The English midfielder was heralded as the most naturally gifted midfielder of his generation. But for a variety of reasons away from football Paul Gascoigne didn’t fulfil his frightening potential. His club career began at his boyhood club Newcastle United, which was followed by notable spells at Tottenham Hotspur, Lazio, Rangers, Middlesbrough and Everton.
However it was on the international scene in which the Geordie will be fondly remembered. Gazza’s performances at the 1990 FIFA World Cup™ were instrumental in England’s progression before a booking in the semi-final brought him to tears and into the nations’ hearts as it meant it would be ruled out of a potential final.
He also helped the team to the semi-finals of 1996 UEFA European Football Championship which his country hosted, again embedding himself into the national consciousness with a memorable goal against Scotland that was coupled with a unique goal celebration.
Whilst it was footballing talent which were the platform for the enigma that is Gazza, the midfielder’s career will be just as memorable for his mischievous and playful nature. FIFA.com has scrolled through the media archives to find his wittiest and most famous quotes.
"I like to help create team spirit in the dressing room. I feel that I've got loads of love to give."
Gazza on motivational techniques
“I put one in the boot. I knew that’s where he would look once the smell started. But I squeezed the second one in between the back seat and the floor. A couple of days later, Durie handed me the trout from the boot. 'Good try, mate.'”
Gazza on hiding fish in Gordon Durie’s car; one of many infamous pranks
"Please don’t go Abel, I’ll have your babies.”
A ‘teary’ Gazza pleading to his team-mate while hanging from a first floor window. Xavier left Everton for Liverpool six days later. It’s unknown as to whether Gazza is still upset
“The referee was jogging backwards and I said to a couple of my team-mates, 'Watch this lads.' I bent down and left my leg out as if I was tying my laces and the referee fell over my leg. I winked at the players and we all had a good laugh.”
Gazza on tripping the referee