“Swintt came to us and we’ve joined them for, fundamentally, a business opportunity, but the fact that we can raise money for Harefield and charity sort of tipped the scales.”
These were the words of Hollywood actor and former FA Cup and First Division-winning footballer, Vinnie Jones, who caught up with SBC at ICE 2022 at the Excel Arena in London to discuss his recent partnership with Swintt and what it was that made him choose to work with the developer.
Starring in Swintt’s new London-themed video slot ‘The Crown’, focusing on Jones’ life and persona, he described the plot of the title as himself “30 years ago”, adding: “I think I might have tried to pull this off thirty years ago with my mates.
“It’s a good insight of what I used to be like. I’m not saying I’m not like it now, but I’m saying I’m a little bit older and wiser.”
Discussing the importance of raising money and awareness for the Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospitals Charity, Jones highlighted that “it’s very important” to him as his wife had a transplant at the facility in 1987 – “and she passed away three years ago so we keep her legacy going”.
He added: “We’ve been doing it for 30-odd years where we’ve been donating a lot of money that I raised through different things.
“I mean, for me, if I do something on TV – instead of getting taxed for it – I can send it straight to the hospital and they don’t get taxed on it. So I’ve done that quite a lot and it’s just keeping the awareness of the hospital going and what a great job they do.”
Describing some of the biggest highlights of his varied career, Jones listed winning the FA Cup, winning the league with Leeds, his son being born and his wedding day, noting: “I’ve been lucky, I’ve had a lot of great days – meeting Lady Diana when we won the FA Cup was pretty special – and quite a lot of things you can’t take back or live over again.
“You can look at the medal sometimes but, you know, I’ve been lucky. I’ve had quite a few memories that have been highlights. They overweigh the lowlights.
Pressed as to how his time in the infamous Wimbledon Crazy Gang prepared him for some of his acting roles, Jones revealed that some of the characters from the gang are “definitely” in some of his films.
He explained: “You take a few mannerisms out of different people. You know, my first room partner, still one of my best mates, Wally Downes, I learned a lot from him, he’s a real character.
“Especially with the acting, you can take little bits from other people that you grew up with or at school or anybody, you know, the guy that sells the newspapers, you can take little bits into acting like that.”
He concluded: “The crazy gang I think, more than anything, gave me the confidence to go into the filming [industry], because it’s quite terrifying. When you go in you have no coaching, no nothing. I literally got thrown in and it was like ‘right, there’s your lines and roll camera’, so I’ve had to learn the hard way, but it’s been good fun.”