Paul Gascoigne celebrates scoring for England during the game against the Netherlands at Euro 96. Wembley, London, June 1996.

17 of the best quotes on Gazza: ‘The crackerjack of British football’

Whether it be for Newcastle, Tottenham, Lazio, Rangers or England, few players have captured the hearts and imaginations of supporters quite as much as Paul Gascoigne.

We laughed with him, we celebrated with him and we cried with him on more than one occasion, and while there have been many players billed as ‘the next Gazza’, none have gone on to earn the love of the English public with such intense fervour.

We left it to those lucky enough to play with him and those who had the headache of managing him to explain why he remains so loved.

Gary Lineker

“Part of his genius, part of his magnificence, is the fact that he was so vulnerable.

“Without that vulnerable side, without that carefree side, without all the things that come with Gazza, I don’t think Paul Gascoigne would have been the player that he was.”

Stuart Pearce

“The crackerjack of British football. The most talented individual I’ve played alongside…”

Sir Bobby Robson

“When Gazza was dribbling, he used to go through a minefield with his arm, a bit like you go through a supermarket.”

Alan Shearer

“He was a genius with that football at his feet.”

Paul Ince

“Probably the best player I played with. What more can I say? He’s a maverick, he just had everything.”

Chris Waddle

“The ideal footballer, technically and socially. Great value; never a dull moment.”

Darren Anderton

“Nobody loved a big stage like Gazza. Those occasions were made for him. Gazza and the limelight were made for each other.”

Alessandro Nesta

“He gave me five pairs of shoes and a fishing kit. I have no idea why, but that was just like him.”

Dino Zoff

“He ate ice cream for breakfast, drank beer for lunch and when injured he blew up like a whale. But as a player? Oh, beautiful, beautiful.

“I loved that boy. He was a genius, an artist, but he made me tear my hair out.”

Les Ferdinand

“Quite simply the best midfielder I’ve ever played with. In fact, he had the ability to be the best player in the world.”

Ray Parlour

“We all loved Gazza and there haven’t been many finer English players in my lifetime. No one dropped their shoulder like Gazza.”

Brian Laudrup

“In his prime he was one of the best players in the world. He glided with the ball in a way that made him virtually untouchable for opponents.”

Sir Alex Ferguson

“He was the best player of his era, a breath of fresh air because he played with a smile.”

Frank Lampard

“He was the one I always looked up to and wanted to be.”

Wayne Rooney

“He’s the probably most exciting English player I’ve seen, and certainly the best.”

Gary Lineker

“The most naturally gifted footballer England has produced.”

Jose Mourinho

“Paul Gascoigne is the special one.”

Paul Gascoigne

“No one can be the next Gazza.”

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