Paul Gascoigne

By Adam Robertson
 September 21, 2020

Paul GascoignPaul Gascoigne - World At His Feete Charity Article

Paul Gascoigne - World At His Feet

When this is Ibrox asked if I could write a bit about one of the iconic players in our greatest 11 I was delighted to get the one that I remember being most excited about signing.

It was the summer of 1995 that we first saw his bleached blonde head appear outside our famous main stand. England international Paul Gascoigne has joined Rangers at a time when we had some real stars in the squad but he was the star the shone the brightest. He was a maverick and at that point in time we didn’t realise the depth of the issues he had mentally to deal with, he was a natural talent who could turn big matches on its head, a guy who was brilliant at World Cups but had those flashes of rashness that could be his own downfall at times. One of those mad moments gave him the serious knee injury that stunted him but he had rebuilt his career in Italy.

It was always going to be interesting times with him there but luckily we had a manager in Walter Smith who could use his magnificent man management skills to get the best out of any player whether it be an arm round the shoulder or a boot up the arse. I’m sure you will all have your own memories of Gazza at Ibrox but I’d like to talk about one if my own. That first season we were neck and neck with Aberdeen pretty much all season long. I was 19 and from Dumfriesshire, me and my mate Paul had seen so many games that year without being season ticket holders due to it being a time where we were maybe on £7000 a year in our jobs as trainee technicians in an electronic factory in Dumfries (aye back before minimum wage was shite).

Anyway it got to the penultimate game of the year and we could seal the league if we beat Aberdeen at home but it was on such a knife edge that Aberdeen would have been in driving seat if we didn’t win. We had tried and could not get a ticket for love nor money. Made worse that my sister had a ticket and was doing a bit of gloating. On the day of the match we decided to just try to come up and see what we could get at the ground and if we didn’t get in we would listen on the radio on the way back home. So again we tried to get a ticket and we had nothing forthcoming. We were just about to head home when a wee security guard croaked “are you looking to get in boys?” I say croaked as the lad had one of those tracheostomy’s holes in his throat where you would suspect he had cancer treatment or something. “Aye mate we are, can you help us out?” He said he could and only wanted a fiver each. He took us through the bowels of the main stand and we were let in at the east enclosure and he said we would be fine there.

It as I’m sure you will all remember one if those games that you wouldn’t want to miss as It was perhaps Gazza’s best match in a Ranges shirt, he turned the match in our favour, scored a hat trick and in amongst that was a wonder goal. It was a victory that secured the league and more importantly for the club it was the one that secured 8 in a row. A few weeks after that match he went and scored yet another iconic goal in the colours of England where he made a couple of his club teammates look foolish with his wonderful skills.

I think it could be argued that of all the teams that Gascoigne played for it was the Rangers fans who got to see I’m at his best as it was a time of his life he was enjoying life on and off the pitch and he was at a club who looked after him in the way he needed. He got the most of his England caps whist at Rangers too which was a stat that surprised me he may only had spent just under 3 years at Ibrox but the fans who got to see him strut his stuff live as some of the luckiest Rangers fans especially thinking about the other superstars we had at that time.

The reason I bring up the story of my pal and I is my friend died at only 27 years old and when I want to think of him it’s that wonderful sunny day when we got to see that match for only a fiver each that springs to mind and the joy we had on that day celebrating at a full Ibrox. It’s also a bit bittersweet thinking of Gazza himself seeing him struggling at times with his health when your mind can so easily flit back to a time when he was at the peak of his powers and had the world literally at his feet.

Andy - @andythephotodr

Rangers fc charity foundation - legends challenge
https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/this-is-ibrox

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