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My Spurs debut | Paul Gascoigne vs Newcastle | 03.09.1988

Thu 11 April 2024, 18:00|Tottenham Hotspur

Paul Gascoigne's much-heralded arrival from Newcastle to Spurs came in the summer of 1988 for a then British record transfer fee.

Where would the iconic midfielder therefore make his debut? Of course, back at St James' Park!

The opening match of the 1988/89 campaign in the old First Division saw us come back from 2-0 down to grab a point thanks to goals from Chris Waddle - also back at his former club - and Terry Fenwick.

Gazza played 37 times in that first season, contributing seven goals as we finished sixth. We finished third in 1989/90, Gazza and Gary Lineker then lit up the 1990 World Cup for England, Gazza returned as everyone's hero and the rest is history. A year later, he inspired our run to the FA Cup Final but was injured in the showpiece as we came from behind to beat Forest.

Paul moved to Lazio after recovering from his serious knee injury, having made 112 appearances for us in all competitions, scoring 33 goals.

Gazza later enjoyed spells with Rangers, Middlesbrough and Everton among others. He won the lot in Scotland, clinching the title in his first season - 1995/96 - with a hat-trick against Aberdeen. He then starred in England's run to the semi-finals of Euro 96, scoring one of Wembley's most memorable goals against, you guessed it, Scotland!

"We can be a lot better and will be a lot better," Gazza told programme editor John Fennelly after his debut and preparing for his home debut - against Arsenal! "This is what it's all about and hopefully we will get three points to build on our battling performance at Newcastle.

"I'm optimistic because we have the makings of a very good side and a manager who knows what he is doing and who is one of the best in the business. It's up to me and the rest of the lads not to let him down.

"From the moment I signed for Spurs I have been looking forward to our first home game and now I just can't wait for kick-off. I've been happy with the way things have been going since I arrived here and the lads have made me welcome from the start.

"I enjoy a laugh and joke in training and if I can get a smile out of the crowd during games when we're winning then I will, because that's the way I am. But if things are not going too well then you can forget all that because I'll be knuckling down to put things right."

Speaking in his programme notes for the Arsenal game, Terry Venables said: "Before closing the subject of Newcastle, I must pay a special tribute to Paul Gascoigne on his return to St James' Park. He was under heavy provocation but I thought he handled it very well."