Thirty years ago this week the first of the iconic series of Colemanballs books were published by Private Eye magazine. Listing a whole litany of commentating verbal howlers (later broadened to include sportsmen and women) it was named in homage to the great David Coleman who, despite his imperious talents, was always susceptible to a gaffe or two.

Now fifteen compilations strong Colemanballs has become a firm fixture of dad’s Christmas stockings and a much-loved institution. Whether it’s the downright immature – “He’s pulling him off. The Spanish manager is pulling his Captain off!” – to the sadly apocryphal – “The bowler’s Holding, the batsman’s Willey” – to the utterly ace – “and there goes Juantorena down the back straight, opening his legs and showing his class.” – the books never fail to raise a sporting laugh.

Farah Hussein selects some of his football favourites.

George Best –

“In 1969 I gave up women and alcohol and it was the worst 20 minutes of my life”

Harry Redknapp –

“Samassi Abou don’t speak the English too good.”

“Dani is so good-looking I don’t know whether to play him or f*** him!”

Ruud Gullit –

“We must have had 99 per cent of the game. It was the other three per cent that cost us the match.”

Sir Bobby Robson –

“Look at those olive trees – they’re two hundred years old —from before the time of Christ.”

“Home advantage gives you an advantage.”

“The first 90 minutes are the most important”

Steve Lomas –

“Germany are a very difficult team to play — they had 11 internationals out there today.”

Paul Gascoigne –

“I never predict anything and I never will.”

Glenn Hoddle –

“When a player gets to 30, so does his body.”

David O’Leary –

“I was a young lad when I was growing up.”

Gerry Francis –

“What I said to them at half-time would be unprintable on the radio.”

Wayne Bridge (after winning the Carling Cup final 2007) –

“The important thing was we got the three points.”

Graham Taylor –

“Very few of us have any idea of what life is like living in a goldfish bowl, except, of course, for those of us who are goldfish.”

Bobby Robson (again) –

“Everyone’s got tough games coming up. Manchester United have got Arsenal, Arsenal have got Manchester United and Leeds have got Leeds.”

Kevin Keegan –

“I came to Nantes two years ago and it’s much the same today, except that it’s totally different”

“The 33 or 34-year-olds will be 36 or 37 by the time the next World Cup comes around, if they’re not careful.”

Ian Wright –

“Without being too harsh on David he cost us the match”

Alvin Martin –

“The new season will be all about scoring more goals than the opposition”

Barry Venison –

“I always used to put my right boot on first, and then obviously my right sock”

Murdo MacLeod –

“That was only a yard away from being an inch-perfect pass”

Bryan Robson –

“If we played like that every week then we wouldn’t be so inconsistent”

Andy Gray –

“Anyone who takes drugs should be hammered”