First a message from our editor, James Andrew:
It was June 1990 when I went from being a six-year-old boy who played football in the playground, to becoming an actual fan. And there was one man responsible for that: Paul John Gascoigne.
Watching Italia 90 back then, I wasn’t aware about the negative feelings towards Bobby Robson and his England team – I just watched the games in awe. It was Gazza who lit them up. His Cruyff turn against the Dutch; the two free-kick assists against Belgium and Egypt; sticking out his tongue during the anthems; and of course, those tears.
I was a fan of Gazza before I was a fan of a club, and as the years rolled on, the aura around him only grew. From north London to Glasgow, via some often-hilarious high jinks in Rome, the stories from his career blossomed: from the sublime and ridiculous to the quite frankly unbelievable.
Of course, Gazza’s niggling demons in life have been well documented and he has made plenty of mistakes, both personally and professionally. But deep down, there was just a boy who loved football and made others love it too.
So, in this issue we celebrate 50 top tales that made him a legend, talking
to some of those who experienced his charms first-hand and still love him dearly. As fans, we always will...
Gazza: the 50 greatest stories
There will never be another Paul Gascoigne – that bonkers, brilliant, side-splitting soul adored by generations. But perhaps it’s just as well: only one man could have gotten away with so many traffic accidents, shoot ’em ups, avian scraps and more. FourFourTwo celebrates some of the greatest tales of all...
Ricardo Carvalho: YOUR questions answered
The record signings you forgot
Football’s transfer market has been abused and obliterated worldwide since the late 19th century – but not all of its record movers made too lasting an impression. Amid the high-profile hits were plenty more with some peculiar stories to tell...
Subbuteo: a fascinating history of
In 1946, RAF veteran Peter Adolph came up with an idea for a family-friendly football game to brighten life in post-war Britain. It wasn’t easy – and was often controversial – but 75 years on, Subbuteo’s legacy is assured through pop-punk, Paolo Di Canio and more
The rise (and rage) of Thomas Tuchel
He’s already transformed Chelsea into trophy winners, but Thomas Tuchel’s journey towards conquering Europe has been far from plain sailing. Brilliance has often collided with belligerence, to dramatic effect...
Pat Nevin: accidental footballer
Student, music critic, activist… footballer? Nevin spent the early 1980s trying to define his life by everything other than his exploits on the pitch, leading the Chelsea favourite down some alternative roads featuring knife attacks, The Proclaimers and Saddam Hussein’s secret police
Callum Wilson: Toon titan
The striker was Newcastle’s shining light amid dark times last season, leading from the front even amid injury woes of his own. Goals are already back on his mind – but they’re a sideshow for the real area of celebration: finally seeing fans at St James'...
Intertoto Cup: WTF?!
English clubs were among those particularly reluctant to be associated with European football’s ugly cousin in the mid-90s, making for bizarre scenes and grim batterings on a regular basis. But it sure was fun while it lasted – for some of its teams, anyway...
Lucy Bronze: going for gold
Too young for London 2012 and denied by politics for Rio 2016, Lucy Bronze is finally heading to her first Olympics this summer as Team GB’s outstanding talent in Tokyo. For the reigning Best FIFA Women’s Player, it’s time to see what all the fuss is about...
In the Players Lounge...
Neville Southall remembers the time he told Alex Ferguson to do one, USA star Alexi Lalas opens up on Arsenal rejection, Rachel Brown-Finnis explains why she trained on a volcano, while Wilfried Bony gets scared by eagles all over again.
Going Around The Grounds...
In our section dedicated to the EFL, Scotland and non-league, former Peterborough and Bolton midfielder Marcus Maddison explains why he's quit the pro game at 27 to turn out for eighth-tier Spalding United.
Meanwhile, Ian Holloway inks his regular column about the highs and lows of managing the transfer window, we remember Sergei Yuran's mad time at Millwall, Ipswich Town get the Best & Worst treatment, Jamie Clapham goes back to university, and Wigan Athletic are finally looking ahead to brighter days in 2021.
Last but not least: discover which EFL team counts the Dalai Lama among their celeb fans...
Former Toon favourite Lee Clark tells FFT about his new life bossing in Sudan, legendary DJ Steve Lamacq talks punk nights and Colchester United, we explain why Jamaica are embarking on an almighty recruitment drive, there's (frankly, pretty standard) madness in Romania for Craiova vs Craiova, while Fabrizio Ravanellli picks out the four matches that changed his life.
We'll also bring you our regular quiz, and many more of the best stories from Planet Football. Don't miss it!
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