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Paul John Gascoigne (born 27 May 1967 in Dunston, Gatesheadmarker, Tyne and Wear, Englandmarker), commonly referred to as Gazza, is a retired Englishmarker professional football player who also had spells as a manager at Kettering Town.

Playing in the position of midfield, Gascoigne's career included spells at Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur, Lazio, Rangers, Middlesbrough and Everton. He was capped 57 times for the England national football team.

Gascoigne was involved in many off-field incidents, and is believed never to have fulfilled his potential as a player. Since his career finished he has suffered from alcoholism, mental illness and personal legal problems.

Early life

Gascoigne was born in the Dunstonmarker area of Gatesheadmarker, the second of four children of John Gascoigne (a hod carrier) and his wife Carol.

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 team from the age of eight, and later played for the local Redheughmarker Boys' Club despite being under the minimum age. He later attended Breckenbeds Junior High School (which closed in September 1996) on Saltwell Road South in Low Fellmarker, then the Heathfield Senior High School (also closed in September 1996).

He caught the attention of the football scouts while playing for Gateshead Boys, and was given a trial at Ipswich Town although he failed to impress. Further trials at Middlesbrough and Southampton also proved unsuccessful, before Newcastle United signed him as a schoolboy in 1980. At school he was once caught practising his autograph during a geography lesson, his reason being that he was "going to be a famous footballer". His teacher, Mr Hepworth, was not impressed, telling the young Gascoigne that "only one in a million becomes a professional footballer". Nevertheless he was signed on as an apprentice at Newcastle in 1983, initially playing for the youth team under Colin Suggett. It was at this time that his nickname of "Gazza" was first coined.

However, while Gascoigne was successful on the football field, his childhood was marked by instability and tragedy. Initially his family lived in a single upstairs room in a council house with a shared bathroom, and moved several times during Gascoigne's early life. When was ten his father moved to Germanymarker to find work, and Gascogines witnessed the death of Steven Spraggon, the younger brother of a friend, who was knocked down by a car. His father also suffered a brain hemorrhage and was in hospital for eight months. In his autobiography, Gascoigne reports that around this time he started exhibiting twitches and symptoms of Obsessive compulsive disorder. In addition to this, he began shoplifting - chiefly from slot machines and sweets from a local newsagent. He describes the thefts as being motivated not by need for the goods but by the need for excitement.

Subsequently Gascogine developed an addiction to gaming machines, frequently spending all his money including bus fare home on them. Around this time he first drank of alcohol, getting drunk on a bottle of vodka stolen by a friend at age fourteen, but ill effects led to Gascoigne swearing off alcohol for life - in the event he didn't drink again until he was eighteen. Furthermore, death made another appearance in Gascoigne's life when a friend he had encouraged to join Newcastle United from Middlesbrough went to work with his uncle in the building trade while waiting for an opening at Newcastle and was killed in a building site accident.

Club career

Newcastle United

Paul captained Newcastle's youth team in the 1984-85 season, winning the FA Youth Cup where he scored twice in the second leg of the final against Watford. Manager Jack Charlton picked him as a substitute for the Tyne-Wear derby with Sunderland, although he did not make it onto the pitch. He made his first team debut at home to Queens Park Rangers on 13 April 1985, coming on as a substitute. Soon after he signed his first professional contract, and made a further appearance for the first team. Willie McFaul took over as manager soon after and awarded Paul his first start in the black and white shirt, on the opening day of the 1985-86 season at Southampton. He scored his first goal at home to Oxford United in a 3-0 victory at St James' Parkmarker, with a further eight following in the 1985-86 campaign. Newcastle finished 11th in the First Division that season and, at the end of it, Paul was featured on the front cover of the Rothmans Football Yearbook.

Gascoigne's burgeoning career seemed to rise in conjunction with his capacity for getting into trouble. After an incident with Jimmy 'Five Bellies' Gardner where they ran over a man and then fled the scene, initially wrecking the car to make out it had been stolen before admitting their crime, Gascoigne was fined £260 and given eight points on his 'non-existent license'. He was told by Mr McKeag, one of the Newcastle directors, that this would be his last warning. Gascoigne later passed his test after having initially bribed an examiner who subsequently failed him anyway. His rise through the Newcastle youth team was not a happy one as he felt constantly picked on about his weight and his misbehaviour. After one instance where he felt particularly picked on, he took a groundsman's tractor and drove it straight into the dressing room wall, jumping off just before impact - he was fined £75 for this. Though confident in his ability, Gascoigne confesses to jealousy of Ian Bogie who he felt was a superior player to him.

Gazza also had doubts as to the direction the club was going, especially when they sold Chris Waddle, something he felt was a bad sign. In all competitions he made a total of 107 appearances for Newcastle, scoring 25 goals. At the end of the 1987-88 season, he was named as the Barclays Young Player of the Year and was subject of offers from both Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur. Gascoigne's first choice was Liverpool but with no offer forthcoming, Gascoigne promised Alex Ferguson that he would sign for Manchester United. Ferguson duly went on holiday to Maltamarker, where he received the news that Gascoigne had signed for Spurs, who paid Newcastle a fee of £2.3 million which was then a British transfer record and the first to break the £2million barrier.

In his 1999 autobiography, Ferguson claims that Gascoigne was wooed into signing for Tottenham after they bought a house for his impoverished family.

Ferguson expressed that the biggest disappointment in his managerial career was "not getting Gazza"

Tottenham Hotspur

Under Terry Venables, Gascoigne developed into an international class footballer. He had a stocky, powerful build that allowed him to hold off defenders and weather challenges. He combined his attacking flair with hustle and tenacity, but sometimes reckless, tackling. In his first season at White Hart Lanemarker he helped Spurs to sixth in the First Division, and to third position the following season. Over these two seasons he made a total of 75 appearances in all competitions, scoring 14 goals. In the 1990-91 season Tottenham reached the FA Cup Final after failing to get past the Third Round for the previous two seasons. Gascoigne scored six goals on the road to the final, including a spectacular free-kick against Arsenal in the semi-final at Wembleymarker.

However the final, against Nottingham Forest, turned out to be disastrous for Gascoigne as he sustained a serious injury. Going into the final he had already agreed terms to join Italianmarker club Lazio in an £8.5 million deal and wanted to leave Spurs on a high to show the world how good he was. Just minutes into the game he committed a dangerous knee-high foul on Gary Charles but ruptured the cruciate ligaments in his right knee in the process. He subsequently collapsed after taking his place in the defensive wall for a free kick, from which England team mate Stuart Pearce scored. Tottenham went on to win the Cup in extra time, which Gascoigne witnessed from his hospital bed. As a consequence he missed the entire 1991-92 season while he recovered, suffering a further knee injury in Autumn 1991, when an accident at a nightclub on Tynesidemarker ruled him out for even longer.


He finally joined Lazio for a fee of £5.5 million, making his debut on 27 September 1992 in a match against Genoa which was televised in Britainmarker as well as Italymarker. In his first season at the Stadio Olimpicomarker, his form was inconsistent but he scored his first goal in the 89th minute to equalise during the Romemarker derby against AS Roma. However, he failed to fully settle in Italy and was beset by media interest and injury, notably breaking his cheekbone in April 1993 and his leg a year later; the latter injury keeping him out for the majority of the 1994-95 season. In all competitions he made 47 appearances for Lazio, scoring six goals.


Gascoigne signed for Glasgow Rangers in July 1995, for a reported fee of £4.3 million. He made an immediate impact, in the fifth league game of the season in the Old Firm match at Celtic Parkmarker he scored a memorable goal running almost the length of the pitch. On 30 December 1995, in a match against Hibs, Gascoigne comically 'booked' referee Dougie Smith. Smith had dropped his yellow card and Gascoigne picked it up and showed it to the official, before returning it. Smith was not amused and booked Gascoigne. Rangers went on to win the league, clinching the title in the penultimate game of the season against Aberdeen. After Rangers went 1-0 down in the early stages Gascoigne went on to score a hat-trick despite, in his own words, being tired and running on pure adrenaline. Along with the equaliser he scored in the Rome derby for Lazio, Gascoigne identifies this hat-trick as one of his best footballing moments. Rangers subsequently won the Scottish Cup, and Gascoigne picked up both the Players' Player of the Year and Football Writers' Player of the Year awards. Rangers won the league title again in 1996-97, their ninth in succession, and also the League Cup where Gascoigne scored twice in the Final.

In January 1998 Gascoigne again courted controversy after he mimicked playing a flute (symbolic of the flute-playing of Orange Order marchers,) during an Old Firm match at Celtic Park, which was televised live on Sky Sports. He had previously done the same after scoring against Steaua Bucharest in a 1995 pre-season friendly which had gone largely unnoticed. The gesture infuriated Celtic fans and Gascoigne was fined £20,000 by Rangers after the incident. His wage was said to be in the region of £25,000 a week.

Later career

In March 1998 he left Scotland and joined Middlesbrough for £3.4 million. His first match was the League Cup final against Chelsea in which he came on as a substitute. He played seven games in Division One, helping Boro into the Premier League as runners-up to Nottingham Forest. Personal problems limited his subsequent appearances for Boro and he joined Everton (managed by former Rangers boss Walter Smith) on 17 July 2000, scoring his first goal against Bolton Wanderers in November 2001, and finished the 2001/02 season with the final few games of the Division One season with Burnley, who missed out on the playoffs (and the chance of Premier League football) by finishing in seventh place with an inferior goal difference compared to sixth-placed Norwich City.

In 2002, with his career coming to an end, Gascoigne went on trial with Americanmarker club D.C. United, but failed to win a contract. In January 2003, he signed a nine-month contact with Chinesemarker club Gansu Tianma in both a playing and coaching role, but after going to America for treatment against drink and depression in April, he failed to return. The eruption of the SARS virus in China only further halted any thoughts of returning. Instead, he returned to England and later trained for six weeks with Wolverhampton Wanderers, but was not offered a contract for their 2003-04 Premier League campaign.

In 2004, Gascoigne was signed by then League 2 side Boston United as player-coach, but only made 5 appearances and scored no goals. He was, however, a strong favourite at York Street due to his England career and other prior experiences.

International career

Gascoigne was first called up to the full England squad by Bobby Robson for a friendly against Denmark, in September 1988. He scored his first goal for England in a World Cup Qualifier against Albania. The following match saw him make his first start and he played in most of matches in the run in to the 1990 World Cup with England finishing second in their group. He secured his place in the World Cup squad in a 4-2 win against Czechoslovakia when he scored one goal and had a hand in the other three.

He played in all three of the group games at World Cup held in Italy in 1990 as England topped their group, providing the assist for Mark Wright's winner against Egypt. In the first knockout game against Belgium he notched another assist. With the score at 0-0 towards the end of extra time. Gascoigne got the ball in the middle of the pitch and attacked, winning a free kick. He chipped the ball into the penalty area and David Platt volleyed the ball into net to send England into the quarter-finals where they played Cameroon. Gascoigne was at the centre of the action again when he gave away a penalty which Cameroon scored from. England were 2-1 down in the last ten minutes of the match. In extra time he found Gary Lineker with a through-ball from which Lineker won, and subsequently scored, a penalty which proved to be the winning goal.

On 4 July 1990 England played West Germany in the World Cup semi-final in Turinmarker. After going 1-0 down early in the second half, Gascoigne's Spurs team-mate Gary Lineker equalised for England with ten minutes remaining to force extra time. Gascoigne, having already received a yellow card during England's 1-0 victory over Belgiummarker in the second round, showed his tenacity again as he fouled Thomas Berthold and was booked, which meant that he would be suspended for the World Cup Final if England won the match. Television showed that he had tears in his eyes following the yellow card. The match culminated in a penalty shoot-out with Gascoigne originally intended to take the third kick, which was scored by Platt, but the Germans eventually won and England failed to reach the final. He was named in the tournament All-Star team for his performances and returned to England to a frenzy that became known as Gazzamania. Five years later, a TV advert for Walkers Crisps (also featuring Gary Lineker) referenced to Gascoigne's tearful appearance in the semi-final.

By the time of his serious injury in the 1991 FA Cup Final, he had earned twenty England caps. After his recovery he was usually picked by Graham Taylor for England matches until the broken leg sustained at Lazio ruled him out for a whole year. He became a key part of Terry Venables' team in the run-in to Euro '96. In the first game against Switzerland he was substituted but scored in the second game against Scotland. A minute after David Seaman had saved a penalty, Gascoigne received the ball from Darren Anderton on the left outside the Scotland penalty area. He moved as if to play the ball down the outside, but flicked the ball over Colin Hendry with his left foot and changed direction. Hendry was completely wrongfooted and, as the ball dropped, Gascoigne volleyed it with his right foot past Andy Goram. The goal was followed by the "Dentist's chair" celebration referring to an incident before the Euro 1996, where England team players were photographed on a drunken night with Gascoigne and Teddy Sheringham shown drinking in a dentist's chair. After the goal Gascoigne lay on the ground as if he were sitting in the dentist's chair, and teammates sprayed water from bottles into his open mouth.

In the third group game against the Netherlands Gascoigne contributed to a 4-1 victory, providing the corner which led to the second goal and crafting the third goal with a mazy run into the Dutch penalty area. After beating Spain on penalties, England met Germany in the semi-final. Early on Gascoigne's corner again led to an England goal, and extra time was again required. England lost to Germany in the resulting penalty shoot-out and, once again, Gascoigne shed tears. He was named to the tournament All-Star squad along with Shearer and Steve McManaman.

Under Glenn Hoddle, Gascoigne was picked regularly over the next year and a half helping England qualify for the 1998 World Cup. But with injury and disciplinary problems affecting his game, he was left out of the final squad by Hoddle. British tabloid newspapers showed pictures of a drunken Gascoigne eating kebabs in the early hours of the morning only a week before the final squad was due to be chosen. On being told he was out of the squad, Gascoigne wrecked Hoddle's room in a rage before being restrained. Five other players were also left out the squad, including Phil Neville, who was later consoled by Gascoigne. Hoddle later hit back at Gascoigne, declaring publicly that it was the latter's own fault that he was not included in the squad. But while Neville went on to win many more caps, Gascoigne was never to play for his country again, having won 57 caps and scored 10 goals.

Managerial and coaching career

Having already gained some coaching experience in China, he signed for Boston United on 30 July 2004. After being at the club for 11 games he left (partly as a result of the club refusing to let him participate in the reality television show I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!) on 5 October 2004, to begin a football coaching course. He made a total of five appearances for the club but scored no goals. In the summer of 2005 he spent two months as player-coach at the recently founded Portuguese team Algarve United, but a proposed contract never materialised and he returned to England. He then became manager of Kettering Town on 27 October 2005. His tenure at Kettering lasted just 39 days, and he was dismissed by the club's board on 5 December 2005, along with assistant manager Paul Davis. The club's owner blamed Gascoigne's alcohol problems, stating that he drank almost every day he worked.

Other projects

At the height of "Gazzamania", he reached number 2 in the UK Top 40 with "Fog on the Tyne", a collaborative cover with Lindisfarne. He also toured Europe with Iron Maiden.

He promoted two videogames: Gazza's Superstar Soccer and Gazza II, as well as featured in an advertising campaign to promote the Fabergé brand Brut.

He worked as a pundit on ITV's World Cup team in 2002. In 2005, he made an emotional TV appearance on a BBC One programme about ex-footballers. Speaking to Scottishmarker ex-footballer Alan Hansen, he talked about his problems and how he had had to cope with not being the player he used to be. He also mentioned he was determined to get back into the game by obtaining the proper coaching badges needed to manage a team.

In August 2006, he visited Botswanamarker on behalf of the FA's international outreach week and played football with the children from the SOS Children's village there.

Personal life

Gascoigne married Sheryl Failes in Hatfield, Hertfordshiremarker in 1996, only to divorce in 1998. They have a son, Regan Paul Gascoigne (born Hatfield, 1996). He adopted Sheryl's two children from her first marriage. Paul's stepdaughter Bianca Gascoigne appeared on reality TV show Love Island. He has acknowledged regularly beating Sheryl; his children claim that he beat them as well.

In 2004 he stated that he wished to be referred to as G8, combining his initial and his playing number.

His seven year old nephew Cameron Gascoigne signed a contract with Newcastle United after he scored 22 goals in 30 minutes for Rutherford Swifts FC in the Gateshead Youth League.

Alcoholism, health, and legal problems

In 2004 he published his autobiography Gazza: My Story, written with Hunter Davies. He published a follow-up book Being Gazza: Tackling My Demons in 2006. In it, he detailed undergoing therapy for bulimia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder, and alcoholism.

On 5 December 2005, the day of his firing from Kettering Town after a little over one month in charge, he was arrested after an alleged assault on a press photographer outside a hotel in Liverpoolmarker. The photographer later dropped these charges, but the same charge was again brought against Gascoigne in November 2006 over an alleged incident in a Londonmarker nightclub.

In May 2007, he underwent emergency surgery on a perforated stomach ulcer, after falling ill celebrating his 40th birthday.

On 21 February 2008 he was sectioned under the Mental Health Act after an incident at the Malmaison Hotel in Newcastle. He reportedly threatened to harm himself, and so was taken into protective custody as a precaution. He has been sectioned and released again several times since then. He claims that he almost died during his time in a rehabilitation programme in 2008, saying that he was revived three times after his heart had stopped.

On 18 September 2008 he was arrested by police in Gateshead for criminal damage whilst trying to enter a closed pub, reportedly with his own set of keys.

On 5 January 2009, home video clips of Gascoigne appeared in a documentary screened on Channel 4 called Surviving Gazza, which depicted his family's efforts in 2008 to help and rehabilitate him. The conclusion at the end of the documentary was that their efforts had failed, and Paul's alcoholism had continued despite a stint in rehab.

On 13 April 2009 Gascoigne appeared on the UK mid-day programme Loose Women appearing healthy, good-humoured and cogent, claiming that his stint at the Tony Adams "Sporting Chance" rehabilitation centre had finally allowed him to mature and that he was no longer a slave to addictions.

On 19 April 2009 Gascoigne was a panellist on the BBC football program Match of the Day 2. It was on this show that Gascoigne confirmed that he had been 15 months clean of any drugs and sober for a total of four months. He was also at the time in training for a forthcoming All Stars fund raising football match.

On 3 June 2009 Gascoigne was helped from a train at Newcastle Central Stationmarker, apparently drunk, by his old friend Jimmy Gardner. His girlfriend Emma-Kate Dawson later reported he called her from Newcastle after an extended drinking session saying he had a knife and wanted to kill himself. On 5 June 2009 Gascoigne was dropped from the ITV television show I'm a Celebrity... Get Me out of Here! before filming started after failing a psychiatric test.

On 25 July 2009 Gascoigne appeared on a Sporting Heroes edition of the BBC television quiz The Weakest Link where he engaged in banter with host Anne Robinson and on 26 July 2009 he played in an England v Germany charity football match to help raise funds for the Sir Bobby Robson cancer fund.



Newcastle United

Tottenham Hotspur




  • PFA Young Player of the Year, 1988
  • BBC Sports Personality of the Year, 1990
  • 1990 World Cup All-Star Team player
  • Scottish Players' Player of the Year, 1996
  • Scottish Football Writers' Player of the Year, 1996
  • Inducted into English Football Hall of Fame in 2002

Career statistics



External links

1984-85 Newcastle United First Division 2 0 - - - 2 0
1985-86 31 9 1 0 3 0 - 35 9
1986-87 24 5 - 2 0 - 26 5
1987-88 35 7 3 3 3 1 - 41 11
1988-89 Tottenham Hotspur First Division 32 6 - 5 1 - 37 7
1989-90 34 6 - 4 1 - 38 7
1990-91 26 7 6 6 5 6 - 37 19
1991-92 0 0 - - - 0 0

1992-93 Lazio Serie A 22 4 4 0 - - 26 4
1993-94 17 2 - - - 17 2
1994-95 4 0 - - - 4 0

1995-96 Rangers Premier Division 28 14 4 3 3 1 7 1 42 19
1996-97 26 13 1 0 4 3 3 1 34 17
1997-98 20 3 3 0 - 5 0 28 3

1997-98 Middlesbrough First Division 7 0 - 1 0 - 8 0
1998-99 Premier League 26 3 1 0 2 0 - 29 3
1999-00 8 1 1 0 2 0 - 11 1
2000-01 Everton Premier League 14 0 - 1 0 - 15 0
2001-02 18 1 4 0 1 0 - 23 1
2001-02 Burnley First Division 6 0 - - - 6 0

2003 Gansu Tianma China League One 4 2 - - - 4 2

2004-05 Boston United League Two 4 0 - 1 0 - 5 0

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