Paul Gascoigne, born May 27, 1967, is a professional English footballer now retired1. Playing as an offensive midfielder in various English, Italian and Scottish clubs, he was selected 57 times by England’s football team, with which he participated in the 1990 World Cup and Euro 1996.
He is nicknamed “Gazza”. His career is partly spoiled by a whimsical character and a recurring problem with alcohol. His immense popularity is partly due to his tears after a yellow card that deprived him of a possible final in the semi-finals of the 1990 World Cup in Italy, semi-final won by the FRG in shoot to the net.
Paul Gascoigne was born in Dunston, Tyne and Wear, Newcastle, England. He is the son of John and Carol Gascoigne and the second child of four siblings.
Gascoigne started playing football at the age of four, playing in the streets and parks around his home. He then plays for his school team, Brighton Avenue Primary School, the Gateshead U-8 team and later for the Redheugh Boys’ Club even though he is under the minimum age to attend.
He begins to be noticed by the recruiters of the big English clubs. He quickly won the hiring tests at Ipswich Town, Middlesbrough FC and Southampton FC. He fails each time. By cons he signed in 1980 a school contract with the club Newcastle United.
At school he is surprised signing an autograph in geography, arguing that he will become a famous footballer. His teacher, Mr. Hepworth, replies that “only one in a million footballers becomes a professional footballer”. Paul Gascoigne signed an apprenticeship contract with Newcastle in 1983. He then played in the youth team led by Colin Suggett. It was also at this time that his nickname “Gazza” was forged.
While his early years as footballers are dotted with success, his childhood out of football is marked by instability and tragedy. When he was born, young Paul shared a family home with a shared bathroom for all the occupants with his family2 and moved regularly throughout his childhood.
When he reaches the age of ten, his father moves to Germany to look for work. His father is hospitalized for eight months because of a cerebral hemorrhage. In his autobiography, Gascoigne reports that it is at this time that he begins to suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder. He also starts playing slot machines or stealing sweets at newsagents, less for the product of the flight itself than for the excitement it engenders.
At the age of fourteen, he experienced drinking for the first time to the point of being drunk.
In 2013, one of his former teammates, Gary Mabbutt, announced that Gascoigne, still suffering from alcoholism, was hospitalized in an American clinic for detoxification and then transferred to intensive care8.
He lives today in Bournemouth in the south of England9. On Thursday, August 21, 2014, the English press announces the return of Paul Gascoigne. The former England international has signed on with FC Abbey, who play in the fourth division of the Bounemouth Sunday League, a local championship.
On May 21, 2015, Paul Gascoigne won his case against the British media group Mirror who had placed him on the phone to find scoops about his private life. He thus receives a compensation of 188 500 pounds (265 000 €) 10.