Paul "Gazza" Gascoigne
Paul John Gascoigne born 27 May 1967, nicknamed Gazza, is an English former professional footballer who played as an attacking midfielder. He is described by the National Football Museum as "widely recognised as the most naturally talented English footballer of his generation".
Born and raised in Gateshead, Gascoigne signed schoolboy terms with Newcastle United, before turning professional with the club in 1984. Three years later, he was sold to Tottenham Hotspur for £2.2 million. He won the FA Cup with Spurs in 1991, before being sold to Italian club Lazio for £5.5 million. In 1995, he was transferred to Rangers for £4.3 million and helped the club to two league titles, a Scottish Cup and a Scottish League Cup. He returned to England in a £3.4 million move to Middlesbrough in 1998. He made his debut in the Premier League in the 1998–99 season, having already featured in the 1998 Football League Cup Final. He switched to Everton in 2000, and later had spells with Burnley, Gansu Tianma and Boston United.
Gascoigne represented the England national team from 1988 to 1998, in which he was capped 57 times and scored ten goals. He was part of the England team that reached fourth place in the 1990 FIFA World Cup, where he famously cried after receiving a yellow card in the semi-final with West Germany, which meant he would have been suspended for the final had England won the game. He also helped the team to the semi-finals of Euro 96, which included scoring a goal against Scotland, described in 2013 as "one of the most iconic goals in the game's recent history". He has been involved in a number of high-profile goal celebrations at both club and international level, including the "dentist's chair" celebration from Euro 96, and mimicking playing the flute with Rangers in 1998, a reference to the Protestant Orange Order.
In the later part of his career, and especially following retirement, Gascoigne's life became dominated by severe mental and emotional problems, particularly alcoholism. He has been jailed or sectioned on numerous occasions and his struggles receive regular coverage in the British press. He has frequently attempted to live without alcohol, though rehabilitation programmes have provided only temporary relief. His personal issues ended his coaching career, and he has not worked in football since being dismissed as the manager of Kettering Town in 2005.