Paul Gascoigne

Paul Gascoigne was one of the most talented and naturally gifted players of his generation. At his best, he mesmerised spectators with his dazzling skills and audacity on the ball.

‘Gazza’ enjoyed a meteoric rise to fame as one of the most promising English players of the 1980s. He soon found a place in the English football team (brought by Bobby Robson in 1998 for a friendly against Denmark) and played a key role in guiding England to the semi-finals of the 1990 World Cup. His booking in this game created a memorable moment, as realising he would be banned from the final he struggled to hold back the tears.

It was a highly charged game with England eventually losing on penalties to old rivals Germany. As it happened England didn’t make the final but the image of Gary Lineker putting an arm round the shoulder of Paul at this fateful moment was a memorable image from the final. Paul went on to win 57 caps for England, scoring 10 goals.Gascoigne started playing football at the age of four, playing almost non-stop in the street and nearby park. He played for his school Brighton Avenue Primary School, Gateshead team from the age of eight, and later played for the local Redheugh Boys’ Club despite being under the minimum age. He later attended Breckenbeds Junior High School then the Heathfield Senior High School, both in the Low Fell area of Gateshead. Playing in the midfield, Paul’s career included spells at Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur, Lazio, Rangers, Middlesbrough, Everton and Gansu Tianma.

At each of the clubs that he played he fostered a fantastic relationship with the fans.Paul’s career was a well decorated one. He won the FA Cup with Newcastle (1991), was Scottish Premier Division Champion on two occasions with Rangers, in addition to winning the Scottish Cup and the Scottish league Cup. His personal accolades included beating Stephen Hendry and Graeme Gooch to win BBC Sports Personality of the Year (1990). This was followed by the PFA Young Player of the Year (1988) and Scottish Players’ Player of the Year (1996). His addiction problems have been well documented, but following treatment at the Providence Project in Dorset, these are behind him. He’s a lean and very fit individual enjoying a rigorous gym programme in addition to a lot of running on the beach and playing local football.

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