Paul Gascoigne was born on the 27th May 1967.
Brought up in Gateshead, Newcastle he signed on as a school boy for Newcastle after impressing in the local leagues and eventually turned pro in 1985.
Gracing the field with a number of legends, the local lad was extremely anxious after being summoned from the bench by manager Jack Charlton.
Paul admitted to being nervous. In an interview he once said he panicked and said during a Sky Sports interview;
“I remember just walking on and then we got the ball – I think it was about 20 yards from their goal – I got the ball and honestly I really panicked then. I just saw the Gallowgate End and I just turned round towards my goalkeeper and just blasted it back at him”.
“I didn’t want the ball anymore after that. I was just so pleased to have made my debut for Newcastle”.
“It was an unbelievable feeling” (www.chroniclelive.co.uk).
Gascoigne wasn’t nervous for long and after lighting up the league was named PFA Young player of the year.
He now drew attention from Man United and Tottenham Hotspur.
It has been said in (Ferguson 1999) that Gascoigne promised Alex that he would sign for Manchester United.
So confident of this Ferguson went on holiday to Malta.
The shocked Fergie later found out that Paul had signed for Spurs, for a record British fee of £2.2 million.
Ferguson stated that Gascoigne’s head was turned after Tottenham bought a house for his family.
Gascoigne had a glittering playing career and dazzled for Tottenham.
Picked by manager Bobby Robson for the 1990 world cup his tears of sadness brought together the nation after losing to Germany in the semi final.
Style of Play
Paul was an extremely combative, competitive and robust player.
He was creative, hard-working, and one of the most gifted English player ever produced.
On his day Gascoigne was able to score goals with ease, due to his passing accuracy and his powerful striking ability.
Gascoigne had pace, strength, balance, and unbelievable dribbling ability.
His skill allowed him to protect the ball, beat opponents, and withstand physical challenges. Unfortunately his career was blighted with injury.
Despite his talent, he was criticised for his erratic behaviour and aggression on the pitch.
A fierce, reckless challenge in the final of the F.A cup final would see him miss an entire season.
Paul played for an array of clubs which include Lazio, Glasgow Rangers, Middlesbrough and Everton.
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 12 caps for the under-21s under Dave Sexton .
Gascoigne was called to the full England squad by Bobby Robson for a friendly against Denmark in 1988.
He would come on as a substitute for Peter Beardsley in a 1–0 win.
Picked for the World Cup in 1990 he was impressive and helped England top Group F.
In the first knockout game against Belgium his sublime free kick to David Platt set up an exquisite goal.
Gascoigne lit up the field once again in the quarter final against Cameroon providing valuable assists.
By the time England had lined up to play the semi-final against Germany the nation were confident they could bring home the trophy.
It wasn’t to be though and England crashed out on penalties. Paul would be forever in the nations hearts after television cameras showed that he had tears in his eyes.
After the highs of the World Cup in 1990 Gascoigne lit up the stage at Euro 1996 where again he showed his class on the pitch.
England were able to defeat the might of Scotland and Holland in the early rounds but once again in the semi-final lost out to Germany.
Paul would eventually bow out of England duty after winning 57 caps and scoring 10 goals.
At the height of his fame football he didn’t always make the back pages for his footballing prowess.
He was often seen out socialising with famous media personalities including Danny Baker and Chris Evans.
Life After Football
Paul will be remembered for his talent on the football pitch.
One of my all time favourite players and a truly loveable character he will forever have a special place in the nations hearts.
- Alex Ferguson Auto Biography 1999