Gazza talks school days and World Cups during Cannock event
‘One Paul Gascoigne, there’s only one Paul Gascoigne!’
That was the welcome England legend Gazza got as he walked on stage at The Premier Suite at Bar Sport in Cannock.
Around 300 adoring fans hung on every word the 50-year-old had to say – including his story about borrowing an ostrich from a zoo to take to the Tottenham Hotspur training ground as part of a gag.
The star-studded event also saw footballing legends turn out to hear Gazza speak – including friend and former teammate Steve Bull, Wolves legend Steve ‘The Tank’ Kindon and football pundit Tom Ross.
Gascoigne, who said he was enjoying sober life, spent part of the night reflecting on his school days.
The star said: “It’s great to be in front of you and sober and enjoying life again.
“I remember when I was at school when I was 14 I started practising my autograph on a bag. The teacher came up and said ‘what are you doing?’ And I said ‘I’m signing my autograph, I’m going to be a professional footballer.’
“He said ‘only one in a million make it’ and I said ‘I’m going to be that one.’ and I was expelled for a week – which wasn’t too bad.”
When questioned on where his skill came from, the ex-footballer told the crowd: “I just practised all the time.”
During the event Steve Bull recalled the time he and the former Newcastle star travelled to the 1990 World Cup and spent six weeks in Italy.
Steve Bull said: “When we went to the World Cup they said to us take shampoo, conditioner, underarm spray and hair gel for six weeks.
“Two nights in Gazza was saying ‘Bully come down to the chemist and I’ll get some shampoo. I said ‘no Gazza I’ve got loads. For three weeks he was saying this to me.
“The third week came and I had run out of some deodorant, so I went ‘what time are you going?’ and [Gascoigne] said ‘half past 12. Come down the chemist.’
“The chemist was there and I thought ‘yes great’ but what was next to the chemist? A boozer.”
But the Wolves legend soon turned his attention to his former team’s impressive Championship winning season.
Steve Bull said: “Why am I talking about Gazza? I’ve got to be talking about promotion and Wolves."
The Wolves legend also poked fun at Cannock during his stories.
He said: “When I went to the World Cup I was in the under 21s and I was in Albania. That is a dodgy place by the way, have you been to Albania? It’s worse than Cannock."
The evening saw tributes paid by former Wolves player Steve Kindon to Albion midfielder Graham Lovett who passed away on Thursday.
Steve Kindon said: “Football is a small world. In 1968 West Bromwich Albion won the FA Cup and one of their players was Graham Lovett.
“He passed away and I’d like you to drink a toast – even though Graham was a Baggie I’m going to drink to him.”