Top 10 sporting feuds: Tiger Woods v Sergio Garcia to Muhammad Ali v Joe Frazier
You wouldn’t let it lie: Sergio Garcia, left, and Tiger Woods
Sergio Garcia and Tiger Woods are currently embroiled in a war of words as their bitter feud has simmered into outright hostility. Here are ten other sports stars who have failed to see eye-to-eye.
10. Teddy Sheringham v Andy Cole
These two were at the centre of a long-running mutual dislike for each other even though they played on the same team. They hardly spoke in the dressing room, let alone mix socially away from Old Trafford but buried the hatchet when they appeared together in the Manchester United line-up, leading Sir Alex Ferguson’s team to that remarkable Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup treble in 1999.
9. Pete Sampras v Andre Agassi
Bad blood between the two tennis greats was spilled at a charity event three years ago when the pair started taking verbal swipes at each other. Agassi accused Sampras of being too stiff, Pistol Pete hit back by making fun of the way Agassi walks. And it turned even nastier after with angry Andre nearly boiling over and Sampras going close to hitting his rival with his serve.
8. Michael Schumacher v Damon Hill
Multiple world champion Schuey notoriously rammed into British hero Hill, forcing him off the track at their championship decider in Adelaide in 1994 and claiming the Formula One title by a point. Relations never entirely thawed and Hill said he received hate-mail when he was one of the judges at the 2010 Monaco Grand Prix who handed Schumacher a 20-second penalty for a late overtaking procedure. The German’s fans were upset when the decision meant their favourite driver dropped from sixth place to 12th.
7. Roger Clemens and Mike Piazza
The spotlight was on the two rivals during the Subway World Series in 2000 when the New York Yankees squared up to crosstown rivals Mets. Trouble first flared in the regular season when star Yankees pitcher Clemens was accused of deliberately hitting Mets catcher Piazza with a fast-ball throw. But their volatile dispute erupted when Piazza’s broken bat accidentally flew in his direction during a World Series confrontation before Clemens picked up the hefty wooden shard and hurled it back at his foe’s head.
6. Graham Yallop v Rodney Hogg
The Australian team was split when the supposed team-mates were at loggerheads during the 1978-1979 Ashes. The dispute started when they faced each other as schoolboys but boiled over when they were in the same team facing England. It really heated up when Hogg left the ground for treatment to an injury during a drinks break and Yallop ordered him back only to be immediately offered outside. Hogg then refused team orders and was infuriated when he was criticised in Yallop’s autobiography. Oddly, when Hogg released his own book he tore a strip off Yallop – and then proceeded to ask for his help to promote the tome.
5. Tonya Harding v Nancy Kerrigan
This difference of opinion took sporting feuds to new heights just before the 1994 Winter Olympics. They were from different worlds – Harding the daughter of an alcoholic mum and layabout dad; Kerrigan a ‘nice girl’ with a blind mother. Kerrigan was hit in the leg by a lead pipe as she practised, with the assailant later to be revealed as working under the orders of Harding’s husband Jeff Gillooly. Harding denied any knowledge of ‘Skategate’ but never reconciled with Kerrigan, whose career took off as she gained immense sympathy as the scandal hit headlines around the world. Harding still receives hate mail and an attempt to bring the two together on television to kiss and make up failed miserably.
4. Sir Ian Botham v Ian Chappell
‘Beefy’ Botham took umbrage when he heard Chappell slagging off England in a Melbourne bar in 1977. When the Aussie refused to stop the attacks he was sent sprawling across a table when everyone’s favourite all-rounder caught him with a beaut of a punch. Chappell made another derogatory comment as he left and Botham chased him into the street but was stopped from landing another blow when police arrived. Chappell later said of his arch-enemy: ‘He was a good cricketer, nothing special.’ Botham responded: ‘As a human being he is a non-entity.’ Botham later denied Chappell’s accusation that he threatened to ‘cut him ear to ear’ with a beer bottle.
3. Sebastian Coe v Linford Christie
Two of Great Britain’s most successful track athletes have never been the best of buddies despite being Olympic champions. Their dislike scaled new heights when Coe accused the 1992 Olympic 100metres gold medallist of being a ‘boorish’ whinger who was ‘lucky’ to have avoided a drugs ban at the Seoul Games in 1988. He added that Christie was only made British team captain to keep him quiet. Christie fired back when he claimed Coe was now profiteering from the sport and branded him a racist.
2. Richard Cockerill and Norm Hewitt
England hooker Cockerill and his New Zealand opposite number stood eyeball to eyeball as the All Blacks performed the haka at Old Trafford in 1997. The rivalry simmered until after the first Test in Dunedin in June 1998 when the pair came to blows after a few drinks. They traded punches inside and outside a taxi and Cockerill was left nursing a black eye. The tour was notable for violent play and rival coaches Clive Woodward and John Hart also traded insults.
1. Muhammad Ali v Joe Frazier
Smokin’ Joe took his hatred for his former friend to his grave after three of the best heavyweight boxing fights of all time. Frazier helped Ali financially after his ban from boxing for dodging the Vietnam War but was in the build up to the first of their epic brawls in 1971 that it really turned nasty. Frazier was called stupid, inarticulate, ‘too ugly to be the champ’ and ‘an uncle Tom’ by Ali. And when Ali developed Parkinson’s disease years later his old adversary went on the offensive. He showed he was still extremely bitter when he said of Ali: ‘They want me to love him, but I’ll open up the graveyard and bury his ass when the good Lord chooses to take him.’