Paul ‘Gazza’ Gascoigne barred from Scottish Football Hall of Fame
Former Rangers and England star’s nomination provoked outcry
Plans to induct Paul Gascoigne into the Scottish Football Hall of Fame later this month have been axed following a protest from members of the Scottish Football Association.
The Glasgow Evening Times reports that Gazza, “one of the finest players ever to grace the Scottish game”, had been set to receive the honour at a dinner at Hampden Park on 21 October. The English football star was to stand alongside former Rangers teammates Andy Goram, Richard Gough and Ally McCoist in the Hall of Fame.
However, according to the Daily Mail, Gazza’s nomination provoked controversy within the Scottish FA board, with several members insisting that if the induction went ahead, they would “boycott the dinner because of concerns over Gascoigne’s suitability for the honour”.
In response to the outcry, the organisers have issued a statement that says: “Further to consultation with the chair and members of the Scottish Football Hall of Fame committee, due to a number of factors including ongoing enquiries, and concerns over the state of Paul’s health, it has been decided to withdraw the nomination of Paul Gascoigne at this time from this year’s nomination process.”
Former England and Tottenham midfielder Gazza has made headlines for all the wrong reasons over the years. His “football legacy” has been overshadowed by a “string of high-profile incidents, including domestic abuse, racism and sectarianism”, says The Scottish Sun.
Last month it was alleged that the football legend, now 51, joined in the singing of sectarian songs at an event in Alloa.
Player of the year
Gascoigne joined Rangers from Lazio in 1995 and won the Scottish player of the year awards in his first season. He remained at Ibrox until 1998, a period in which the ’Gers won back-to-back league titles.
His proposed induction into the Scottish Football Hall of Fame would have seen him join a small but illustrious list of non-Scots, including former England teammate Terry Butcher and Celtic striker Henrik Larsson. But while he meets the criterion of having made a “significant contribution to the game”, his off-field problems have simply proved too significant for many critics.