When Fanie bit Shepherd's ears!

When Fanie bit Shepherd's ears!

Fanie de Villiers may across as a fun-loving gentleman, who has made a name for himself as a motivational speaker now, but back in his playing days his behaviour bordered on the madness. In one such moment of madness, he bit David Shepherd's ear when the genial umpire turned down an lbw appeal by de Villiers during a match against England.

"The (rugby) World Cup (1994) was going on and (Johan) Le Roux (of South Africa) bit (Sean) Fitzpatrick's ear. He was bleeding. And he said 'Barbaric South African'. And it was the day before (my match). I bowled and appealed for an lbw and David Shepherd said to me, 'not out'. When I walked back I told him, 'you know people's ears get bitten off for much lesser (reason) than what you've done against me now.'

"As I walked away I thought, 'I'm going to bite him'. About three or four balls later, I thought, 'If I'm going to bite him, I need to go past him and then turn around and bite him. I am going to get fined, maybe 10 grand, so must make it worthwhile. I'm going to bite him, hold on to his ear and tell my mates see what I've done, and then we're going to have a laugh, because then it's worthwhile to get fined. I turned around and remember grabbing him and I bit him. I remember the salt in my mouth! I bit him, and I held on and he said, 'Eh'. And I thought, 'he's not screaming' so I went harder and he went, 'aaargh'. And everybody had a laugh about it.

"The next day at breakfast, he threw the paper on the table in front of me, The Sun, with a photograph of me biting him. You could see his ear stretched out far! And he said, 'you're a good sport de Villiers'. And he signed it, gave it to me and then went to have his own breakfast with his wife. And I got fined 10 grand. They said I brought the game into disrepute. But it was still worthwhile!"

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