bad boy Joey Barton has revealed a surprising love of fine art since moving
down to London after his transfer to QPR.
Tweeted that his recent trip to the National Gallery had been "vv
good", and that French impressionist Monet - who apparently shares Barton's
favourite colours - is "my new fav".
interest in art is anything but the most surprising odd hobby enjoyed by a
sports star. Here's our rundown of the top 10:
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Mike Tyson - pigeon fancier
brutal boxer who once bit a chunk out of Evander Holyfield's ear during a bout
has revealed a unexpected tender side since retirement as he has got heavily
into keeping pigeons. "Pigeons are the best," he said earlier this year.
"Of all the animals I've had -- tigers, lions, bears -- Oh no, none of
them are even close to the same league as the birds."
suprisingly, Tyson isn't the only legendary hard man who is keen on his flying friends.
Scottish football star Duncan Ferguson is also obsessed with racing pigeons, a
hobby which inspired Everton fans to conjure up a chant involving Ferguson's
pigeons relieving themselves on Liverpool fans over at nearby Anfield.
Fernando Alonso - magician
F1 star is a keen amateur magician, often entertaining friends and colleagues
with his nifty card tricks - and he claims he owes it all to his parents.
"My parents are responsible for the two things I like doing most - driving
and magic tricks," he once said. "They bought me my first go-kart and
a magician's kit."
Jesper Parnevik - eater of volcanoes
Swedish golfer -- son of a famous Swedish comedian -- has always ploughed his
own furrow in terms of his clothing, hobbies and even his golf swing. So it's
perhaps no surprise to find that he has a good line in unusual hobbies as well.
He's actually a dab hand at magic, but it was his admission during the height
of his career that he ate volcanic dust with every meal that most endeared him
to us. "It's really expensive. I don't know why," Parnevik explained
at the time. "It just tastes like regular dirt."
Cristiano Ronaldo - bingo
Portuguese winger's main hobby is not, as you might imagine, checking himself
out in the mirror. Instead, the Real Madrid star loves a game of bingo. "It
can be very exciting because you can be there waiting for a long time for just
the one number to make the game complete," he told a Portuguese newspaper.
"Then you see one of your friends you are playing against get his lucky
number before you."
Annika Sorenstam - professional caterer
that the world's best ever woman golfer, a player with ten Majors to her name, would
be content to sit back and polish her trophies when not out on the golf course.
Not so: her love of cooking is so great that she is desperate to turn it into a
second career. The multi-millionaire even spent the winter before the 2003 season
working eight-hour shifts in the kitchens at a restaurant in Lake Nona, Florida,
to brush up on her skills.
Duncan Edwards - Morris dancer
Manchester United legend - and Munich air crash victim - was a keen, and
talented morris dancer and Scottish sword dancer (you'll have seen it on Blue
Peter - it's the one where you jump in and out of a pair of swords laid criss-cross
on the floor). He even won selection for a national morris dancing competition
while a teenager, but the event fell on the same day as an England schools'
football trial. He went to the latter, and the rest is history.
Matt Oakley - Amazonian man-eating fish keeper
City veteran's chief off-pitch interest is the fine wine company that he set up
a few years ago with top sommelier Barry Skarin (who used to choose the plonk
for the likes of Marco Pierre White and Michael Caine. No, not that Michael
Caine, but the chef bloke you might have seen on Masterchef). Ever more
interesting is Oakley's passion for exotic fish, specifically red-bellied
piranhas. "I didn't want the normal guppies, tetras or angel fish,"
he explained after taking a large shipment a few years ago. "I wanted
something unusual and piranhas certainly make feeding time interesting."
Dan Agger - tattoo artist
footballer worth his salt would be seen without some sort of extravagant
tattoo, and the Liverpool defender is up there with the best of them thanks to
a slightly bizarre viking graveyard that is indelibly graven into his back. But
Agger takes his love of body art one step further: he also loves inking up other
people, and is a qualified tattooist.
Hideki Matsui - pornography collector
The one-time New
York Yankees superstar and World Series MVP - affectionately known as
Japan's 'Baseball Godzilla' - is open, honest and matter-of-fact about his love
of pornography. Make no mistake, this is way more than a couple of copies of
Playboy: a profile in Time magazine's Asian edition in 2003 reported that he
has some 55,000 blue movies in his collection.
David Beckham - fencer
England captain is mustard keen on fencing - and not, as you might expect of a Leytonstone
lad like Becks, the version that involves popping down to B&Q for a load of
planks and nails. Instead, it's the aristocratic sword fighting sport that is
his hobby, and has been for the last three years. Apparently he does it all the
time with Will Smith and Tom Cruise. "We don't get enough time for hanging
out, just us three guys," explained Smith, "so this is his way of
getting together and bonding. David and I go to his home and just do fencing.
It's a lot of fun."
Russell, Jody Craddock and Luke Donald
World War buff Manuel Almunia
Pizza chef Fabio
fisherman Tiger Woods
dancing NFL star Willie Gault of the Chicago Bears