“It was late one Friday night, back in the early 90s, and there was a knock at my dressing room door. Surprisingly, it was Gazza and his mate Jimmy Five Bellies, and Gazza looked in a right old state.
“We were shootin’ pigeons on the East Stand,” he explained.
I cleared away the laundry and laid Gazza out on the table. Jimmy explained what had happened: Gazza had climbed up on the rafters, and was shimmying along with his air rifle – he didn’t want to shoot the pigeon; he wanted to blow it to smithereens. And just as he was inches away, Gazza gently started to squeeze the trigger, when suddenly the pigeon flew into life and flapped away! It totally shocked the Geordie who fell off the roof with an awful thump. Jimmy had dragged him over to the dressing room, wounded.
And there sat the most influential midfielder of his generation, on my dressing room table, bleeding and bruised. I called the physio right away to patch him up so he could play the next day, but of course, we had to keep it a secret from Terry Venables!
I had already been Tottenham Hotspur’s kit manager for over a decade when we signed Paul Gascoigne. I thought I’d seen it all: the pranks, the bust-ups and the glorious Cup runs, but the British transfer record of £2m sealed a player that would change the history of the club, and my life, indefinitely. I knew the minute I met the lad that he’d still be making headlines 20 years later.”
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