Tag Archives: gascoigne

Tottenham 2 Everton 2: Premier League match report

Tottenham 2 Everton 2: Sigurdsson rescues stuttering Spurs from disastrous defeat as top-four race hots up

PUBLISHED:

14:59 GMT, 7 April 2013

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UPDATED:

15:15 GMT, 7 April 2013

A late equaliser from Gylfi Sigurdsson rescued Tottenham from a crucial defeat but the pressure to reach the top four regardless continues to grow.

Emmanuel Adebayor had given the home side a first-minute lead from close range before through Phil Jagielka's equaliser and Kevin Mirallas' excellent finish rivals Everton had taken a second-half lead.

With the crowd getting anxious and time running out, Sigurdsson popped up with the all-important equaliser though Tottenham may still view it as two points dropped.

Early opener: Emmanuel Adebayor scored in the opening minute

Early opener: Emmanuel Adebayor scored in the opening minute

Match facts

Tottenham: Lloris, Walker, Caulker, Dawson, Vertonghen, Parker, Dembele (Huddlestone, 45), Sigurdsson, Holtby, Dempsey, Adebayor

Subs not used: Friedel, Naughton, Assou-Ekotto, Livermore, Ceballas, Carroll

Goals: Adebayor 1, Sigurdsson 87

Everton: Howard, Coleman, Jagielka, Distin, Baines, Mirallas, Osman, Gibson, Heitinga, Barkley (Jelavic, 52), Anichebe

Subs not used: Mucha, Stones, Duffy, Oviedo, Hitzlsperger, Naismith

Goals: Jagielka 15, Mirallas 53

Ref: Andre Marriner

Att: 36,192

Click for the latest Premier League table, results and fixtures

More to follow…

The equaliser: Phil Jagielka equalised for Everton in the 15th minute

The equaliser: Phil Jagielka equalised for Everton in the 15th minute

Three points: Thanks to Kevin Mirallas, Everton were only minutes from an important victory

Three points: Thanks to Kevin Mirallas, Everton were only minutes from an important victory

Battle: Spurs' Michael Dawson and Everton's Victor Anichebe were competing throughout

Battle: Spurs' Michael Dawson and Everton's Victor Anichebe were competing throughout

Famous guests: Paul Gascoigne and Gary Mabbutt were present at White Hart Lane

Famous guests: Paul Gascoigne and Gary Mabbutt were present at White Hart Lane

Classy: Moussa Dembele has been one of Tottenham's best players this season

Classy: Moussa Dembele has been one of Tottenham's best players this season

Pivotal: Sigurdsson's equaliser could yet be the difference in the Champions League race

Pivotal: Sigurdsson's equaliser could yet be the difference in the Champions League race

Remaining Premier League fixtures

TOTTENHAM

Apr 21 Man City (H), 1.30pm
Apr 27 Wigan (A), 3pm
May 4 Southampton (H), 3pm
May 12 Stoke (A), 3pm
May 19 Sunderland (H), 4pm
TBC Chelsea (A)

EVERTON

Apr 13 QPR (H), 3pm
Apr 16 Arsenal (A), 7.45pm
Apr 20 Sunderland (A), 3pm
Apr 27 Fulham (H), 3pm
May 4 Liverpool (A), 3pm
May 12 West Ham (H), 3pm
May 19 Chelsea (A), 4pm

Paul Gascoigne back in Britain looking frail after a month in American rehab clinic

Gazza flies back for 'one last chance': England legend Gascoigne back in Britain looking frail after a month in rehab clinic

By
Emma Clark, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

05:20 GMT, 10 March 2013

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UPDATED:

05:20 GMT, 10 March 2013

Paul Gascoigne thought he was going to die during his latest stretch in rehab to beat alcohol addiction, it has been reported.

The ex-England and Newcastle player returned to Britain on Saturday after more than a month at the clinic in Phoenix, Arizona, during which he was treated in intensive care.

Doctors said it was the worst detox they had ever seen when the shock of giving up alcohol sent his body into seizure, Gascoigne told The Sun on Sunday.

Thin but sober: Paul Gascoigne arriving at his home yesterday looking frail

Thin but sober: Paul Gascoigne arriving at his home yesterday looking frail

He said: 'Three doctors didn't think I would make it.

'It has got to inspire me to never let this happen again.

'I've come through that – death. I was dead.'

He added: “I thought I was on my way out. I looked like a corpse. I was a total wreck.'

The 45-year-old said he woke up in
intensive care strapped to the bed to stop tubes from falling out of his
arms and was repeatedly injected.

Emotional: The footballer has admitted drinking binges have almost killed him in the past

Emotional: The footballer has admitted drinking binges have almost killed him in the past

Rehab: Gazza is understood to be heading back to Britain after a month in a clinic in Arizona

Rehab: Gazza is understood to be heading back to Britain after a month in a clinic in Arizona

Gascoigne, who also played for Lazio
and Tottenham, said he feels grateful to be alive and is determined to
stay away from alcohol.

His latest stint in rehab was
organised by talkSPORT presenter and former England cricketer Ronnie
Irani and Radio 2 presenter Chris Evans, a long-term friend of
Gascoigne.

The move came following a charity
appearance in Northampton during which the star appeared unwell and
shaking, before breaking down and sobbing on stage in front of a room
full of fans.

Glory days: Paul Gascoigne was one of the best football players of his generation

Glory days: Paul Gascoigne was one of the best football players of his generation

The world of football has shown its
concern at the latest troubled period in the life of Gascoigne, one of
England's most naturally gifted players ever.

Gascoigne, who has spoken about alcoholism problems in the past, was sectioned five years ago under the Mental Health Act.

Paul Gascoigne: The drink nearly killed me but I wont give up

Gazza: The drink nearly finished me off this time, but I won't give up the fight

By
David Kent

PUBLISHED:

12:31 GMT, 3 March 2013

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UPDATED:

12:31 GMT, 3 March 2013

Paul Gascoigne has revealed he came close to death after his latest drinking binge.

The former England star was admitted to a clinic in the United States last month after his celebrity friends came together to fund his 6,000-a-week treatment.

And the 45-year-old insists he is determined to finally conquer his demons.

Emotional: Paul Gascoigne suffered a public meltdown in Northampton

Emotional: Paul Gascoigne suffered a public meltdown in Northampton

‘The drink nearly finished me off this time,' he told Jimmy 'Five Bellies' Gardner.

'I know I’ve never been as bad as this before. But I’m not ready to give up the fight. I’m getting better now. I’m not there yet, but I’m getting there.’

Gardner, who revealed to the Sunday Mirror that he had spoken to Gascoigne, said: ‘Paul sounded frail and weak and scared. But I could hear something else in his voice too.

'I could hear grit and determination. No one knows Paul like I do and I can tell you, he’s not for throwing in the towel.’

Rehab: Gascoigne has since been flown to America for treatment

Rehab: Gascoigne has since been flown to America for treatment

Gascoigne had a public meltdown at a charity function in Northampton in January with pictures showing him looking bloated, sobbing and unable to stand or speak.

Video footage also emerged of the former Tottenham midfielder at the depths of his alcoholism and mental torment.

He was drinking two litres of
gin and 15 cans of Stella Artois a day before he was rushed to a rehab
clinic, a former friend claimed.

One
time housemate Shane Abbott, 36, has also said he was taking up to 30 antidepressant Valium pills a day and
injecting cocaine.

He was rushed
to intensive care from the Cottonwood Clinic in Phoenix, Arizona when doctors feared he
could have suffered a major organ failure after having a seizure due to
alcohol withdrawal.

Heyday: Gascoigne was one of the best players of his generation

Heyday: Gascoigne was one of the best players of his generation

Celebrities
such as Chris Evans, Alan Shearer, Alan Sugar and Ronnie Irani have
lent support to a Twitter campaign to raise the 100,000 needed to cover his treatment.

English players Frank Lampard, John
Terry, Wayne Rooney and Jack Wilshere had contributed funds, while FA
Charity the England Footballers Foundation also contributed 40,000 from
the national team.

Gascoigne is expected to be alone for two months during his rehabilitation.

GASCOIGNE’S PROBLEMS WITH ALCOHOL

June 1996:
An alcohol-related 'dentist-chair' stunt in a Hong Kong bar during
England's Euro 96 preparations puts Gascoigne on the front pages of the
newspapers back in Britain.

August 1998:
Gascoigne's marriage to Sheryl ends after she is granted a quick
divorce. The player left his wife with a black eye and badly bruised
face and arm after he attacked her in a drunken rage in Gleneagles,
Scotland.

October 1998: The 31-year-old is admitted to the Marchwood Priory hospital to receive treatment for stress and drink problems.

June 2001: Gascoigne admits himself to an alcohol rehabilitation clinic in Arizona on his Everton manager Walter Smith's insistence.

May 2007: Undergoes emergency surgery for a perforated stomach ulcer.

February 2008: Gascoigne is arrested in Newcastle and detained under the Mental Health Act.

June 2008:
The former England footballer is sectioned under the Mental Health Act
following reports that he was acting strangely in Hemel Hempstead.

Paul Gascoigne health fears: Fans see former star struggle on stage at charity event

Fans fear for Gazza's health as former England star bursts into tears during event after slurring that he had been 'on the whisky for three days'The 45-year-old struggled to answer questions during charity appearance'Trembling' former England star ushered onstage by two security guards
He unleashed abuse before apologising to fans who had paid 100-a-headHis agent said Gascoigne 'wasn't very well' but had made a 'huge effort to straighten his life out'

By
Lee Bryan

PUBLISHED:

12:29 GMT, 2 February 2013

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UPDATED:

09:49 GMT, 3 February 2013

Struggle: Paul Gascoigne, 45, was said to have failed to answer questions during an appearance at a charity event in Northampton

Struggle: Paul Gascoigne, 45, was said to have failed to answer questions during an appearance at a charity event in Northampton

Football fans expressed their fears over the health of former England star Paul Gascoigne as they watched the him burst into tears during a rambling appearance at a charity event.

The 'trembling' 45-year-old had to be helped onstage for a question and answer session in which he slurred responses and muttered a slew of curse words.

Guests at the event, who had paid 100 to see the footballer, described how Gascoigne apologised to the crowd, blaming 'three days on the whiskey' for his performance.

The Newcastle-born footballer, widely
regarded as one of the most gifted English players, has battled
alcoholism and drug use since retiring from the game in 2004.

The 500 guests described the event as having the 'atmosphere of a
funeral' as they watched Gascoigne slurring through the exchanges with
his agent Terry Baker.

Gazza rose to national prominence during the Italia 90 World Cup, during which he famously broke into tears after being booked in
the semi-final against Germany.

Following
the breast cancer charity event, hosted by Northampton Town, a further 15 speaking
events were cancelled – some at former clubs where Gascoigne is
regarded as a hero.

Mr
Baker said that the former midfielder did not drink whisky and that the
comment had been a botched joke about being on a 'whisky diet'.

He said that Gascoigne 'wasn't very well' despite having made a 'huge effort to straighten his life out' but

He told The Sun: He probably shouldn't have gone out but he didn't want to let all those people down.'

Gazza

Paul Gascoigne

Struggles: The ex-footballer has long struggled with his alcohol addiction and drug use

Failed: The event's 500 guests described the event as having the 'atmosphere of a funeral' as they watched Gascoigne slurring through the questions with his agent Terry Baker

Failed: The event's 500 guests described the event as having the 'atmosphere of a funeral' as they watched Gascoigne slurring through the questions with his agent Terry Baker

One
attendee wrote an online account of the evening in which he described
how guests were told that Gascoigne was 'very ill' but had 'insisted on
appearing'.

The fan claimed
that guests were told the former Newcastle United and Lazio star would
be brought to hospital 'immediately afterwards'.

He said Mr Barker told guests that
his client had consumed two pints and that they should be 'patient' with
him, telling them to 'remember Gazza for the good times he gave us'.

Once ushered onstage, Gascoigne was asked who the best player he had played with was.

Paul Gascoigne

1990 World Cup

Fallen star: Gascoigne rose to prominence during the 1990 World
Cup, during which he famously broke into tears after being booked in
the semi-final against Germany

Career: Gascoigne has made 57 appearances for England and appeared for a number of clubs, including Everton, Tottenham and Newcastle

Career: Gascoigne has made 57 appearances for England and appeared for a number of clubs, including Everton, Tottenham and Newcastle

According to the account, he answered: 'Bryan Robson. But he's a ****. They're all ****s. You're all ****s.'

After apologising, Gascoigne broke down again as he struggled to answer questions.

The performance was said to have left 'a lump in everyone's throat'.

Gascoigne's manager Matt Jones today said the former footballer had been 'up and down' recently.

He added: 'Paul is getting the help and support that he needs. I am in regular contact with him and his counsellors and just giving him the support that he needs.

'The reality is that Paul is an alcoholic. He has been very good of late but every day is a battle not to have a drink.'

Having won 57 caps for England after a glittering career in which he played for Lazio and Everton, the star tried to address his alcoholism on several occasions and has spoken about his attempts at rehabilitation.

Top 10 football flicks: Neymar not the only one capable

Neymar Zola Otsemobor Pick your favourite flick from our top 10

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UPDATED:

01:28 GMT, 5 December 2012

Brazilian star Neymar wowed us all with his outrageous flicked pass for Santos on Sunday night, but he's not the first player to pull an audacious bit of skill out of the bag at the drop of a hat.

Today, thanks to the game’s ever increasing popularity and global appeal, we have a range of tricks and skills that can leave even opposing defenders dumbfounded, but you just can't beat a good old flick.

Here, Sportsmail picks out 10 of the best…

Outrageous: Neymar shocked viewers with his skill at the weekend

Outrageous: Neymar shocked viewers with his skill at the weekend

Paul Gascoigne

One of England’s finest talents in the past 30 years also produced one of the European Championships’ finest ever goals at Euro 96.

A deft touch over the head of Colin Hendry to leave the Scotland defender on the ground before volleying home is fondly remembered as one of the best goals ever seen at Wembley – old and new.

Dennis Bergkamp

Even by Bergkamp’s ridiculous high standards this was something special. During a 2-0 win against Newcastle in the Premier League in March 2002, the Dutchman’s first touch was enough to completely bamboozle Nikos Dabizas before the Arsenal striker ran around the defender and calmly slotted home.

Gianfranco Zola

No wonder Chelsea were desperate to keep Zola after he decided to leave in 2003. From a low corner kick, the Italian put this 2002 FA Cup tie with Norwich to rest with a delicate back heel flick into the near post that left just about everyone inside Stamford Bridge startled.

Jay-Jay Okocha

Bolton under Sam Allardyce were often considered boring, one dimensional and long ball hoof merchants. But how many teams looking to see out a game from a corner kick decide to rainbow flick their way out of trouble in injury time against the Premier League champions, in this case Arsenal Remember, the Trotters and Jay-Jay Okocha did it as early as 2003.

Matty Burrows

An injury time winner scored with a double back heel flick from a cross is the sort of stuff not even Roy of the Rovers could produce.

But Burrows certainly could, and his stunning goal for Glentoran against Portadown was so good it was nominated by FIFA for Goal of the Year in 2010.

Joseph Ndo

Having gone to the 1998 and 2002 World Cups with Cameroon, you would think Ndo’s best years were behind him having spent nine years playing in Ireland.

But this pass off the back of his heel to find a team-mate while playing for Sligo Rovers last year shows the 36-year-old is possibly due an international recall.

Rodrigo Palacio

Better than Zola Quite possibly. Genoa’s Palacio proves there is some magic left in Serie A with a delightful back flick while running away from goal to meet a corner against Lazio last season. Spurs could have done with something like that against the Rome outfit in the Europa League this term following two 0-0 draws.

Cristiano Ronaldo

Proof that El Clasico isn’t just 22 men trying to win a free-kick after the slightest bit of contact. Ronaldo’s back heel to play himself through on goal is made even sweeter by his control of the difficult falling ball and subsequent finish to hand Real Madrid the lead against Barcelona back in August.

Neymar

Just to prove any doubters wrong of Neymar’s ability – here is one he made earlier playing for Santos. During a match against Atletico Mineiro in October, the Chelsea target left a defender so outraged by his perfect rainbow flick that it drew a cynical foul and a free-kick just outside the box. Genius.

Jon Otsemobor

The magic of the cup strikes again. A pulsating and historic FA Cup tie on Sunday between MK Dons and AFC Wimbledon was decided in stoppage time with the most casual of flicks from Otsemobor, whose strike (or lazy lift of the foot) for the Dons gave them a 2-1 victory over a Wimbledon side who play their trade a division below in League Two.

Lazio 0 Tottenham 0 – match report: Gareth Bale robbed of Europa League winner

Lazio 0 Tottenham 0: Anti-Semitic chants overshadow stalemate… as Spurs left facing Greek showdown for Europa progress

|

UPDATED:

21:07 GMT, 22 November 2012

Welcome back, Gazza

Paul Gascoigne

Paul Gascoigne was given a hero's welcome in Rome's Olympic Stadium as the former Tottenham and Lazio midfielder was guest of honour for the two sides' Europa League clash.

Click here to read the full story…

Tottenham could not deliver their battered and bruised fans victory over Lazio, but their Hugo Lloris-inspired draw at the Stadio Olimpico means they are one step closer to the knockout stages of the Europa League.

Their draw against the Rome-based club did not come without controversy, however, as Lazio fans chanted 'Juden Tottenham' at the away fans in an apparent anti-Semitic jibe at the end of a troubled 24 hours for the visiting fans.

One Tottenham fan was in hospital tonight after being stabbed in the skull and thigh during an attack on a bar in the city centre in the early hours of this morning.

Too quick: Gareth Bale (centre) rounds goalkeeper Federico Marchetti (left) and Luis Pedro Cavanda (right)

Too quick: Gareth Bale (centre) rounds goalkeeper Federico Marchetti (left) and Luis Pedro Cavanda (right)…

... before the Tottenham winger taps into an empty net in the fifth minute...

… before the Tottenham winger taps into an empty net in the fifth minute…

... but replays showed Bale was clearly ONSIDE as the pass was played through by Tom Carroll

… but replays showed Bale was clearly ONSIDE as the pass was played through by Tom Carroll

Match facts

Lazio: Marchetti, Cavanda, Biava, Ciani, Radu, Mauri, Gonzalez, Ledesma, Hernanes (Ederson 69), Lulic (Candreva 78), Kozak (Floccari 78).

Subs not used: Bizzarri, Scaloni, Onazi, Rozzi, Floccari.

Booked: Floccari

Tottenham: Lloris, Walker, Caulker, Vertonghen, Naughton, Sigurdsson (Lennon 63), Sandro, Carroll (Dembele 76), Bale, Dempsey (Defoe 63), Adebayor.

Subs not used: Cudicini, Huddlestone, Dawson, Livermore.

Booked: Vertonghen

Referee: Fernando Teixeira Vitienes (Spain).

Attendance: 20,000

The latest Europa League tables, fixtures and results

Lazio, and their icon Paul Gascoigne –
who was guest of honour here in the Italian capital – would have hoped
for the football to do the talking, but the apparent anti-Semitic
chanting will disappoint UEFA, who fined the club for monkey-chanting
during the reverse fixture in September.

Gascoigne's appearance on the pitch
had rekindled memories of a glorious era for Lazio and Spurs, but
tonight's tie proved to be anything but a classic.

Libor Kozak, making a rare start,
missed a hatful of chances for the hosts, but Lloris was equally
important in keeping Lazio at bay.

The Frenchman, chosen ahead of Brad
Friedel, denied Kozak twice in the first half and was a steady and
assuring presence throughout.

Tottenham rarely threatened – although Gareth Bale's early strike should not have been ruled out for offside.

But Panathinaikos' victory over
Maribor means Tottenham only have to draw their final game at home to
the Greeks next month to qualify.

Message: Lazio fans hold a banner reading 'Free Palestine' at the Stadio Olimpico

Message: Lazio fans hold a banner reading 'Free Palestine' at the Stadio Olimpico

Not his day: Lazio's Libor Kozak holds his head in his hands after missing yet another chance

Not his day: Lazio's Libor Kozak holds his head in his hands after missing yet another chance

Denied: Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris (left) rushes out to save at Kozak's feet

Denied: Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris (left) rushes out to save at Kozak's feet

Gascoigne's emotional lap of honour
had whipped up the feelings of both sets of fans, and the game started
off with a bang for the away side.

Spurs should have been 1-0 up after
just four minutes when Bale latched on to Tom Carroll's through-ball and
rounded Federico Marchetti, but the linesman incorrectly ruled the goal
offside.

Tottenham continued to dominate and
went close when Bale picked out Gylfi Sigurdsson, but Stefan Radu
intervened to prevent the forward from scoring.

The home crowd inside the half-empty
Stadio Olimpico were surprisingly quiet in the opening quarter, but they
were brought to the edge of their seats in the 18th minute.

Heads up: Michael Ciani (centre) and Ederson jump for the ball with Jan Vertonghen (left) and Bale

Heads up: Michael Ciani (centre) and Ederson jump for the ball with Jan Vertonghen (left) and Bale

Lloris, who was partly responsible for
a howler against Maribor two weeks ago, mis-judged Cristian Ledesma's
30-yard shot, which he palmed on to the bar. The former Lyon man quickly
made amends by getting to his feet and forcing Alvaro Gonzalez wide
with the follow-up.

Other than a dipping shot from Bale,
Spurs were struggling to get in to the game and they had Lloris to thank
for stopping them from going behind again moments later.

Kyle Walker's slip allowed Kozak to break through, but Lloris saved the striker's shot with his out-stretched leg.

Kozak missed a sitter on the half hour, nodding wide a Stefano Mauri cross from eight yards after losing his marker.

Clean sheet: Spurs keeper Lloris (centre) sees another home effort on goal miss its target

Clean sheet: Spurs keeper Lloris (centre) sees another home effort on goal miss its target

Lazio split the Spurs defence again
just before half-time to send Kozak through, but Lloris came to the
rescue again, storming off his line to clear.

Both sets of supporters sang
Gascoigne's name at half-time, but the football both sides produced
after the break was nowhere near the great man's standards.

Spurs were sloppy in possession and had Kozak to thank for his awful finishing.

No way past: Lazio's Cristian Ledesma (third left) hits his free-kick into the Spurs defensive wall

No way past: Lazio's Cristian Ledesma (third left) hits his free-kick into the Spurs defensive wall

The 23-year-old latched on to a through-ball but he dragged his shot wide, much to the annoyance of the home fans.

It only took five more minutes for the
striker to miss his next chance. This time the Czech straight at Lloris
after being played in by a deft touch from Amauri.

Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas brought Jermain Defoe and Aaron Lennon off the bench to give them the cutting edge they lacked.

Ledesma bent a free-kick over the wall and just wide of Lloris' goal as Lazio continued to threaten.

What a player: Gascoigne (right) and Lazio president Claudio Lotito greet the fans before the match

What a player: Gascoigne (right) and Lazio president Claudio Lotito greet the fans before the match

Hero's welcome: Lazio fans wave a flag featuring former star Paul Gascoigne at the Stadio Olimpico

Hero's welcome: Lazio fans wave a flag featuring former star Paul Gascoigne at the Stadio Olimpico

Villas-Boas then brought on Mousa Dembele for his first match in over a month as Tottenham looked to hold on for the point.

Lloris clattered in to a post as he
challenged for a cross with Mauri and then cleared off the line with six
minutes to go from Michael Ciani's header.

Paul Gascoigne: Sportsmail"s favourite Gazza stories

The good, the bad and the ridiculous – Sportsmail's favourite Gazza stories

PUBLISHED:

11:14 GMT, 22 November 2012

|

UPDATED:

12:57 GMT, 22 November 2012

Paul Gascoigne will always have a very special place in the hearts of Tottenham and Lazio fans and with the two squaring up in the Europa League, the former England star has been invited to watch the action in Rome's Olympic Stadium.

It's 20 years since Gazza swapped White Hart Lane for the Italian capital and here, Sportsmail writers and photographers share their favourite memories of one of the best midfielders and brightest characters to have graced the game.

Lazio lad: Paul Gascoigne

Spurred on: Paul Gascoigne

When in Rome: Paul Gascoigne is set to watch two of his former clubs in action in the Europa League

……………………………………………………………………………..

LEE CLAYTON
I went to Botswana with him and I
can’t tell all the stories, but he was brilliant company, dazzled on the
pitch, scored a couple of goals past me and made me wish him all the best.

He once threatened to send me ‘back in a box’ when I approached him for an interview in Portugal a few years back.

But on a trip to Africa in 2006, to
promote the FA’s work abroad (including visiting an orphanage and a
hospital specialising in treatment for children with AIDS ) he was in good form.

In the wild: Our man Lee Clayton with Paul Gascoigne and a couple of friends they met in Botswana

In the wild: Our man Lee Clayton with Paul Gascoigne and a couple of friends they met in Botswana

We parted at Heathrow with a kiss (him, not me) and stayed in touch after.

The kids loved seeing him and so did the cheetahs during a visit to a wildlife centre.

In company, he was fine. He even overcame his hatred for flying. His demons were never far away, but he seemed happy.

He said he had lost his love for English football because it was ‘dull’. He wasn’t dull.

MATT BARLOW
The fondest memories are of those gliding runs and explosions of pace and the trail of bodies he would leave in his wake.

The most shocking memory, the tackle that wiped out his knee in the FA Cup final.

I will never tire of hearing the thousands of (perhaps slightly embellished) stories from his career. Climbing into a tumble dryer at Newcastle and emerging so dizzy he couldn’t stand.

Appearing naked on the front seat beside Dino Zoff when the team bus came out of a tunnel and into daylight.

Emotional: Gascoigne in tears was one of THE images of Italia 90

Emotional: Gascoigne in tears was one of THE images of Italia 90

Covering himself in ketchup and lying beneath Bobby Robson’s balcony at the team hotel during Italia 90.

Or when Matt Holland asked him why he had 'Holland 8' written on the back of his hand and was told it was because he had been told to mark him at corners.

But my favourite memory is when my mate Steve copied his hairdo, around 1990, the one with it
all brushed forward with a little fringe, and unwittingly revealed for
the first time how abnormally large his head actually was. Good old Gazza.

DOMINIC KING
I sadly never covered Everton when Gazza was playing there but I do know several stories about him.

One which springs to mind is when he entertained
a packed restaurant one Sunday afternoon by letting a parrot that had
been bought for him by his erstwhile sidekick Jimmy Fivebellies out of its cage. The squawking was apparently deafening.

As for his football, the goal he scored against Scotland at Euro 96 epitomised his genius. What a crying shame his demons prevented him reaching astral heights.

Thirsty work: Gazza's celebration after scoring against Scotland is also unforgettable

Thirsty work: Gazza's celebration after scoring against Scotland is also unforgettable

CHRIS WHEELER
It was rude and it was wrong, but it
has to be the moment before England’s World Cup qualifier with Norway in
October 1992 when Gazza was asked by NRK network reporter Thor Eggen if he would like to send a message to Norway.

‘Yes,’ replied Gazza. ‘F*** off Norway!’

LAURA WILLIAMSON
I know it’s predictable, but it’s that goal against Scotland at Euro ‘96. I was still at primary school and I remember watching it in awe…and then laughing.

I can appreciate the vision, talent and audacity now, but back then it was the sheer joy of a wonderful sporting moment – and fact Gazza seemed just as happy and excited as me.

GRAHAM CHADWICK
My favourite picture is the one of him and Vinnie Jones taken when Newcastle played Wimbledon at Plough Lane in 1988.

Taken by the great Monte Fresco, it gave me the inspiration to get into sports photography.

Ouch: Vinnie Jones gets to grips with Gazza in one of the most famous photgraphs in football

Ouch: Vinnie Jones gets to grips with Gazza in one of the most famous photgraphs in football

KEVIN QUIGLEY
My personal favourite was when I was working for The People and was sent to do a feature with Gazza and Jimmy Greaves.

They were doing a stand-up Q&A and when I got there Jimmy didn’t really like my idea of a head-to-head picture.

Gazza being Gazza shoved his face up to Greavsie's nose… then said: 'Hope you've got it.'

Really nice guy for such a big star.

What a pair: Gazza and Greavsie were entertainers on and off the pitch

What a pair: Gazza and Greavsie were entertainers on and off the pitch

And finally….Adam Shergold says:

'My favourite Gazza memory will be totally different from the others here – it was the extraordinary six weeks he spent at my club, Boston United, in the summer of 2004.

United were by this time established in the Football League and evidently had ambitions of a kind and a whole load of persuasive power to entice Gascoigne to south Lincolnshire.

After all, Boston hardly has the nightlife he might be used to and is miles from anywhere.

It had been two years since he played in England – at Burnley – and a year since he joined Gansu Tianma in China, purely for the sake of an accompanying ITV documentary I might venture.

No tea party: Gazza had a brief spell at Boston in 2004

No tea party: Gazza had a brief spell at Boston in 2004

He rocked up about a month before the start of the League Two season and, to be fair to the 37-year-old, looked in good shape.

I later heard from friends in and around the club that he was on a strict regime of going to the gym three times a day and subsisted exclusively on Bran Flakes.

With hindsight, he looked too fit – all skin and bone with a pale complexion.

You could kind of tell this wasn't going to be a permanent change of club by the fact Gazza holed himself up in a suite in the New England hotel, rather than look for a property in the area.

Unsurprisingly in such a sleepy town, Gazza was pretty bored. My dad, who works at the nearby Toyota dealership, had the surreal sight of Gazza walking in and asking for a test drive on a new model to pass the time.

On the pitch, it seemed Gazza was knuckling down to the hard graft but his performances, frankly, tallied with those of a faded diamond.

I remember three things – a pre-season match with a youth team from his old club Newcastle in which he sprayed magic 60-yard passes without a second thought, having put another 1,000 on the gate and attracted all the regional news crews to York Street.

Steve Evans, our manager at the time, brought him off the bench in the derby with Lincoln at Sincil Bank – and he immediately put in two pin-point crosses to earn us a 2-2 draw.

And in a game against Chester, he actually avoided a second yellow card by kissing the referee.

But after just four league appearances, Gazza had checked out of the New England, handed back the keys to his hire car and left the club.

Allegedly it was because United wouldn't allow him to appear on 'I'm a Celebrity.'

But it was probably 'I'm a star in a small backwater… get me out of here!'

All in all, a very strange, if exciting, episode.

Racist fans won"t get to Spurs – Andre Villas-Boas

Racist fans won't get to us, says AVB as Spurs brace for second clash with Lazio

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UPDATED:

00:01 GMT, 22 November 2012

Andre Villas-Boas has told his Tottenham players to let football's governing bodies lead the fight against racism in the stands.

Spurs are in Rome on Thursday night for the Europa League return against Lazio, who were fined 32,500 after fans aimed monkey noises at black players when the teams met at White Hart Lane in September.

Warming up: Tom Huddlestone (right) and team-mates in training at the Stadio Olimpico on Wednesday

Warming up: Tom Huddlestone (right) and team-mates in training at the Stadio Olimpico on Wednesday

Fancy that: Clint Dempsey (left) shows off his skills to Kyle Walker (second right)

Fancy that: Clint Dempsey (left) shows off his skills to Kyle Walker (second right)

Lazio v Spurs

'UEFA decided to punish Lazio and
rightly so,' said Villas-Boas. 'It doesn’t mean incidents won’t happen
again. We hope they won’t and the players will be in the right frame of
mind to let the governing bodies deal with those situations at the end
of the game if it does. It’s something that will hopefully not happen.'

Tottenham’s team will include Steven Caulker, charged by Serbian police after the England Under 21 team brawl which followed racist abuse by Serbian fans during a European Championships play-off in Krusevac last month.

'I’m not worried about the atmosphere,' said Caulker. 'Italy is a great footballing country and hopefully that will be the talking point.'

Paul Gascoigne’s appearance may soothe the mood inside the Stadio Olimpico with a crowd of around 30,000 expected. The former England star has been invited to Rome by Lazio as a guest of honour, 20 years after he joined them from Spurs.

'It is a big thing for both clubs,' said Villas-Boas. 'He was admired by a generation of football people around the world. He had tremendous class and quality and it is important he will be here.'

A win for Tottenham will put them through to the Europa League’s last 32 with a game to spare.

So close: Spurs can get through to the Europa League knockout stages with a win in Rome

So close: Spurs can get through to the Europa League knockout stages with a win in Rome

Focused: Tottenham manager Andre Villas Boas speaks at his press conference on Wendesay

Focused: Tottenham manager Andre Villas Boas speaks at his press conference on Wendesay

Chelsea sacking Roberto di Matteo is just another day at the office, says Andre Villas-Boas

Sacking Di Matteo is just another day at the office at Chelsea, shrugs old boss AVB

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UPDATED:

20:36 GMT, 21 November 2012

Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas has described yet another sacking at Stamford Bridge as ‘another day at the office’ for any Chelsea boss working under Roman Abramovich.

Villas-Boas, who lasted for five days fewer than Roberto Di Matteo in charge of the club before he too was sacked by the trigger-happy billionaire owner, said: ‘At Chelsea another sacking is just like any other day at the office. That’s my interpretation.’

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Uneasy relations: Roman Abramovich attending training during the latter stages of Andre Villas-Boas' stint as Chelsea boss

Uneasy relations: Roman Abramovich attending training during the latter stages of Andre Villas-Boas' stint as Chelsea boss

Hasty exit: Abramovich moved quickly to sack Roberto di Matteo after defeat to Juventus in the Champions League

Hasty exit: Abramovich moved quickly to sack Roberto di Matteo after defeat to Juventus in the Champions League

Di Matteo was No 2 to Villas-Boas at Chelsea before he took over as caretaker coach when Abramovich grew impatient of his Portuguese coach.

He won the FA Cup and Champions League and Villas-Boas added: ‘It’s difficult for Robbie. I wish him well in his career. He has achieved so much in such a small amount of time.

‘His CV is now one of the best in the
world. He is a European champion and an FA Cup winner. It’s the club’s
decision. It’s what they think moves them forward. I can’t really
comment on that.’

Close: Di Matteo was Villas-Boas' No 2 at Chelsea

Close: Di Matteo was Villas-Boas' No 2 at Chelsea

Tottenham face Lazio on Thursday night in the Europa League, where Paul Gascoigne will be guest in attendance as guest of honour as a former legend of both clubs.

Mousa Dembele has travelled with the rest of the squad after overcoming a hip injury but is unlikely to play in the match.

Steven Caulker has overcome the knee injury that ruled him out of Saturday's north London derby defeat, but Scott Parker (achilles), Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Younes Kaboul (both knee) are out.

Hugo Lloris will start in goal as Brad Friedel has been left in London and Yago Falque has also not travelled to Italy due to an injury.

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Paul Gascoigne to attend Lazio v Tottenham

Gazza set to travel to Rome to watch former sides Lazio and Spurs in Europa League clash

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UPDATED:

19:10 GMT, 20 November 2012

Paul Gascoigne will now attend Tottenham's Europa League game against Lazio, the agent of the former England star confirmed on Tuesday.

Gascoigne became a cult hero at Spurs after four successful years at White Hart Lane and he then went on to achieve similar status at Lazio after moving to the Italian capital in 1992.

The affection with which he is remembered by the Italian club prompted their general manager Maurizio Manzini to immediately invite the 45-year-old to this Thursday's encounter between the two sides when they were drawn together in Group J in August.

Legend: Gascoigne at Lazio (above) and at Tottenham (below)

Legend: Gascoigne at Lazio (above) and at Tottenham (below)

Legend: Gascoigne at Lazio (above) and at Tottenham (below)

Gascoigne looked set to miss the game after being booked to speak at an event in Eastleigh on Friday night.

But the former midfielder has now
accepted the offer of a ticket to the match and will defy his fear of
flying to catch a plane to the Italian city on Thursday before coming
back the morning after the fixture so he can fulfil his speaking
engagement.

Gascoigne's agent Terry Baker said:
'Paul will now go to the Lazio game. He is looking forward to seeing the
fans because he has a great affection for them.'

Rare sighting: Gascoigne appears on TV back in May of this year

Rare sighting: Gascoigne appears on TV back in May of this year

Gascoigne declined an invite to September's reverse fixture at White Hart Lane due to 'personal reasons'.

Gascoigne, who played 57 times for his country, was regarded as the most skilful English player of his generation.

Remember this Gascoigne volleys home as England beat Scotland at Euro 96

Remember this Gascoigne volleys home as England beat Scotland at Euro 96

Remember this Gascoigne volleys home as England beat Scotland at Euro 96

The former Newcastle and Rangers star
has struggled to deal with alcohol problems since retirement but Baker
says Gascoigne is in good shape thanks to a rigorous exercise routine
that sees him spend two hours per day in the gym.