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Lettris is a curious tetris-clone game where all the bricks have the same square shape but different content. Each square carries a letter. To make squares disappear and save space for other squares you have to assemble English words (left, right, up, down) from the falling squares.
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||This article's lead section may not adequately summarize its contents. (June 2012)|
|Full name||Paul John Gascoigne|
|Date of birth||27 May 1967|
|Place of birth||Dunston, Gateshead, England|
|Height||1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
Playing in the position of midfield, Gascoigne's career included spells at Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur, Lazio, Rangers, Middlesbrough, Everton and Gansu Tianma, at all of which he scored at least one goal. He was capped 57 times for the England national football team.
Gascoigne started playing football at the age of four, playing in the street and nearby park. He played for his school Brighton Avenue Primary School, Gateshead team from the age of eight, and later played for the local Redheugh Boys' Club although being underage. He later attended Breckenbeds Junior High School (which closed in September 1996) then the Heathfield Senior High School (also closed in September 1996), both in the Low Fell area of Gateshead.
He was noticed by football scouts while playing for Gateshead Boys, and given a trial at Ipswich Town although he failed to impress. Further trials at Middlesbrough and Southampton proved unsuccessful, before Newcastle United signed him as a schoolboy in 1980. At school he was once caught practising his autograph during a geography lesson, his reason being that he was "going to be a famous footballer". His teacher was unimpressed, telling him that "only one in a million becomes a professional footballer." Nevertheless, he was signed on as an apprentice at Newcastle in 1983, initially playing for the youth team under Colin Suggett.
While Gascoigne was successful on the football field, his childhood was marked by instability and tragedy. Initially his family lived in a single upstairs room in a council house with a shared bathroom, and moved several times during Gascoigne's early life. When he was ten, his father moved to Germany to find work, and Gascoigne witnessed the death of Steven Spraggon, the younger brother of a friend, who was knocked down by a car.
His father suffered a brain haemorrhage shortly afterwards and was in hospital for eight months. He never worked again.
In his autobiography, Gascoigne says that around this time he started exhibiting twitches and symptoms of Obsessive compulsive disorder. He also began shoplifting to fund his addiction to slot machines.
Subsequently Gascoigne developed an addiction to gaming machines, frequently spending all his money including bus fare home on them. Around this time he first drank alcohol, getting drunk on a bottle of vodka stolen by a friend at age fourteen, but ill effects led to Gascoigne swearing off alcohol for life – (he did not drink again until he was eighteen). Death made another appearance in Gascoigne's life when a friend, whom he had encouraged to join Newcastle United from Middlesbrough, died whilst he was working for Gazza's uncle on the building sites while he was waiting for an opening at the Magpies.
Gascoigne captained Newcastle's youth team in the 1984–85 season, winning the FA Youth Cup where he scored twice in the second leg of the final against Watford. Manager Jack Charlton upon first seeing him, noted his weight problems, to which he threatened to kick Gascoigne out of the club within two weeks if he did not get a handle on it. Gascoigne forced himself to work extremely hard over the next two weeks and eventually Charlton picked him as a substitute for the Tyne-Wear derby with Sunderland, although he did not make it onto the pitch. He made his first team debut at home to Queens Park Rangers on 13 April 1985, coming on as a substitute. Soon after he signed his first professional contract, and made a further appearance for the first team. Willie McFaul took over as manager soon after and awarded Gascoigne his first start in the black and white shirt, on the opening day of the 1985–86 season at Southampton. He scored his first goal at home to Oxford United in a 3–0 victory at St James' Park on 21 September 1985, with a further eight following in the 1985–86 campaign. Newcastle finished 11th in the First Division that season and, at the end of it, Gascoigne was featured on the front cover of the Rothmans Football Yearbook.
Gascoigne's burgeoning career seemed to rise in conjunction with his capacity for getting into trouble. After a hit and run incident with his drinking mate, Jimmy 'Five Bellies' Gardner, initially wrecked the car to make out it had been stolen before admitting their crime, Gascoigne was fined £260 and given eight points on his 'non-existent licence'. He was told by Mr McKeag, one of the Newcastle directors, that this would be his last warning. Gascoigne later passed his test after having initially bribed an examiner who subsequently failed him anyway. His rise through the Newcastle youth team was not a happy one as he felt constantly picked on about his weight and his misbehaviour. After one instance where he felt particularly picked on, he took a groundsman's tractor and drove it straight into the dressing room wall, jumping off just before impact – he was fined £75 for this. Though confident in his ability, Gascoigne confessed to envy of Ian Bogie who he felt was a superior player to him.
Gazza also had doubts as to the direction the club was going, especially when they sold Chris Waddle, something he felt was a bad sign. In all competitions he made a total of 107 appearances for Newcastle, scoring 25 goals. At the end of the 1987–88 season, he was named as the Barclays Young Player of the Year and was subject of offers from both Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur. Gascoigne's first choice was Liverpool but with no offer forthcoming, Gascoigne promised Alex Ferguson that he would sign for Manchester United. Ferguson duly went on holiday to Malta, where he received the news that Gascoigne had signed for Spurs, for a British record fee of £2million. The record lasted just six weeks until Tony Cottee moved from West Ham United to Everton for £2.3million.
In his 1999 autobiography, Ferguson claimed that Gascoigne was wooed into signing for Tottenham after they bought a house for his impoverished family.
Ferguson expressed that the biggest disappointment in his managerial career was "not getting Gazza"
||This section of a biography of a living person does not include any references or sources. Please help by adding reliable sources. Contentious material about living people that is unsourced or poorly sourced must be removed immediately. (February 2012)|
Under Terry Venables, Gascoigne developed into an international class footballer. He had a stocky, powerful build that allowed him to hold off defenders and weather challenges. He combined his attacking flair with hustle and tenacity, but sometimes reckless tackling. In his first season at White Hart Lane he helped Spurs to sixth in the First Division, and to third position the following season. Over these two seasons he made a total of 75 appearances in all competitions, scoring 14 goals. In the 1990–91 season Tottenham reached the FA Cup Final after failing to get past the Third round for the previous two seasons. Gascoigne scored six goals on the road to the final, including a spectacular free-kick against Arsenal in the semi-final at Wembley.
The final against Nottingham Forest turned out to be disastrous for Gascoigne as he sustained a serious injury. Going into the final he had already agreed terms to join Italian club Lazio in an £8.5 million deal and wanted to leave Spurs on a high to show the world how good he was. Just minutes into the game he committed a dangerous knee-high foul on Gary Charles but ruptured the cruciate ligaments[disambiguation needed] in his right knee in the process. He subsequently collapsed after taking his place in the defensive wall for a free kick, from which England team mate Stuart Pearce scored. Tottenham went on to win the Cup in extra time. He missed the entire 1991–92 season while he recovered, suffering a further knee injury in late 1991, when an accident at a nightclub on Tyneside ruled him out for even longer.
The saga over Gascoigne's proposed transfer to Lazio dominated the tabloid press throughout 1991, often overshadowing the key national news of that time – namely the recession and rise in unemployment that it sparked – although the broadsheet newspapers generally kept stories about Gascoigne confined to their back pages.
He joined Lazio for a fee of £5.5 million, making his debut on 27 September 1992 in a match against Genoa which was televised in Britain as well as Italy. In his first season at the Stadio Olimpico, his form was inconsistent but he scored his first goal in the 89th minute to equalise during the Rome derby against AS Roma. He failed to fully settle in Italy and was beset by media interest and injury, breaking his cheekbone in April 1993 and his leg a year later; the latter injury keeping him out for the majority of the 1994–95 season. In all competitions he made 47 appearances for Lazio, scoring six goals.
During his time in Italy, he was interviewed by a Norwegian TV reporter, prior to England playing them, for a message to the people of Norway. His infamous reply was "Fuck off, Norway".
Gascoigne signed for Glasgow Rangers in July 1995, for a reported fee of £4.3 million. He made an immediate impact; in the fifth league game of the season in the Old Firm match at Celtic Park he scored a memorable goal running almost the length of the pitch. On 30 December 1995, in a match against Hibs, Gascoigne comically 'booked' referee Dougie Smith. Smith had dropped his yellow card and Gascoigne picked it up and showed it to the official, before returning it. Smith was not amused and booked Gascoigne. Rangers went on to win the league, clinching the title in the penultimate game of the season against Aberdeen. After Rangers went 1–0 down in the early stages Gascoigne went on to score a hat-trick despite, in his own words, being tired and running on pure adrenaline. Along with the equaliser he scored in the Rome derby for Lazio, Gascoigne identifies this hat-trick as one of his best footballing moments. Rangers subsequently won the Scottish Cup, and Gascoigne picked up both the Players' Player of the Year and Football Writers' Player of the Year awards. Rangers won the league title again in 1996–97, their ninth in succession, and also the League Cup where Gascoigne scored twice in the Final.
In January 1998 Gascoigne again courted controversy after he played a mock flute (symbolic of the flute-playing of Orange Order marchers) during an Old Firm match at Celtic Park, which was televised live on Sky Sports. He had previously done the same after scoring against Steaua Bucharest in a 1995 pre-season friendly which had gone largely unnoticed. The gesture infuriated Celtic fans who had been taunting him and Gascoigne was fined £20,000 by Rangers after the incident. His wage was said to be in the region of £25,000 a week.
After initial speculation linking him with a move to Crystal Palace, he left Scotland to join Middlesbrough for £3.4 million in March 1998. His first match was the League Cup final against Chelsea in which he came on as a substitute. He played seven games in Division One, helping Boro into the Premier League as runners-up to Nottingham Forest. Personal problems limited his subsequent appearances for Boro and he joined Everton (managed by former Rangers boss Walter Smith) on 17 July 2000, scoring his first goal against Bolton Wanderers in November 2001, and finished the 2001/02 season with the final few games of the Division One season with Burnley, who missed out on the playoffs (and the chance of Premier League football) by finishing in seventh place with an inferior goal difference of only 1 compared to sixth-placed Norwich City.
In mid-2002, with his career coming to an end, Gascoigne went on trial with American club D.C. United, but failed to win a contract. In January 2003, he signed a nine-month contract with Chinese club Gansu Tianma in both a playing and coaching role, but after going to America for treatment against drink and depression in April, he failed to return. The eruption of the SARS virus in China halted any thoughts of returning. Instead, he returned to England and later trained for six weeks with Wolverhampton Wanderers, but was not offered a contract for their 2003–04 Premier League campaign.
Gascoigne was first called up to the full England squad by Bobby Robson for a friendly against Denmark, in September 1988. He scored his first goal for England in a World Cup Qualifier against Albania. The following match saw him make his first start and he played in most matches in the run in to the 1990 World Cup with England finishing second in their group. He secured his place in the World Cup squad in a 4–2 win against Czechoslovakia when he scored one goal and had a hand in the other three.
He played in all three of the group games in the 1990 World Cup in Italy, and England topped their group, Gascoigne providing the assist for Mark Wright's winner against Egypt. In the first knockout game against Belgium he made another assist. With the score at 0–0 towards the end of extra time, Gascoigne got the ball in the middle of the pitch and attacked, winning a free kick. He chipped the ball into the penalty area and David Platt volleyed the ball into the net to send England into the quarter-finals where they faced Cameroon. Gascoigne was at the centre of the action again when he gave away a penalty which Cameroon scored from. England were 2–1 down in the last ten minutes of the match. In extra time he found Gary Lineker with a through-ball from which Lineker won, and subsequently scored, a penalty which proved to be the winning goal.
On 4 July 1990 England played West Germany in the World Cup semi-final in Turin. After they went 1–0 down early in the second half, Gascoigne's Spurs team-mate Gary Lineker equalised for England with ten minutes remaining to force extra time. Gascoigne, having already received a yellow card during England's 1–0 victory over Belgium in the second round, showed his tenacity again as he fouled Thomas Berthold and was booked, which meant that he would be suspended for the World Cup Final if England won the match. Television showed that he had tears in his eyes following the yellow card. The match culminated in a penalty shoot-out with Gascoigne originally intended to take the third kick, but he did not feel able to take the penalty, so Platt took it and scored. The Germans eventually won after Chris Waddle missed his penalty and England failed to reach the final. He was named in the tournament All-Star team for his performances and returned to England to a frenzy that became known as Gazzamania. Five years later, a TV advert for Walkers Crisps (also featuring Gary Lineker) referenced Gascoigne's tearful appearance in the semi-final. Gascoigne's fearless, talismanic performances at the Finals were appreciated by the team. Speaking in 2010 Chris Waddle said : "The great thing about Gazza is that he didn't respect who he was playing against. He didn't even know who he was playing against. When I mentioned Rijkaard he thought it was a country."
By the time of his serious injury in the 1991 FA Cup Final, he had earned twenty England caps. After his recovery he was usually picked by Graham Taylor for England matches until the broken leg sustained at Lazio ruled him out for a whole year. He became a key part of Terry Venables' team in the run-in to Euro '96. In the first game against Switzerland he was substituted but scored in the second game against Scotland. A minute after David Seaman had saved a penalty, Gascoigne received the ball from Darren Anderton on the left outside the Scotland penalty area. He moved as if to play the ball down the outside, but flicked the ball over Colin Hendry with his left foot and changed direction. Hendry was completely wrongfooted and, as the ball dropped, Gascoigne volleyed it with his right foot past Andy Goram. The goal was followed by the "Dentist's chair" celebration referring to an incident before the Euro 1996, where England team players were photographed on a drunken night with Gascoigne, Teddy Sheringham and Steve McManaman shown drinking in a dentist's chair, as well as causing thousands of pounds worth of damage to a Cathay Pacific first class flight cabin. After the goal Gascoigne lay on the ground as if he were sitting in the dentist's chair, and teammates sprayed water from bottles into his open mouth.
In the third group game against the Netherlands Gascoigne contributed to a 4–1 victory, providing the corner which led to the second goal and crafting the third goal with a mazy run into the Dutch penalty area. After beating Spain on penalties, England met Germany in the semi-final. Early on Gascoigne's corner again led to an England goal, and extra time was again required, when Gascoigne was within millimetres of scoring the golden goal which would have put England through to the final. However, England lost to Germany in the resulting penalty shoot-out and, once again, Gascoigne shed tears.
Under Glenn Hoddle, Gascoigne was picked regularly over the next year and a half helping England qualify for the 1998 World Cup, but with injury and disciplinary problems affecting his game, he was left out of the final squad by Hoddle. British tabloid newspapers showed pictures of a drunken Gascoigne eating kebabs in the early hours of the morning only a week before the final squad was due to be chosen. On being told he was out of the squad, Gascoigne wrecked Hoddle's room in a rage before being restrained. Five other players were also left out the squad, including Phil Neville, who was later consoled by Gascoigne. Hoddle later hit back at Gascoigne, declaring publicly that it was the latter's own fault that he was not included in the squad. While Neville went on to win many more caps, Gascoigne was never to play for his country again, having won 57 caps and scored 10 goals.
Having already gained some coaching experience in China, he signed for Boston United on 30 July 2004. After being at the club for 11 games he left (partly as a result of the club refusing to let him participate in the reality television show I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!) on 5 October 2004, to begin a football coaching course. He made a total of five appearances for the club. After leaving Boston, he stated that he was interested in taking over as manager of Scottish side Greenock Morton, but this came to nothing.
In mid-2005 he spent two months as player-coach at the recently founded Portuguese team Algarve United, but a proposed contract never materialised[dead link] and he returned to England. He then became manager of Kettering Town on 27 October 2005. His tenure at Kettering lasted just 39 days, and he was dismissed by the club's board on 5 December 2005, along with assistant manager Paul Davis. The club's owner blamed Gascoigne's alcohol problems, stating that he drank almost every day he worked. Gascoigne later claimed in his book Being Gazza that the owner had interfered incessantly and harboured ambitions of being a manager himself, despite knowing little about football. He was subsequently interviewed by Sky News, in which he appeared drunk although in his book he claimed it was due to his poor mental state, tiredness and prescribed medication which gave the impression of appearing "out of it".
Gascoigne came close to being appointed manager of Garforth Town in 2010, saying "I feel strong right now. For me personally it's a big challenge. It's whether the players want to join me in that challenge. I never knew when I'd get back into football. I want to take the club forward and I want the players to develop". Gascoigne was never seen at a Garforth Town match, and after weeks of talks between his agent and the club, he decided to turn down the offer, though reiterating his desire to return to football management and insisting that he had not made a U-turn over taking the job, stating that some people (such as the News of the World) had jumped the gun in announcing his appointment.
He worked as a pundit on ITV's World Cup team in 2002. In 2005, he made an emotional TV appearance on a BBC One programme about ex-footballers. Speaking to Scottish ex-footballer Alan Hansen, he talked about his problems and how he had had to cope with not being the player he used to be. He also mentioned he was determined to get back into the game by obtaining the proper coaching badges needed to manage a team.
On 25 July 2009 Gascoigne appeared on a Sporting Heroes edition of the BBC television quiz The Weakest Link where he engaged in banter with host Anne Robinson and on 26 July 2009 he played in an England v Germany charity football match to help raise funds for the Sir Bobby Robson cancer fund.
Gascoigne married his long-term girlfriend Sheryl (née Failes; born 24 September 1965) in Hatfield, Hertfordshire, in July 1996, after being together for around six years. They divorced in early 1999.
In July 1994, in interview with a Sunday newspaper, Gascoigne admitted beating her on a regular basis for two years. They have a son, Regan Paul, born in Hatfield in 1996. Gascoigne adopted Sheryl's two children from her first marriage. Paul's stepdaughter Bianca Gascoigne appeared on reality TV show Love Island; his stepchildren claim that he beat them as well.
In 2004 he stated that he wished to be referred to as G8, combining his initial and his playing number.
In 2004 he published his autobiography Gazza: My Story, written with Hunter Davies, and in 2006 Being Gazza: Tackling My Demons. In them, he refers to treatment for bulimia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder, and alcoholism.
In July 2007 Gascoigne attended a charity golf tournament in Spain. He had his right hip replaced in December 2007. In February 2008 he was sectioned under the Mental Health Act after an incident at the Malmaison Hotel in Newcastle. He was taken into protective custody to prevent any self-harm.
Gascoigne says that he almost died during his time in a rehabilitation programme in 2008 and that he was revived three times after his heart had stopped. Gascoigne was noted as a smoker before the 1998 World Cup, when Glenn Hoddle confirmed the player had been smoking since at least as early as 1992.
In January 2009, video clips of Gascoigne appeared in Surviving Gazza, a documentary on Channel 4, which showed family efforts in 2008 to help him. During the programme Gascoigne said that he was in close personal contact with the Royal Family, the Prime Minister, the US president and the Pope. The programme implied that their efforts had failed, and Gascoigne's alcoholism had continued.
In April 2009, Gascoigne made two media appearances, appearing to be in recovery, on the UK mid-day programme Loose Women and on the BBC football program Match of the Day 2. He claimed that his stint at the Tony Adams "Sporting Chance" rehabilitation centre had finally allowed him to mature and that he was no longer a slave to addictions. He was also at the time in training for a forthcoming All Stars fund raising football match.
On 8 February 2010, Gascoigne was arrested and charged with drunk-driving.
On 9 July 2010, Gascoigne appeared at the scene of the tense stand-off between the police and Britain's most wanted man Raoul Moat. He claimed to be a friend of the fugitive and stated that he had brought him 'a can of lager, some chicken, fishing rod, a Newcastle shirt and a dressing gown'. He was denied access to Moat. Police said there was no way that Gascoigne could have known Moat.
On 8 October 2010 Gascoigne was again arrested for drunk driving. He admitted being more than four times over the limit at Newcastle Magistrates Court on 20 October 2010, and has been bailed for sentencing on 11 November. District Judge Stephen Earl warned Gascoigne that he could face a prison sentence of up to 12 weeks. On 21 October 2010 Gascoigne was arrested for possession of cocaine, after friends telephoned the police fearing that he had overdosed.
Gascoigne sued The Sun in August 2011, claiming its coverage of him during the Raoul Moat incident interrupted his treatment for alcoholism.
|Club performance||League||Cup||League Cup||Continental||Total|
|England||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Europe||Total|
|1984–85||Newcastle United||First Division||2||0||-||-||-||2||0|
|1988–89||Tottenham Hotspur||First Division||32||6||-||5||1||-||37||7|
|Italy||League||Coppa Italia||League Cup||Europe||Total|
|Scotland||League||Scottish Cup||League Cup||Europe||Total|
|England||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Europe||Total|
|China PR||League||FA Cup||CSL Cup||Asia||Total|
|2003||Gansu Tianma||China League One||4||2||-||-||-||4||2|
|England||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Europe||Total|
|2004–05||Boston United||League Two||4||0||-||1||0||-||5||0|
|England national team|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Paul Gascoigne|