The Observer columnist Daniel Taylor wrote an impressive piece at the weekend on one of Tottenham Hotspur’s favourite sons – Paul Gascoigne.
Taylor’s thoughtful article appealed for some understanding of the difficulty that Gazza faces as he attempts to deal with his alcoholism. It also laments the fact that younger football would only know Gascoigne for his well-documented problems, rather than as one of the best footballers of his generation.
One of the more interesting snippets for Spurs fans was Taylor’s revelation about an injury that Gazza suffered in extraordinary circumstances. The writer recounts an incident in which Gascoigne climbed up into the rafters of one of the stands at White Hart Lane, with an air-rifle slung over his shoulder.
The reason that Gazza found himself in such dangerous territory was his intention to shoot a pigeon, nesting at the top of the stand. Gascoigne got as near as he could, had the pigeon in his sights and was just about to pull the trigger when the bird flew away.
This development startled Gazza sufficiently that he fell some 20ft to the floor. The fall resulted in a shoulder injury that saw him miss the next game for Tottenham. Given the circumstances of the accident and the headlines it would have created at the time, it’s perhaps no surprise that the story has remained buried for so long.
The full article is well worth a read and you can find it by clicking here.