Watch: Vinnie Jones reveals conflicting emotions ahead of Wales v England
He was a football hard man, a no-nonsense defender who was sent off 12 times in a career that was littered with controversey.
One of the more unexpected twists in a rollercoaster of a footballing life was the nine caps he gained for Wales.
Jones was born in England but in December 1994 he was named in the Wales international squad, qualifying under FIFA rules via his Ruthin-born maternal grandfather.
He made his international debut under Mike Smith for Wales on 14 December 1994, three weeks before his 30th birthday, in a 3–0 home defeat to Bulgaria in the Euro 96 qualifiers. When Smith was replaced as Wales manager by Jones’s former Wimbledon manager Bobby Gould a few months later, he remained a regular member of the Welsh national squad. The last of his nine caps came on 29 March 1997 in a 2–1 defeat to Belgium in a World Cup qualifier, also at Cardiff Arms Park.
Now, in a video released by EE in anticipation of Tuesday’s crunch game, Jones reveals reveals his conflicting allegiances to England and Wales. In the emotive monologue the footballer turned actor, pondered his perpetual internal debate between the two nations, between daffodils and roses, between Welsh Rarebit and a full English.
With references to his no-nonsense playing style, including receiving the fastest yellow card in history and his infamous clash with Paul Gascoigne when playing for Wimbledon, the actor and former footballer claims that the biggest battle he has ever experienced was never on the field, but “between the dragon and the lion” and how he has spent his life in ‘No-Fans-Land’.
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