Gascoigne in November 2007.
|Full name||Paul John Gascoigne|
|Date of birth||27 May 1967|
|Place of birth||Dunston, Gateshead, England|
|Height||1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)|
|Playing position||Attacking Midfielder|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
Playing as a midfielder, he began his professional career with local club Newcastle United in 1985. Three years later he was sold on to Tottenham Hotspur for a £2 million fee. He won the FA Cup with Spurs in 1991, before he was sold to Italian club Lazio for £8.5 million the following year. In July 1995, he was transferred to Rangers for £4.3 million, and helped the club to two league titles and two trophies. He returned to England in a £3.4 million move to Middlesbrough in March 1998. He made his debut in the Premier League in the 1998–99 season, having already featured in the 1998 Football League Cup Final. He switched to Everton in July 2000, and later had spells with Burnley, Gansu Tianma (China), and Boston United.
Though well known throughout Europe for his club career, his football career is particularly remembered for his 57 England caps. He also won 13 caps for the England under-21s and four caps for the England B team. He was part of the England squad that reached fourth place in the 1990 FIFA World Cup, and was famously reduced to tears after receiving a yellow card in the semi-final with West Germany, which meant he would be suspended for the final itself had England won the game. He also helped the team to the semi-finals of UEFA Euro 1996, and again embedded himself in the national consciousness with a spectacular goal against Scotland that was coupled with a memorable goal celebration.
After retiring from professional football, his life became dominated by his mental and emotional problems, particularly his alcoholism. His problems have received regular coverage in the British press, especially during his various run-ins with the law in 2008–2010. He has attempted to live without alcohol on numerous occasions, though numerous rehabilitation programmes have provided only temporary relief. His problems ended his coaching career, and he has not worked since being fired as the manager of Kettering Town in 2005.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Club career
- 3 International career
- 4 Managerial and coaching career
- 5 Other projects
- 6 Personal life
- 7 Career statistics
- 8 Honours
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Gascoigne was born in the Dunston area of Gateshead, England on 27 May 1967. His father, John, was a hod carrier, and his mother, Carol, worked in a factory. He was named Paul John Gascoigne in tribute to The Beatles members Paul McCartney and John Lennon.
He attended Breckenbeds Junior High School, then the Heathfield Senior High School, both in the Low Fell area of Gateshead. He was noticed by football scouts while playing for Gateshead Boys, though failed to impress in a trial at Ipswich Town. Further trials at Middlesbrough and Southampton also proved unsuccessful, before boyhood club Newcastle United signed him as a schoolboy in 1980. He was signed on as an apprentice at Newcastle on his sixteenth birthday. He was usually overweight whilst signed to Newcastle and frequently got into trouble with his friend Jimmy "Five Bellies" Gardner, particularly when the pair were taken to court and fined over a hit and run incident. Newcastle chairman Stan Seymour described Gascoigne as "George Best without brains".
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 he was ten, Gascoigne witnessed the death of Steven Spraggon, the younger brother of a friend, who was knocked down by a car. Around this time, his father began to suffer from seizures. Gascoigne began developing obsessions and twitches, and was taken into therapy at age ten, but soon quit the therapy sessions after his father expressed doubts over the treatment methods.
Gascoigne developed an addiction to gaming machines, frequently spending all his money on them, and also began shoplifting to fund his addiction. Death made another appearance in his life when a friend, whom he had encouraged to join Newcastle United from Middlesbrough, died whilst he was working for Gascoigne's uncle on a building site. At the age of 15, he took the decision to provide for his family – his parents and two sisters – financially, as he saw professional football as a way of earning more money than the rest of the family were capable of. He enjoyed football, and later wrote that "I didn't have twitches or worry about death when I was playing football".
Gascoigne captained Newcastle United's youth team to the FA Youth Cup in the 1984–85 season, and scored twice in the 4–1 victory over Watford in the final at Vicarage Road. Manager Jack Charlton handed Gascoigne his first team debut as a substitute for George Reilly in a 1–0 win over Queens Park Rangers on 13 April 1985 at St James' Park. At the age of 18 Gascoigne signed a two-year £120 a week contract at Newcastle, with the club also having a further two-year option clause written into the contract.
Willie McFaul took over as manager for the 1985–86 season, and named Gascoigne in his first eleven from the opening game of the campaign; he took the place of Chris Waddle, who had been sold in the summer. He scored his first goal at home to Oxford United in a 3–0 victory on 21 September 1985, and claimed a further eight goals in the 1985–86 campaign. Newcastle finished 11th in the First Division that season and, at the end of it, Gascoigne was featured on the front cover of the Rothmans Football Yearbook.
He continued to impress in the 1987–88 season, and in a 0–0 draw with Wimbledon at Plough Lane hard-man Vinnie Jones singled him out for attention, and in an incident that would become a much-publicised photograph Jones grabbed him by the genitals as Gascoigne screamed in agony. He was named as the PFA Young Player of the Year and listed on the PFA Team of the Year, and was the subject of offers from both Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur. His 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 Malta, where he received the news that Gascoigne had signed for Spurs, for a British record fee of £2.2 million. In his 1999 autobiography, Ferguson claimed that Gascoigne was wooed into signing for Tottenham after they bought a house for his impoverished family.
In his first season at White Hart Lane he helped Terry Venables's Spurs to sixth in the First Division, scoring seven goals in 37 appearances. They rose to third place in 1989–90, but were still 16 points behind champions Liverpool. He was named as BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 1990, and on accepting the award said that "I haven't won anything in the game as yet. But the World Cup did help to put England on the map". He was also named as Tottenham Hotspur's Player of the Year.
Gascoigne was named on the PFA Team of the Year in the 1990–91 season as Tottenham reached the FA Cup Final, with victories over Blackpool, Oxford United, Portsmouth, Notts County and North London derby rivals Arsenal – he scored the opening goal of the 3–1 victory over Arsenal at Wembley with a free-kick, one of six goals he scored in the competition. Going into the final against Nottingham Forest he had already agreed terms to join Italian club Lazio in an £8.5 million deal. However just 15 minutes into the game he committed a dangerous knee-high foul on Gary Charles and ruptured his own cruciate ligaments in his right knee. England team mate Stuart Pearce scored from the resultant free kick, and Gascoigne subsequently collapsed after the kick-off, forcing him to leave the match on a stretcher. Tottenham went on to win the Cup in extra-time.
He missed the entire 1991–92 season while he recovered, suffering a further knee injury in late 1991, when an accident at a nightclub on Tyneside ruled him out for even longer. The saga over Gascoigne's proposed transfer to Lazio dominated the tabloid press throughout 1991, often overshadowing the key national news of that time – namely the recession and rise in unemployment that it sparked – although the broadsheet newspapers generally kept stories about Gascoigne confined to their back pages.
"I'm very pleased for Paul but it's like watching your mother-in-law drive off a cliff in your new car."—Terry Venables speaking after the deal with Lazio was agreed.
Gascoigne eventually joined Lazio for a fee of £5.5 million; he received a £2 million signing-on fee and signed a contract worth £22,000 a week. He made his Serie A debut on 27 September 1992 in a match against Genoa which was televised in Britain as well as Italy. He failed to fully settle in Italy and was beset by negative media interest which was not helped by the numerous occasions he punched reporters and the time when he belched down a microphone on live television. He was well received by the club's fans, but not by the club's owner, who resented him after Gascoigne greeted him by saying "Tua figlia, grande tette" (roughly translated as "Your daughter, big tits"). His form was inconsistent in his first season at the Stadio Olimpico as he had previously spent a year out injured, but he endeared himself to Eagles fans when he scored in the 89th minute to equalise during the Rome derby against A.S. Roma. He broke his cheekbone whilst on international duty in April 1993, and had to play the remaining games of the season in a mask. Lazio ended the campaign in fifth place, which was considered a success as it meant qualification for European competition for the first time in 16 years.
He fell badly out of shape before the 1993–94 season and was told by manager Dino Zoff to lose two stone by the start of the campaign else he would lose his first team place. Gascoigne went on an extreme weight loss diet and succeeded in shedding the excess weight. He kept his place in the team and captained the club against US Cremonese when regular captain Roberto Cravero was substituted. However in April he broke his leg in training whilst attempting to tackle Alessandro Nesta. Upon his recovery he was disgruntled with new head coach Zdeněk Zeman's stern fitness approach, and both club and player decided to part ways at the end of the 1994–95 season.
Gascoigne signed for Rangers in July 1995, for a club record fee of £4.3 million, on wages of £15,000 a week. He made an immediate impact; in the fifth league game of the season in the Old Firm match at Celtic Park he scored a goal after running almost the full length of the pitch. On 30 December, in a match against Hibernian, Gascoigne was booked by referee Dougie Smith after he picked Smith's yellow card up from the ground and jokingly 'booked' the referee. Rangers went on to win the league in the 1995–96 season, clinching the title in the penultimate game of the season against Aberdeen at Ibrox Stadium; Gascoigne scored a hat-trick during the game. Rangers won the double as they also lifted the Scottish Cup by knocking out Keith, Clyde, Inverness Caledonian Thistle and Celtic, before beating Hearts 5–1 in the final at Hampden Park. He scored 19 goals in 42 appearances in all competitions, and was named as both PFA Scotland Players' Player of the Year and SFWA Footballer of the Year.
Rangers won the league title again in 1996–97, their ninth in succession. Gascoigne claimed hat-tricks against Kilmarnock and Motherwell, and ended the campaign with 17 goals in 34 games. However manager Walter Smith and assistant Archie Knox became increasingly concerned over Gascoigne's reliance on alcohol. The "Gers" won another double by winning the League Cup, knocking out Clydebank, Ayr United, Hibernian and Dunfermline Athletic en route to the final. Rangers beat Hearts 4–3 in the final at Celtic Park, with Gascoigne scoring two goals and Ally McCoist claiming the other two.
In January 1998, Gascoigne courted serious controversy after he played a mock flute (symbolic of the flute-playing of Orange Order marchers) during an Old Firm match at Celtic Park. The gesture infuriated Celtic fans who had been taunting him and Gascoigne was fined £20,000 by Rangers after the incident. He received death threats following the incident. The 1997–98 season was not a success, as Gascoigne scored just three goals in 28 games and Rangers failed to win any trophies, losing the league title to Celtic.
After initial speculation linking him with a move to Crystal Palace, he left Scotland to join Middlesbrough for £3.45 million in March 1998, where former England teammate Bryan Robson was manager. His first match was the 1998 Football League Cup Final defeat to Chelsea at Wembley, in which he came on as a substitute. He played seven games in the First Division, helping "Boro" into the Premier League as runners-up to Nottingham Forest at the end of the 1997–98 season.
Before the 1998–99 campaign began, Gascoigne began suffering from blackouts after blaming himself for the death of a friend, who died after Gascoigne and a group of friends went on a night out drinking. Despite his ongoing personal problems and his spell in rehab, Gascoigne started the season in good form and helped Middlesbrough into fourth place by Christmas. They ended the season in sixth place and having scored three goals in 26 top-flight games Gascoigne was linked with a recall to the England squad, who were now managed by former teammate Kevin Keegan and lacking a creative presence in midfield.
His career went into terminal decline during the 1999–2000 campaign, with Gascoigne breaking his arm after elbowing opposition midfield player George Boateng in the head during Middlesbrough's 4–0 defeat to Aston Villa at the Riverside Stadium, he subsequently received a three match ban and £5,000 fine from the Football Association.
Gascoigne signed a two-year contract with Everton, managed by former Rangers boss Walter Smith, after joining on a free transfer in July 2000. He started the 2000–01 season well despite not playing every game due to his lack of fitness, but a series of niggling injuries and his ongoing depression took him out of the first team picture by Christmas.
After spending time at an alcohol rehabilitation clinic in Arizona, Gascoigne was fit enough to play for the "Toffees" in the 2001–02 season, and he scored his first goal for the club – and last in English football – away to Bolton Wanderers on 3 November. However he then suffered a hernia injury, which kept him out of action for three months. Walter Smith left Goodison Park in March, and Gascoigne left the club shortly after his successor, David Moyes, took charge.
Gascoigne finished the 2001–02 season with Stan Ternent's Burnley, where he made six First Division appearances. The club narrowly missed out on the play-offs, and he left Turf Moor after only two months.
In summer 2002, Gascoigne went on trial with American club D.C. United, but rejected a contract. In February 2003, he signed a nine-month contract with China League One club Gansu Tianma in both a playing and coaching role. He scored two goals in four league games but his mental state meant that he had to return to America for treatment against drink and depression in April, and he never returned to the club.
Gascoigne was called up to the England under-21 side in summer 1987, and scored with a free-kick in his debut in a 2–0 win over Morocco. He went on to win 13 caps for the under-21s under Dave Sexton.
Gascoigne was first called up to the full England squad by Bobby Robson for a friendly against Denmark on 14 September 1988, and came on as a late substitute for Peter Beardsley in a 1–0 win. He scored his first goal for England in a 5–0 victory over Albania at Wembley on 26 April 1989. He made his first start in the following game against Chile, and kept his first team place for most matches in the run in to the 1990 FIFA World Cup. He also played four games for the England B team. 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 in the 1990 World Cup in Italy, and England topped their group, Gascoigne providing the assist for Mark Wright's winner against Egypt. In the first knockout game against Belgium he made another assist after chipping a free-kick into the penalty area, where David Platt volleyed the ball into the net. Gascoigne was at the centre of the action again in the quarter-final clash with Cameroon when he gave away a penalty, which Cameroon converted. 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 Turin. Gascoigne, having already received a yellow card during England's 1–0 victory over Belgium in the second round, was booked for a foul on Thomas Berthold, which meant that he would be suspended for the final if England won the match. Television cameras showed that he had tears in his eyes following the yellow card and made Gascoigne a highly popular figure with the sympathetic British public. The match culminated in a penalty shoot-out, which the Germans won after Stuart Pearce and Chris Waddle missed their penalties.
Robson quit the England job after the tournament, and his successor Graham Taylor dropped Gascoigne in favour of Gordon Cowans in a Euro '92 qualifier against Ireland in November 1990, citing tactical reasons. He returned to the starting eleven for a friendly against Cameroon the following February, before injury caused him to miss the next 21 England fixtures, including all of UEFA Euro 1992.
Gascoigne returned to fitness in time for the opening qualifying game against Norway in October 1992, and before playing in the 1–1 draw he responded to a Norwegian television crew's request to say 'a few words to Norway' by saying "fuck off Norway". His message was broadcast on Norwegian television. The following month he scored two goals in a 4–0 victory over Turkey. Qualification ended badly for England, as they ended in third place behind Norway and the Netherlands and missed out on a place in the 1994 FIFA World Cup.
A broken leg in 1994 meant Gascoigne was unable to play for 15 months, but by the time he returned to fitness Terry Venables – his former manager at Spurs – had been appointed as England manager. As England were hosting UEFA Euro 1996 they did not have to go through the qualification process, so they instead played numerous friendlies, most of which featured Gascoigne in the starting line-up. The final of these games were played in Hong Kong, after which numerous England players went on a night out which culminated in Gascoigne and several others sitting in a "dentist's chair" whilst drinks were poured into their mouths; someone at the bar photographed the scene and sold them to the British press, resulting in bad publicity. The tournament opened with a 1–1 draw with Switzerland, during which Gascoigne was substituted. He scored a memorable goal in the second game of the tournament, against Scotland, when he received the ball from Darren Anderton outside the Scotland penalty area, 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 wrong-footed 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 the incident before the Euro 1996, where Gascoigne lay on the ground as if he were sitting in the dentist's chair, and teammates sprayed lucozade from bottles into his open mouth. England beat the Netherlands 4–1 to make it through to the knock-out stages. They then drew 0–0 with Spain before winning 4–2 on penalties, the last of which was converted by Gascoigne. England drew 1–1 with Germany in the semi-finals, and Gascoigne missed the chance to win the game in extra-time when he came inches away from connecting to an Alan Shearer cross yards in front of an unguarded German net. England lost to Germany in the resulting penalty shoot-out, with Gareth Southgate missing England's sudden death penalty.
Under Glenn Hoddle, Gascoigne was picked regularly and helped England to win the Tournoi de France in 1997 ahead of Brazil, France and Italy. Qualification for the 1998 FIFA World Cup went down to the last group game against Italy at the Stadio Olimpico, and Gascoigne put in a disciplined and mature performance to help England secure the 0–0 draw that was enough to take them through to the tournament. However British tabloid newspapers showed pictures of Gascoigne eating kebabs late at night with DJ friend Chris Evans only a week before the final squad was due to be chosen. Hoddle elected not to pick Gascoigne in the final squad and after hearing the news Gascoigne wrecked Hoddle's room in a rage before being restrained. 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, to begin a football coaching course. After leaving Boston, he stated that he was interested in taking over as manager of Scottish side Greenock Morton, but this came to nothing.
In mid-2005 he spent two months as player-coach at the recently founded Portuguese team Algarve United, but he returned to England after a proposed contract never materialised. He was appointed manager of Conference North club Kettering Town on 27 October 2005, and also planned to put in enough money to own one-third of the club to show his commitment. Previous manager Kevin Wilson was moved upstairs to become director of football, and Paul Davis was appointed as the club's assistant manager. Bookmakers put odds on Gascoigne getting the sack before Christmas, though he insisted that he was at Rockingham Road "for the long haul". Attempts to get new sponsors on board were successful, though results on the pitch soon went against the "Poppies". His tenure at Kettering lasted just 39 days, and he was dismissed by the club's board on 5 December. The club's owner blamed Gascoigne's alcohol problems, stating that he drank almost every day he worked. Gascoigne later claimed that the owner had interfered incessantly and harboured ambitions of being a manager himself, despite knowing little about football. He said that him appearing drunk in an interview with Sky News was due to his poor mental state, tiredness and prescribed medication. He was never on a contract at the club, and was never paid for his six weeks work, nor was he given the chance to invest money in the club as he had first planned.
Gascoigne came close to being appointed manager of Garforth Town in October 2010, and after weeks of talks between his agent and the club he decided to turn down the offer, though reiterated his desire to return to football management.
At the height of "Gazzamania" following the 1990 FIFA World Cup, he reached number 2 in the UK Top 40 with "Fog on the Tyne", a collaborative cover with Lindisfarne that earned him a gold disc. He established Paul Gascoigne Promotions and hired a number of staff to handle the hundreds of requests from companies wishing to use his likeness and/or endorsement to promote their products. He signed an exclusive deal with The Sun, which did not prevent the newspaper from joining its rivals in sensationalising the various scandals he became embroiled in. He promoted two video games: Gazza's Superstar Soccer and Gazza II.
In August 2006, he visited Botswana on behalf of the Football Association's international outreach week and played football with the children from the SOS Children's Village there. 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. The next day he played in an England versus Germany charity football match to help raise funds for the Sir Bobby Robson cancer fund.
Gascoigne married his long-term girlfriend Sheryl (née Failes) in Ware, Hertfordshire, in July 1996, after they had been together for around six years. He admitted to beating Sheryl during their marriage, and in 2009 she published a tell-all book entitled Stronger: My Life Surviving Gazza. They divorced in early 1999. Gascoigne had a son, Regan, with Sheryl and also adopted Sheryl's two children from her first marriage, Mason and Bianca. Step-daughter Bianca is a glamour model and television personality, and appeared on reality TV show Love Island.
In November 2008 Gascoigne, who had not filed any tax returns for more than two years, was faced with a bankruptcy petition over a £200,000 tax bill. On 25 May 2011 he avoided being declared bankrupt by the High Court in London.
Struggles with alcoholism, drug addiction and mental illnesses
In 1998 he first entered sustained therapy sessions when he was admitted into Priory Hospital after a drinking session where he drank 32 shots of whisky which left him at "rock bottom"; then-manager Bryan Robson signed him into the clinic whilst Gascoigne was unconscious. He was released, at his own insistence, two weeks into the suggested minimum stay of 28 days. His subsequent visits to the Priory became more infrequent, and he eventually lapsed back to alcohol drinking. In 2001 Gascoigne's then-chairman Bill Kenwright contacted Gascoigne's therapist at the Priory, John McKeown, who organised more treatment to help Gascoigne to control his drinking. As part of the treatment he was sent to the United States where he had a stay at a clinic in Cottonwood, Arizona. He was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. He had a stay at the clinic in Cottonwood, Arizona, in 2003 after he suffered low points working in China, and again in 2004 after retiring from football.
2004 saw the publication of his autobiography Gazza: My Story, written with Hunter Davies. In this book, and in Being Gazza: Tackling My Demons published in 2006, he refers to treatment for bulimia, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), bipolar disorder, and alcoholism. The books also describes his addictive personality, which has led him to develop addictions, of varying severity, on alcohol, chain smoking, gambling, high-caffeine energy drinks, exercise, and junk food.
In February 2008 he was sectioned under the Mental Health Act after a possible suicide attempt at the Malmaison Hotel in Newcastle upon Tyne. He was taken into protective custody to prevent self-harm.
On 9 July 2010 Gascoigne appeared at the scene of the tense stand-off between the police and Raoul Moat, claiming to be a friend of Raoul Moat and stating that he had brought him "a can of lager, some chicken, fishing rod, a Newcastle shirt and a dressing gown". He was denied access to Moat. In August 2011 Gascoigne sued The Sun, claiming that its coverage of him during the Raoul Moat incident interrupted his treatment for alcoholism.
On 20 October 2010 he admitted being more than four times over the limit at Newcastle upon Tyne Magistrates Court, He should have appeared in court to be sentenced for the drunk driving, but instead he went into rehab on the south coast of England. Gascoigne was given an eight-week suspended sentence.
In 2013 his agent, Terry Baker, told BBC Radio 5 Live that Gascoigne had relapsed again: "He won't thank me for saying it but he immediately needs to get help ... His life is always in danger because he is an alcoholic. Maybe no one can save him – I don't know. I really don't know." Gascoigne was placed in intensive care in a US hospital while being treated for alcoholism in Arizona in a rehabilitation programme thanks to financial support provided by ex-cricketer Ronnie Irani and Chris Evans.
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