It is 1993 and Coventry City are facing Aston Villa. Playing up front for City is Mick Quinn, a 14-stone scouser complete with roguish moustache and unmissable mullet hairstyle. City's sky blue acrylic kit is pulled taught against his belly. On 77 minutes Villa's fans belt out another chorus of "Who ate all the pies?" at Quinn, who has barely touched the ball all game. Suddenly he latches on to a through ball and with a lightning turns beats his defender and thumps the ball into the net. Mick Quinn, the boy from a Liverpool council estate dubbed "Little Beirut", always loved his birds, booze and betting. His dad ran a Liverpool pub nicknamed the "Bermuda Triangle" - people always seemed to go in but never came out - and Mick always had a kind of sixth sense at finding a party from any range. Quinn says he only put #50 on each race - but he liked to stay in the bookies for 20 races every day. In 1987 he was sentenced to three weeks at Her Majesty's pleasure for twice driving whilst banned. Three years later he was arrested in his kit on the training pitch, but the police later discovered it was a look-alike team-mate behind the wheel.
He's been accused of punching out Peter Schmeichel on the pitch and John Fashanu off it and he's been nicknamed everything from "Sumo" to "Bob" (as in Bob Carolgees) to plain old "Fat Bastard". On retirement, Quinn made the unlikely switch to the Sport of Kings. He got the bug as a boy peeking throught the fence at Aintree near his home. In his favoured cream shell suit the master of East Manton Stables became a familiar sight on the gallops alongside the usual ranks of tweed and corduroy. Then, as usual, Mickey pulled defeat out of the jaws of victory. Controversy led the blue bloods of racing to hang the scouse oik out to dry and he was suspended from training for two years.
Mick Quinn scored an amazing 231 goals in 512 league games for six football clubs including Newcastle United, Coventry City and Portsmouth. As a racehorse trainer, he has had over forty winners. Oliver Harvey is assistant features editor at the Sun newspaper and has also worked at the Daily Mail.