At some point later this month, or early in the next, Paul Gascoigne will go on trial for a sexual assault on a young woman on a train in Darlington last year. The preliminary hearing was in January past. The judge set a trial date for some time after 14 October.
Since this proceeding was teed up Gascoigne has found a new manager.
The first had to quit after he was cited as a defendant in a major drug case.
He’s done a tour which, like all the rest, were interrupted by the bigotry that surrounds him.
In June he was caught singing along with the crowd at one such event in Benidorm.
It is not the first time.
Gascoigne is an embarrassment, to everyone associated with him. Last month, I wrote of how UEFA had disgraced itself by announcing that he’s to be a Euro 2020 ambassador; we’ll see how quickly they drop that idea if he is found guilty at his trial.
But shame on them for ever having done it in the first place. The decision is disgraceful, especially when you take into account his full litany of sins. And he has it all; violence against women, racism, sectarianism, drug abuse, stalking … the list goes on.
The SFA were going to put him in the Hall of Fame until they bottled out under public pressure. UEFA went where even they feared to tread. You have to be a little bit amazed by that.
Of course, you won’t find people who worship Gascoigne more than the Scottish media.
He is meant to be an English football icon, but whenever the press writes about him down there they do it with the exasperation of people having to acknowledge a relative or mate they would rather just forget they had anything to do with.
None of his previous clubs fetes him the way the Ibrox one does.
When newspapers reported that Spurs were set to “honour him” in their new stadium the story behind it was as bizarre as it was telling; they unveiled the iconic club cockerel above the ground, and announced that it would have dent marks in it in “commemoration” of the time he shot the original with an air gun. That’s not a tribute as much as it’s an acknowledgment that he is a clown who never got over himself.
Now the Ibrox club has named a dressing room at their training ground after him, in recognition of the three whole years he played at Ibrox. That’s like us giving one to Virgil Van Dijk. The act alone would be an embarrassment even if the player wasn’t.
But the real embarrassment might still be to come, with that trial up next.
What a role model he is for young players.
How could any club think that this guy – with his record, a record that gets deeper and deeper into the black with every passing year – should be held up as an example to kids learning their game? It is shameful. Celtic would never elevate someone like this.
This club has no shame though.
But they might yet be shamed.
Women’s organisations around the country should be watching developments here with interest. I know our female supporters would be up in arms if we honoured a man such as this, a man facing a sexual assault charge. What are Sevco’s female fans willing to do?
What are our commentariat going to make of it?
If he’s convicted, will even they, finally, screw the nut and stop treating this yahoo as if he’s something our game should be proud of, instead of someone who’s short time in it in no way makes up for the disgrace he continues to heap on it?
I won’t be holding my breath, I can tell you that much.
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