English actor and former footballer who played for Leeds United, Sheffield United, Chelsea and, most notably, Wimbledon, where he was part of the infamous “crazy gang” team.
Vinnie Jones’s career in football began when he was 19 years old, at Alliance Premier League side Wealdstone, in 1984. Two years later, he moved to full-time professional status with Wimbledon, who paid Wealdstone £10,000 for his services.
He helped Wimbledon equal their best ever league finish in 1993-94, when they finished sixth in the Premier League. Three seasons later, he contributed to another strong season for the club, who reached the semi-finals of both cups and finished eighth in the league.
In December 1994, Jones was named in the Wales squad qualifying via his Ruthin-born maternal grandfather. He made his debut under Mike Smith for Wales on 14 December 1994, three weeks before his 30th birthday.
Vinnie was known for his “hard man” image, being sent off 12 times in his career. He also holds the record for the quickest ever booking in a football match.
In 1998 Vinnie Jones made his film debut in Guy Ritchie’s crime comedy Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, in which he played a mob enforcer. Jones was typecast in similar roles as criminals or villains, including the dapper gun-for-hire “Bullet-Tooth Tony” in Ritchie’s 2000 follow up Snatch. Jones became known to American audiences in the 2000 film remake of Gone in 60 Seconds, in which he played “The Sphinx”.
He played Danny Meehan in Mean Machine, a 2001 British remake of the Burt Reynolds film The Longest Yard. He played another football role as Mad Maynard, the leader of a Manchester United football hooligan firm, in the 2004 film EuroTrip. His next role was in the 2006 film, X-Men: The Last Stand, as the X-Men villain Juggernaut.
In 2012, Vinnie voiced “Freddie the Dog” in Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted and co-starred alongside Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger in the action/thriller Escape Plan, released in 2013.
On television, Vinnie Jones was the first guest host for The Friday Night Project when it first aired on Channel 4 in February 2005. He also appeared in an episode of Extras playing an exaggerated version of himself. Jones appeared on the first episode of the second season of Top Gear in their “Star in a Reasonably Priced Cat” segment, achieving a laptime of 1 minute 53 seconds.