Earlier today, The Guardian hosted a live webchat with one of the most talented English people to ever lace up boots, the legendary Paul Gascoigne, aka Gazza. Gazza answered questions from fans on a variety of topics, including his most beloved players, his thoughts on Tottenham (the question was, “What do you think of Tottenham?” 😂 😂 😂) and the best managers he’s played under.
But those aren’t the real Gazza stories people want to hear. The people want to hear Gazza doing the banters about his tales of debauchery and depravity. They want to hear about the awful things he’s done and how he escaped the authorities.
As usual, Gazza didn’t disappoint.
Responding to a question about his time in Italy with Lazio, Gazza recounted a tale about meeting Sepp Blatter. For context, Gazza was at Lazio between 1992 and 1995. Blatter, at the time, was FIFA’s general secretary.
During your stint at Lazio, did your Italian teammates fully get your irreverent sense of perhaps British silly humour? The clip of you eating the easter egg springs to mind. If they did not, what was the most awkward moment of you acting out a joke and it being received very badly?
They had no option. No option. They couldn’t believe what they were seeing, I must admit.
I did one on Di Matteo, who would sometimes get on my nerves. I went back to the villa and there was a little snake. I went back to training in the afternoon and put the snake in his pocket. When we came back in after training I asked him if he had any money. He put his hand in his pocket and nearly shat himself.
But at training I put the effort in as well. Once Dino Zoff said Blatter was coming. He wanted us on time in the Lazio suit. I turned up 30 minutes later in a Santa Claus outfit. I sat next to Blatter and said: “Hello, I’m Santa, ho, ho, ho.” The security wanted to get rid of me and Zoff wasn’t happy and made me train morning and afternoon for a week.
How can you dislike this man? At least a part of you has to love Gazza. He was DGAF incarnate. After leaving the game, he struggled with alcohol and depression. That chapter of his life has been well documented and is obviously sad as hell. But the good times he had … Jesus Christ did this man live it up.
Gazza stories: they are truly great things.