Search for your sports books:

Featured Publisher: John Blake
Apart form its current publications, John Blake Publishing has a sizeable back list of acclaimed sporting titles. These include biographies of stars such as Roger Federer, WG Grace, Fernando Torres and Frankie Dettori. For more information, visit www.blake.co.uk



Read Review
<back to archive

Gazza: My Story by Paul Gasgoine with Hunter Davies

Release date: 18th June, 2004
Publisher: Headline

List Price: £18.99
Our Price: £11.39
You Save: £7.6 (40%)
Buy Now

Gazza: My Story
Paul Gasgoine with Hunter Davies
Headline

4Sportsbooks.co.uk price: £ 11.39 (saving £7.60)

Towards the end of this book, Paul Gasgoine is asked, "Of today's younger players, who do you admire?" to which he replies, "Beckham, of course, not just for his football but how he has handled the media and his commercial work. I buggered up all that." It's a comment which ultimately the reader may feel is better suited to an appearance nearer the beginning as it effectively sets the tone for the whole 370 pages.

Today, Paul Gasgoine should probably be winding down on an even more successful playing career than the one he enjoyed. Although he would be the first to acknowledge that he has never been the sharpest knife in the drawer, a career extension in football coaching and possibly management would almost certainly beckon. Lucrative product endorsement and sponsorship contracts would ideally have provided the most comfortable of financial cushions. Instead, Gazza is a recovering alcoholic; he neither owns a house nor a car, but a man who, for all his faults, is difficult to dislike.

The depths to which Gasgoine fell are graphically illustrated as soon as one opens the book's cover. The endpapers are a reduced version of his "Path to Recovery", a handwritten account of his life from 1967; it was originally written in chalk and coloured crayons on a sheet of brown paper measuring over 6' by 3' and finishes with a startling block capital cry for help. By the end of the ensuing prologue, this reader wondered how such a star, a player so exalted, a footballer endowed with such talent, a man earning so much money, would have needed to issue such a heart-wrenching scream.

Paul Gasgoine was undoubtedly one of the most naturally talented footballers this country has ever produced although, as everyone knows, he was as daft as a brush. This combination allows writer Hunter Davies to mix some brilliant footballing memories with occasionally very funny anecdotes - although I really cannot believe that the Newcastle United side of 1984 celebrated victories with a glass of Harvey's Bristol Cream! Similarly, the tale of Gasgoine being summoned to Terry Venables office for swearing at his then club manager induces more raucous laughter.

In 1988, Gazza left Newcastle for the bright lights of London and Tottenham Hotspur. With hindsight, it is easy to say that this was a bad move, but the young Gasgoine could hardly be blamed for leaving a club offering him £250 a week and going to one paying £1,500. Nevertheless, one wonders how he would have fared under Alex Ferguson's tutelage; he actually promised the Manchester United manager that he would sign for the Old Trafford club, but Spurs wooed the impressionable Geordie (and his mates) and snapped him up ahead of two Scots - Kenny Dalglish, Liverpool's manager, being the other.

Of course, it was during Italia 90 that Gasgoine came to prominence which resulted in him being courted by most big teams in Europe. In addition, the sponsorship and endorsement offers came in at such speed that Gazza reckons within 12 months of the World Cup, he'd earned "millions". Even these were not as straight forward as they should have been - the story of how the Brut contract was lost combines amusement and pathos, a de facto summary of the footballer's life.

The book chronicles Gasgoine's career in similar vein from Lazio to Rangers, Euro 1996 - another playing pinnacle - to Middlesbrough, where the drink and drugs begin to have a devastating effect and onto Everton, Burnley, Arizona and finally China.

Ultimately, Gazza: My Story offers a sad, reflective, often very funny tale which serves to illustrate the need for talented but poorly educated young footballers to be properly advised by people they can trust.





<back to archive


Toolstation


SBOTM Current Top 10

Unstoppable: My Life So Far By Maria Sharapova
Particular Books
Read Review Buy Now
Over and Out: My Innings of a Lifetime with Test Match Special By Henry Blofeld
Hodder & Staughton
Read Review Buy Now
Football: My Life, My Passion By Graeme Souness
Headline
Read Review Buy Now
Rugby, The Game Of My Life: Battling For England in the Professional Era By Rob Andrew
Hodder & Staughton
Read Review Buy Now
Ali: A Life By Jonathan Eig
Simon & Schuster
Read Review Buy Now
A Clear Blue Sky By Jonny Bairstow with Duncan Hamilton
Harper Collins
Read Review Buy Now
From Orient to the Emirates The Plucky Rise of Burnley FC By Tim Quelch
Pitch Publishing
Read Review Buy Now
Ascent By Sir Chris Bonnington
Simon & Schuster
Read Review Buy Now
Glove Story By Rob Stokes, Derek Hammond & Gary Silke
Conker Editions
Read Review Buy Now
The Way of the Runner A Journey Into the Fabled World of Japanese Running By Adharanand Finn
WW Norton
Read Review Buy Now

Amazon’s top 6 best-sellers

© Sharks Media Ltd 2004 – 2012. Site designed and maintained by Marcus Hamblett for Furydesign.