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Cover Story

Our players have always been front page news – as John Fennelly’s ongoing series on publications from the past clearly illustrates. This month we go back to June, 1989, when the man in the spotlight was Paul Gascoigne.

Cover_full Paul Gascoigne signed for us in July, 1988, and within a year we produced an annual-style book entitled ‘Gazza!’ It was published by the club’s own offshoot Cockerel Books and I wrote most of it. I still haven’t recovered!

Cockerel Books also brought out the original ‘Glory Glory Nights’ together with two for Gary Mabbutt and Chris Waddle’s biography plus three Christmas annuals. There was a later poster-magazine to mark Gascoigne’s successful 1990 World Cup with England.

As the author, I wasn’t helped by the fact that Gazza’s agent was also working on a book at the same time. But Paul had enough energy for both projects although pinning him down for an actual interview proved the biggest challenge!

In the end, I gave up. Yet informing him that I wasn’t wasting any more time on the job as the deadline fast approached actually worked because it galvanised him into inviting me to his Dobb’s Weir home where I was sure we would get all the chapters covered in one sitting.

But life with the irrepressible Gazza was never that simple! On arrival, he asked me to drive him to the old Swallow Hotel in Waltham Abbey where we would chat over lunch. What he didn’t tell me was that a group of young players, including Paul Moran and Phil Gray, had also been invited!

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