Vinnie Jones - From football hard man to Hollywood actor
As their playing careers wind down, most footballers tend to look at ways in which they can remain in the game.
Avenues such as coaching, management and punditry are well-worn paths trodden by ex-footballers, but some individuals take the road less travelled.
One such example of that is Vinnie Jones, who delved head-first into the world of acting and entertainment even before he had hung up his boots.
Now well established in Hollywood circles, Goal brings you all you need to know about Jones' football and acting careers.
Vinnie Jones' football career
Long before he became a regular on the crime-comedy film circuit, Jones enjoyed an eventful career as a professional footballer that lasted 15 years.
A physically imposing midfielder, Jones cultivated a reputation as a tough-tackling 'hard man' and frequently found himself on the wrong side of the referee, getting sent off a total of 12 times.
What clubs did Vinnie Jones play for?
Born in Watford, Jones began his career at non-league club Wealdstone before joining First Division outfit Wimbledon in 1986. He spent three seasons at Wimbledon, helping the club to FA Cup success over Liverpool in 1988.
While at Wimbledon, Jone was considered part of the 'Crazy Gang', which included the likes of Dennis Wise, John Fashanu and Lawrie Sanchez.
In 1989, he joined Leeds United and played a part as the club won the Second Division. However, he did not last long at Elland Road and reunited with former Wimbledon boss Dave Bassett at Sheffield United in 1990.
|1998-1999||Queens Park Rangers|
Jones joined Chelsea in 1991, but left shortly after the beginning of the inaugural Premier League season in 1992-93 in order to return to Wimbledon, who were managed by Joe Kinnear.
Having failed to settle at Sheffield United, Leeds or Chelsea, Jones settled well at his former club and stayed there for a total of six seasons before departing for Queens Park Rangers in 1998.
Despite being born in England, Jones represented Wales at international level thanks to his familial links to the country.
He made his debut for the Dragons in December 1994 against Bulgaria at the age of 29 and played a total of nine times, with his last cap coming in March 1997 against Belgium.
Jones was made captain of the team in 1996 ahead of the 1998 World Cup qualifiers. "We had a democratic vote and the players chose Vinnie," then-Wales manager Bobby Gould is quoted by the Independent as saying. "They knew who they wanted to lead them."
Vinnie Jones movies
As his playing career came to a conclusion, Jones took the wholly unusual step into the world of acting, where he embraced used his 'hard man' persona to land roles.
It turned out to be a successful move for the former Wimbledon man, who has been involved in a number of successful films, working with action superstars such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone and Jason Statham, as well as sharing cast listings with Academy Award-winning actors Robert De Niro and Christopher Walken.
What movies has Vinnie Jones been in?
Jones' acting debut came in 1998 - while he was still a footballer - in the Guy Ritchie crime-comedy Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, for which he received the Empire Award for Best Newcomer. He subsequently appeared in Ritchie's 2000 follow-up film Snatch and, in the same year he featured in Gone in 60 Seconds, alongside Nicholas Cage and Angelina Jolie.
The following year, Jones worked with Gone in 60 Seconds director Dominic Cena again, in the crime thriller Swordfish and also starred in the lead role in Mean Machine.
Due to his imposing stature and rugged appearance, Jones has predominantly been cast in roles of villainous tough-guys or criminals, but he has also voiced characters in animated films such as Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties and Madagascar 3.
As well as action movies, he has also featured in comedies, such as EuroTrip, She's the Man and You May Not Kiss the Bride.
You can see Jones' filmography below.
|1998||Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels||Big Chris|
|2000||Gone in 60 Seconds||Sphinx|
|2001||Mean Machine||Danny Meehan|
|2002||Night at the Golden Eagle||Rodan|
|2004||The Big Bounce||Lou Harris|
|2004||Survive Style 5+||Killer|
|2006||Johnny Was||Johnny Doyle|
|2006||She's the Man||Coach Dinklage|
|2006||The Other Half||Trainer|
|2006||X-Men: The Last Stand||Juggernaut|
|2006||Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties||Rommel|
|2007||Strength and Honour||Smasher O'Driscoll|
|2007||The Riddle||Mike Sullivan|
|2007||The Condemned||Ewan McStarley|
|2007||7-10 Split||Roddy Nightengale|
|2007||Tooth and Nail||Mongrel|
|2008||Hell Ride||Billy Wings|
|2008||The Midnight Meat Train||Mahogany|
|2009||Assault of Darkness||Mr Hunter|
|2010||Smokin' Aces 2: Assassins' Ball||McTeague|
|2010||Locked Down||Anton Vargas|
|2010||Age of the Dragons||Stubbs|
|2011||Kill the Irishman||Keith Ritson|
|2011||You May Not Kiss the Bride||Brick|
|2011||Not Another Not Another Movie||Nancy Longbottom|
|2012||Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted||Freddie the Dog|
|2012||Fire with Fire||Boyd|
|2012||Magic Boys||Jack Varga|
|2013||The 34th Battalion||Lieutenant Colonel|
|2013||Company of Heroes||Brett Willoughby|
|2013||Blood of Redemption||Campbell|
|2014||A Certain Justice||Bennett|
|2014||Way of the Wicked||John Elliott|
|2014||The Calculator||Yust Van Borg|
|2015||Rivers 9||Ray Kaplan|
|2016||The Magnificent Seven||Uncredited|
|2016||Kill Kane||Ray Brookes|
|2016||The Midnight Man||Pearl|
|2017||Madness in the Method||Vinnie|
Vinnie Jones on TV
As he was beginning to establish himself as an actor, Jones became a regular face on television, notably appearing in a series of advertisements for the alcoholic drinks company Bacardi as well as taking part in a variety of shows.
As far back as 1992, Jones showcased his ability to present in the football video Soccer's Hard Men, but it ultimately landed him in trouble with the Football Association, who fined him and threatened him with a six-month ban for 'bringing the game into disrepute'.
Since moving into the entertainment business, he has presented other shows, notably Vinnie Jones' Toughest Cops and Police Interceptors. He has taken part in reality TV shows himself and in 2010 was a part of Channel 4's 'Celebrity Big Brother' programme, in which he finished third.
Despite being typecast as a hard-man, Jones has taken on a variety of roles and recently starred in the musical comedy TV show Galavant.