SPAIN blew me away in the Euro 2012 Final. They destroyed Italy with their quality passing and movement – exactly what England couldn’t do!
When I was 14-years-old, I had two coaches – Jimmy Nelson and Colin Suggett – and all they ever said to us was, “pass and move, pass and move,” until it was drilled into us. It’s the best way to play and the proof is in the pudding!
I find it hard watching football in this country now because I don’t see enough passion. When I was in the youth team at Newcastle, I had to clean Kevin Keegan and Chris Waddle’s boots, wash the goalposts, cut the grass and tidy the changing rooms. I got paid £120 plus another £120 if I played so I knew I had to do well in training to get in the team and earn money. It’s a shame that’s stopped.
I loved being a professional player but this is the only time of year I don’t miss – pre-season training is f***ing horrible! We used to get six weeks off and for the last two I’d be sh*tting myself and being sick. I was so scared of what was coming.
One year, when I was at Lazio, I went to Florida and had too many Pina Coladas, and came back a good stone overweight. I turned up for pre-season, but Dino Zoff took one look at us and said in Italian, “What the f***? You f***ing fat bastard!” And he sent us to train in Switzerland with one coach for 75 days! Every morning, I had to do 36 miles on the bike and a 10-mile run, then in the afternoon it was 12 five-minute swims, then another 36 miles on the bike and a 10-mile run at night…all in the Swiss mountains!
I lost two f***ing stone! And no wonder – it was like doing two trialthlons every day.
Maybe I should’ve taken my mate Jimmy Five Bellies with us!
AFTER last week’s claims that I’m “on the brink” I’d like to remind everyone that I’m in great shape! The only six-packs I used to own were the kind you buy in an off licence but after working out every day for the last 19 months, I’ve got one on my stomach now too. I’m in such good nick that a health magazine has even asked me to have a six-pack competition with my old England mate John Barnes. They must be taking the piss! Have you seen Barnesy these days? I bet when he’s shagging you could slap his belly and ride the waves! Seriously though, Barnesy’s a top bloke and a real character. During Italia ’90, him and Steve McMahon used to wind us up something rotten. I’d say, “Look at me, I’ve just signed for Spurs,” but they’d just say, “Where are your trophies, Gazza?” It did my f***ing head in. If we do this competition Barnesy, it’ll be my easiest trophy ever!
THE BBC had complaints when Terry Wogan made a harmless joke about the Costa Concordia on his radio show. My first TV appearance was on his programme when he was the biggest thing on telly. I was sh*tting myself as George Best had just been on, pissed out of his head! Thankfully, it went all really smoothly. But I think I need to introduce old Tel to Wayne Rooney. So they can share some top hairstyle tips!
I WAS thinking about reading this Fifty Shades Of Grey book until I found out it’s all about bondage! My sister Lindsay has been telling me to read it, but I’ve got bad memories of bondage. When I was at Spurs, I got this letter from a bloke in Scotland saying, “Hi Gazza, I really fancy you. I’d love to handcuff you and do a bit of bondage action.” I f***ing shuddered at the thought. Then the same bloke wrote to us saying he was in Gateshead, then in Nottingham and Luton. I thought, “Sh*t, he’s getting closer,” and I really started panicking.
When he told me he knew where I lived and that he’d moved near me, I decided I’d had enough. Days later I went to my local pub and saw a fella who I didn’t recognise staring at us, so I went over, gripped him by the throat and said, “It’s f***ing you, isn’t it? Writing me all those letters?” And it was! He said: “Sorry, Gazza. I’m just a big fan and I’ve got a bit carried away.” I’m a forgiving fella so I let him off and bought him a pint. I think he ended up as a singer on cruise ships.
SINCE I quit the booze my new chat-up line is, “Do you fancy going for a coffee and to the cinema?” So I might have to take someone to this new Spider-Man movie that everyone’s talking about. My favourite film of all time is As Good As it Gets, starring Jack Nicholson. Honestly, it’s like someone watched me for a year and then made that film. He’s got OCD and he’s just like me. When I watched it at the cinema, I think people left because I was laughing so loud!
It’s a good job lanky Stoke City striker Peter Crouch is being lined up to get his own chat show on Sky TV. With the extra cash, he might be able to buy a suit that fits properly!
I’VE been laughing my f***ing head off watching the tennis – because they’re all pansies! I know footballers are pampered, but you’ll still find plenty of them who’ll stick their heads where most people wouldn’t put their feet. But these tennis players slip on the grass and the physios are on giving them a massage. Could you imagine my old enemy Vinnie Jones doing that?! I wish Andy Murray would crack a smile! If he put me on his coaching staff, he’d be in stitches!
BEFORE that sick f***er Ian Brady dies he should say where poor Keith Bennett’s body is buried. I honestly think that secret is the only thing keeping him alive and it gives him a thrill. As soon as he tells Keith’s family where the body is, I hope he joins Myra Hindley – in HELL.
Come on Cam, bring the buggers back!
HOW many Brit soldiers have to die before David Cameron brings our boys out of Afghanistan? Another three were killed this week – this time by an Afghan policeman. I always buy a poppy and put money in the charity boxes because those blokes who fought in the two World Wars were heroes – and back then things were different. Now we don’t need to fight. It hurts me to see it on the news.
When I left school, loads of lads joined the Army to get a job. I remember once we had a big going away party for my dad’s best mate Tony Tempest in Dunston because he was off to Catterick Garrison. We said ‘goodbye’ and off he went. But then a few hours later he turned up back at the party. He’d been to Catterick, had a look around and thought, “F*** that,” and ran off home! Tony passed away a few years ago, God rest his soul, but if he’d stayed at Catterick, he’d have been a brilliant solider – he was such a top, loyal bloke.
ONE of the things about having an obsessive compulsive disorder is that I notice other people doing weird things. I clocked Tom Cruise acting oddly on the red carpet once. Every time he gave Katie Holmes a little tap, she’d kiss him on the cheek. And every time he tapped her twice, she’d peck him on the lips! He did it with all his wives! When I saw Tom and Katie had split up, I thought, “I bet she’s f***ing relieved.”
Five Bellies saved me from bombers
TAKE this from someone who knows – bombs are really f***ing SCARY! So I wasn’t at all surprised to see hundreds of police swooping on a coach on the M6 (below) when they thought there was a device – even if it did turn out to be one of those daft fake fags. When I was at Rangers, I had a visit from the anti-terrorism squad. With all the religious rivalry between Rangers and Celtic fans, they were worried I might be targeted. So they taught me how to check my car for bombs and told me not to open my mail…if it was ticking!
In the end, I paid my pal Jimmy Five Bellies £100 a day to open all my letters! It turned out pretty bad for Jimmy in the end. Thankfully, he didn’t get blown up but the dole office found out about the cash and cancelled his benefits! I once got a letter from a Rangers fan saying, “I hope your dad dies soon, the f***ing Catholic bastard. Oh, by the way, could I have your autograph?” The cheeky tw*t!