The following points are a clue for why Gazza never fulfilled his full potential.

  1. One hour after playing for England, met 'showbiz pals' Danny Baker and Chris Evans in a Hampstead pub while still wearing his full kit... boots included.
  2. When asked for his nationality before an operation, told the nurse: "Church Of England."
  3. On a trip to London, jumped out of his car to demand"a go" on a workman's pneumatic drill. After getting the go-ahead, happily pounded thepavement to the amusement of shoppers.
  4. On first meeting with Lazio's president to discuss his big-money move to the Italian club, was quick to tell the esteemed gentleman that he reminded him of Russ Abbot.
  5. Organisers of Italia 90 TV coverage had the splendid idea of augmenting team line-ups with footage of each player mouthing his own name. Gascoigne's genius led him to subvert the process by, instead, mouthing'f***ing w***ker.' Broadcasters across the world had to use it all the way through the tournament.
  6. Booked a series of sun-bed sessions for then-Newcastle team-mate Tony Cunningham. Who, of course, is black.
  7. Asked by a Norwegian camera crew if he had a message for England's upcoming opponents, immediately responded with, "Yes. F**k off, Norway." Then ran off laughing.
  8. Turned up for England training the morning after then-manager Bobby Robson had called him "daft as a brush" with a floor brush sticking out of his sock.
  9. When asked for a footballing comment while at Lazio, burped enthusiastically into a TV microphone. He was fined 39,000.
  10. Decided it would be a great idea to have massive hair extensions. Looked a fool and had them taken out a day later.
  11. After paying for ex-wife Sheryl's breasts implants, sent flowers to the hospital after the operation addressed to 'Dolly Parton.'
  12. Astounded commuters in London by jumping on a double-decker in London's Piccadilly Circus and asking if he could have a drive. The bus driver saidyes, and the passengers thoroughly enjoyed Gazza's impromptu performance.
  13. Sent a rose to the Wimbledon dressing room for Vinnie Jones after the infamous ball-squeezing incident. Got a toilet brush in return.
  14. Set up best mate Jimmy 'Five Bellies' Gardner with a 'girl' he knew to be a transvestite.
  15. Has taken the p*** out of refs constantly during his career. On one occasion he sniffed a hapless ref's armpit while he was holding his hand high to signal a free kick.
  16. Undeterred by their frosty reactions, Gazza again tried to prove that refs have a sense of humour by yellow-carding the referee after the official had dropped his card during a Rangers v Hibs game. He was booked for his troubles.
  17. While attempting to deflect the 'kebab controversy' which spelled the beginning of the end of his England career, assured reporters that his doner-munching antics following Middlesbrough's promotion to the Premiership would in no way affect his fitness before France 98. One reporter asked: "What do you feel like now?" Back came the inevitable response:"I feel like a kebab with onions."
  18. As an apprentice desperate to impress then-Newcastle boss Jack Charlton, spent a week's money on fishing gear and begged the famous angler to give him a lesson. On arrival at the riverbank, Charlton promptly threw all but the rod out into the briny, then poured a bottle of Newcastle Brown into the water, dipped in the rod and within seconds was pulling out a whopper. Lesson over.
  19. As 'perk' of boot-cleaning duties during his apprenticeship, took Kevin Keegan's Golas home to show his mates. But left them on the NewcastleUnderground.
  20. When playing for England against Belgium in Italia 90, ridiculed Enzo Scifo as he lay on the ground clutching his leg. Gazza thought he wasplay-acting, so did a mime of his own which involved hopping on one leg with his tongue lolling out.
  21. His attempt to jet off to Libya with Middlesbrough for a post-season tour was hampered by the fact he'd left his passport at home. An emotional Gazza wept at the check-in desk until a minion was despatched to bring itto the airport.
  22. Celebrated his new-found hero status after flying home from Italia 90 by wearing a huge pair of fake plastic boobs and stomach bearing the legend 'Gazza.'
  23. On meeting the president of Denmark's FA, pretended he could speak Danish. When invited to demonstrate, imitated The Muppet Show's Swedish Chef.
  24. Conned Five Bellies into eating a mince pie after he'd scraped out the filling and replaced it with cat excrement.
  25. Walked into the Middlesbrough canteen wearing nothing but his training socks and ordered lunch.
  26. Paid 320 for a Mars Bar in a newsagents in his home town of Dunston, then told the shop owner to spend the change on sweets for local kids.
  27. Whilst dining in the prestigious Bedford Arms Hotel in Woburn with a few of his Geordie mates, decided to place his erect member on the shoulder of a diner at the next table. Thinking someone had tapped him on theshoulder the gentleman turned his head only to have Gazza's helmet prod him in the cheek.
  28. Took a documentary team to a beautiful Scottish cottage which he informed them was his new place, pretended he'd forgotten his key and knocked instead. When the door opened, told the befuddled housewife inside that he was doing a telly advert and wanted to know if she preferred Daz or Omo.
  29. Crashed Middlesbrough's team bus at the club's training ground and caused 310,000 worth of damage.
  30. While at Rangers, urinated over sleeping team-mate Richard Gough.
  31. Handed 1000 over to Jimmy Five Bellies after betting that the burly boozer couldn't withstand a cigarette lighter's heat on the bridge of his nose for five seconds........Jimmy could. Twice.
  32. After briefly giving up drinking, was advised to find a new interest. Picked bingo.
  33. Bought a 1000 robot and programmed it to travel into Jimmy Five Bellies' room at Gazza Towers and announce: "Make a cup of tea, fat man."
  34. Was banned from Liverpool's Cream nightclub in advance within days of joining Everton last summer, because the Evertonians who run the place wanted him to avoid temptation and stay fit.
  35. Prepared for England matches during that hugely important tournament byplaying marathon games of tennis in the scorching midday sun.
  36. Thought it would be appropriate to wear a blue fright wig before the 1991 FA Cup Final.
  37. In his time, has agreed to dress as a Roman centurion, a clown, Oliver Hardy and Braveheart for photo opportunities.
  38. While his Italia 90 team-mate was the hero of Hillsborough, marched into a Sheffield barber shop and demanded "a Waddle cut."
  39. When Gazza signed for Spurs in 1988, he came down to finalise the deal with a bunch of his Geordie mates. They took over the posh hotel in Hadley Wood where Spurs were footing the bill and wreaked havoc. Gazza met then-chairman Irving Scholar and began talks by saying, "We'd like to thank you for the best three days of our lives"
  40. Was asked to leave West Lodge Park Hotel in London after guests were treated to the sight of a naked Five Bellies swimming across the duck pond.
  41. On his first night in Rome after signing for Lazio, gave his minder the slip, put his shoes by an open window and hid in a cupboard. The minder thought he'd committed suicide.
  42. Recorded a video message for a corporate party and signed off with a cheery "Happy Christmas, you f***ing w***ers."
  43. Greeted reporters in Rome by standing up, asking for silence, thenfarting at ear-splitting volume.
  44. Told an interviewer that he was so superstitious about the number 13 that he couldn't ever bear to see the numbers 4 and 9 together. Oddly, the combination of 5 and 8 was deemed OK.
  45. Shredded England team-mate Dennis Wise's Armani suit "for a laugh."
  46. While staying at a Scottish hotel, drove across its golf course in hisfour-wheel drive Jeep.
  47. While reputation preceded him in Italy, the English language did not. Hence, his Lazio debut was marked by a banner which read: 'Gazza's Boys,We Are Here. Shake Your Women And Drink Your Beer.'
  48. Conversely, rival Italian supporters once hailed him with a banner which stated bluntly: 'Paul Gazza, You Are Fat Poofta.'
  49. After being sent off while playing for Lazio, shook hands with virtually every member of the Genoa side.
  50. While staying in a New Zealand hotel, was told there was no bacon for breakfast. Replied, "What, all the sheep in this country and there's no bloody bacon!"