interviewed many sports stars and people from the entertainment world, but the chance to speak with someone who combines a current Hollywood film career with earlier fame as a successful premier league footballer and international team captain… Well, let’s just say that opportunities of that sort are few and far between. So, the reader can probably understand how delighted we were when X-Men star Vinnie Jones told us he was happy to appear in the magazine.
Vinnie’s 2006 role, as Juggernaut, the massively destructive super villain in X-Men: The Last Stand, introduced him to a whole new audience. The subject matter, and the ‘12’ certificate the movie was given for its UK release, appealed to a market that may not have had the chance, or the inclination, to see his earlier outings, many of which were‘18’ certificate crime capers.
Slightly more mature filmgoers, however, will be familiar with Jones’s early roles in Guy Ritchie’s Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch. These are also the people who are likely to remember his soccer career, and the controversial ‘hard-man’ label that made the move into tough-guy movie parts such a logical one.
As a professional footballer, Vinnie Jones played for Wimbledon (as part of their 1988 FA Cup winning team), Leeds United, Sheffield United and Chelsea, finally retiring from the game at the end of a period spent as player/coach with QPR. His playing style was determined and uncompromising, and he became known as much for the controversy that constantly surrounded him as for any technical ability he may have shown. His approach often resulted in his being booked or sent off, however, the period he spent at Leeds United showed that he could also put up a good account of himself without resorting to the aggressive tactics that had so often brought him into conflict with officials. Vinnie also earned nine caps with the Welsh national team, which he eventually captained against Holland.