IF Robbie Williams’ solo comeback goes down a storm he might even give me £3million – again!
The Robster performed his first solo gig in six years this week, and I’m chuffed to bits for him. Back in 2006, I played in a Soccer Aid match with Rob and we became good mates. It was funny as f***. One night before the match I was sat out on my hotel balcony, smoking a big fat cigar and having a glass of wine with none other than the legend, Maradona. He said, “Paul, did you see me last year?” I said, “Aye, you were fat as f***!” Anyway, he said, “Yeah, I was, but I’m all right now,” and just at that moment, Rob rang me up. “What you up to?” he said, so I told him, “Oh, I’m just lying in bed, tired – nothing much.” But Rob’s apartment on Chelsea Walk in London was only 200- metres away, and he said, “You f***ing lying bastard, Gazza! I’m watching you through binoculars.” I just said, “Ok, you win.”
I was drinking at the time and Rob was so supportive. He came round to my house, walked into my bedroom and gave me a cheque same amount. We had a great laugh together, though. Once, I was round at his house and we had a competition for money – it was who could throw an apple the furthest into the River Thames, using their left hand. He won, but I reckon he’d been practising. Either that or he’s f***ing left-handed! I’m a massive fan of his music – it’s brilliant – and another time, I present. I ripped it up because I was too proud to accept it, and I had to do the same again after he’d nipped home to write out another one for the was at his house and he said, “Listen to this,” and played Rudebox for me before it had been released.
I said, “Rob, trust me, if you release that it’ll go to number one in the charts – I promise you.” Obviously, it shot straight to the top of the charts, so if he still wants to give me some cash, it should be £5 million now – that includes my royalties for Rudebox. A cheque will do, Rob!
THE iPhone 5 is out this week and it’s supposed to be the thinnest, lightest and fastest yet. When I moved from Newcastle to Tottenham and made my first bit of serious money, I splashed out on my first ever mobile phone. I thought I was the bee’s knees. But thinking about it now, it was the size of a f***ing brick! I must’ve looked like a proper berk! I’ll have to dig it out and take it on the Antiques’ Roadshow – I might get some decent dosh for it!
Roo’s just the same as me!
WAYNE Rooney: if you’re reading this, you owe me £20,000. Little Wayne has very kindly jogged my memory by talking in his forthcoming book about the time I gave him £40 for a night out when he was still a youth team player at Everton. Well, with the ten years’ interest, I reckon we can call it an even £20,000 he owes me! Seriously though, it was clear Wayne was destined for the big time when he was just 14. Colin Harvey, who was the youth team manager at Everton, called me over to watch him demolish an under-19s team, scoring a brace in 15-minutes, and taking the piss out of the opposition. Everyone used to say he was “another Gazza,” and to be honest, he does have the same qualities I had as a footballer. He’s a great player, but he also trains hard, wants to do well and I know for a fact that he cries when his team gets beat because he can’t stand losing – just like yours truly. The other player I knew who was going to be special before he broke through was Cristiano Ronaldo. I asked Sir Alex Ferguson if he had any special players coming through and he said, “Oh, there is one lad from Portugal with a great talent. The rest of the youth players aren’t bad.” Not long after, those youth players beat Arsenal 3-1 in the cup. And Sir Alex had said those players were just “all right.” Can you imagine that? Both Rooney and Ronaldo have gone on to become world class, but they’re still not as good as I was!
ANDY Murray winning the US Open was the icing on the cake after a great summer of sport. With Euro 2012, Wimbledon, The Open, Olympics and Paralympics, there hasn’t been a dull moment, this summer – it’s been absolutely unbelievable and I’ve loved every minute. I’m really pleased for Andy because winning a major was long overdue. But I call him the hypochondriac – he’s always moaning about being injured. After saying his shoulder was killing him, he ripped his armbands off and hoyed them into the crowd. What happened to the shoulder injury then, Andy? He must be the bionic man!
IF I decide to go on Celebrity Come Dine With Me, Gordon Ramsay better watch out! I’ve been asked to take part in the show, and I’m considering it because I’m a good cook. My dad did all the cooking when I was growing up and he taught me everything I know. The other night, I made pasta with prawns and I treated myself to a bit of crab in there, too. It was f***ing beautiful. I love steak as well, but one of my other favourites is butterfly cakes. I’ve even invented a couple of my own dishes. For one, you make a batter with flour and water, then take a slice of bread and spread butter and jam on one side. Once you’ve done that, you deep fry it before sprinkling icing sugar on top. My other recipe is like a cross between spaghetti Bolognese and rice pudding. Basically, you cook spaghetti in a pan with milk and sugar. I call it spaghetti pudding! Both of my dishes are delicious, but if you eat them too often you’ll end up with more chins than a Chinese telephone directory. Just ask Jimmy Five Bellies!
ON April 15, 1989, I watched the heartbreaking scenes at Hillsborough from the safety of my home. I was injured at the time, so I was sat in front of the TV all ready to watch the FA Cup semifinal between two of the best teams in England: Liverpool and Nottingham Forest. What happened – 96 people being crushed to death in the crowd – was one of the saddest things ever, and I’m pleased the truth has finally come out this week, after 23 years. I really hope the families can take some comfort in knowing what really happened and that they get the justice they’ve been fighting for every day of the last two decades. Having lived in Liverpool when I played for Everton, I know how much the events of that day have hurt the people of that city – the red and blue sides. I’ve been so impressed by the way Kenny Dalglish – who was the Liverpool manager at the time – handled everything, even going to every funeral. But I’m not surprised, because that’s what Kenny is like. Whenever I was in hospital in Liverpool, he was the only person to come and visit me, apart from Walter Smith, Archie Knox and my pal Abel Xavier. And he was meant to be the enemy! Kenny is still handling things with a lot of dignity today, just like everyone else in Liverpool. Something like the Hillsborough disaster really puts things in perspective. I might have problems with alcohol, but there are always things I can do to solve them. The families of those who lost their lives at Hillsborough will never get their loved ones back and it’s thinking about that sort of thing that makes me more determined to stay sober.