|v Leeds (a),
19 Aug 2000
23 Aug 2000
||Mar 2002 for Burnley
||v Middlesbrough (a),
10 Mar 2002
|Date of birth
||27 May 1967
||5' 10" (178 cm)
||England International (57 caps; 10 goals)
|His brain is in his feet
Vision, skill, panache
Can win a game on his own
|Past his best?
Paul Gascoigne Official
What can you say about Paul Gascoigne that hasn't been said already?
Arguably the most famous and gifted footballer of his generation,
Gazza is no stranger to the back and front pages, both for his
footballing achievements and his infamy away from the pitch.
A rapid rise to prominence at his boyhood club of Newcastle gave him
the opportunity to move south to Tottenham Hotspur where he became the
fully-fledged media darling we know him to be.
The star of the England team during their 1990 World Cup bid that
ended at the semi-final stage, Gazza was probably the biggest factor
in the explosion of football onto the national consciousness in the
early 1990s that prompted the formation of the Premier League and the
Sky Sports revolution.
However, his self-destructive nature was laid bare in the 1991 FA Cup
Final against Nottingham Forest when he was forced to leave the pitch
before 10 minutes were up having ruptured a cruciate knee ligament in
a rash and over-exuberant challenge on an opposition player.
A lengthy spell out of the game following extensive surgery on his
knee followed and on his return to fitness he signed for Lazio and
became a celebrity in Italy. Following three seasons of further injury
problems, he returned to the UK for successful campaigns with
high-flying Rangers before Middlesbrough boss Bryan Robson brought him
back to the Northeast.
Watching him parade his skills at White Hart Lane before tasting the
high life in the Serie A with Lazio, winning titles at Rangers and
then scoring that wonder goal against Scotland at Euro '96, few
Everton fans would ever have thought Gascoigne would end up at
However, in the summer of 2000, Gazza did just that when his old boss
from his Ibrox days effectively rescued his Premiership career by
signing him on a free transfer from Middlesbrough. It was seen by many
as a mistake; Gascoigne was still having problems with the demon
alcohol and was becoming increasingly injury prone during his time at
But Smith ensured that the one-year contract he signed at Everton
contained a slew of clauses aimed at protecting the club from
embarrassment should Gazza get up to his old tricks again. And from
the perspective of his off-the-field persona, the return under Smith's
wing did Paul the world of good. Despite a lapse into alcoholism at
the tail end of the 2000/01 season which prompted a spell in an
Arizona rehabilitation clinic, Gascoigne remained on the straight and
narrow, his appearances on the field restricted only by injury.
Indeed, a persistent thigh injury followed by surgery on a hernia kept
Gascoigne sidelined for a good deal of his first season with the Blues
at a time when his inspiration was badly needed. When he did play, he
was hampered by a lack of fitness and the overall malaise that
afflicted the team in general.
The following season, 2001-02 saw Gazza featuring more regularly in
the first team, mostly through pure necessity as the Blues midfield
was decimated by injury and the fall-out of the Thomas Gravesen
controversy. However, he was rarely able to provide the inspiration
needed to inspire the team to victory; the Blues were crying out for
more performances like his virtuoso display against Leyton Orient in
the FA Cup 4th Round in January 2002 when he led Everton to a 4-1
In the main, a lack of stamina was again to blame, allowing Gascoigne
to play only in bursts before having to sit a game out to recover in
time for another 90 minutes. With his career coming to and end, he stated a desire to finish his playing days in America's Major League
Soccer before going on to become a coach, possibly back at Lazio.
But it was the departure of his friend and mentor, Walter Smith that
precipitated his departure from Everton in March 2002, when the
prospect of working under the much more demanding David Moyes proved
too much for Gazza's delicate condition. He joined Burnley for
the rest of the season.