With Gascoigne Set To Stand Trial For A Racist Joke Let’s Stop Pretending He’s Misunderstood

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Remember the much heralded “Gascoigne Tour”, which culminated in a shocking night of bigotry in Ayrshire, which embarrassed Scotland and was attended by a Loyalist paramilitary and compered by former Sevco keeper and poster boy Andy Goram?

Well that wasn’t the only time this freak show descended into the gutter. In Wolverhampton, he subjected a black security guard to racist abuse. Someone made a formal complaint to police and the West Midland force investigated it.

They charged him, and he’s now going to stand trial for it.

If he’s found guilty, it’s to be hoped that we can, finally, move past this wholly inaccurate public perception that attaches to him that is some kind of misconstrued figure, someone to be pitied rather than scorned.

Gascoigne is, and has long been, an absolute embarrassment, a wife beater, a boot boy, a ned and a bigot. He is a class clown who only made it in life by virtue of a scary talent with a football, a talent he worked hard to cultivate and then even harder to absolutely squander.

Without it, he’d have been nobody.

The revisionism which surrounds this guy, who mimicked the playing of a flute in a match against Celtic, and who has a long history of idiotic behaviour, is a joke.

The humanity in all of us is shaken to see anyone in the state he’s in right now, but that doesn’t detract from what he is and has been for the better part of his life. Sympathy on that human level is understandable, but it would be lamentable and shameful to pretend he’s a victim. His own excesses have led him here, and his own behaviour, much of it waved away without a shred of contrition, makes sustaining that sympathy virtually impossible.

The game in this country has always had an ugly element to it. Whilst he was here he pandered to all of it. He set no example. He didn’t even try to promote himself as a role model for others, perhaps because on some level he knew he’d be such an abysmal one. Time hasn’t improved him as a person, he continues to reach not for the stars but for the pavement which is far easier to reach from the gutter where he feels most at home.

As I said at the start of the piece, we know that Paul Gascoigne is a bigot. It would be no surprise to discover that he’s also a racist. It’s like the missing piece on his trophy cabinet of character flaws, and it’s the one that should finally close the book on “Gazza: Not A Bad Guy, Just Misunderstood.” His problem isn’t that we don’t “get him”, it’s that we do.

We understand him all too well.

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