Gascoigne in u-turn over Lazio v Spurs
19:21 20 November 2012
Paul Gascoigne will now attend Tottenham’s Europa League game against Lazio, the agent of the former England star confirmed today.
Gascoigne became a cult hero at Spurs after four successful years at White Hart Lane and he then went on to achieve similar status at Lazio after moving to the Italian capital in 1992.
The affection with which he is remembered by the Italian club prompted their general manager Maurizio Manzini to immediately invite the 45-year-old to this Thursday’s encounter between the two sides when they were drawn together in Group J in August.
Gascoigne looked set to miss the game after being booked to speak at an event in Eastleigh on Friday night.
But the former midfielder has now accepted the offer of a ticket to the match and will defy his fear of flying to catch a plane to the Italian city on Thursday before coming back the morning after the fixture so he can fulfil his speaking engagement.
Gascoigne’s agent Terry Baker said: “Paul will now go to the Lazio game. He is looking forward to seeing the fans because he has a great affection for them.”
Gascoigne declined an invite to September’s reverse fixture at White Hart Lane due to “personal reasons”.
Gascoigne, who played 57 times for his country, was regarded as the most skilful English player of his generation.
The former Newcastle and Rangers star has struggled to deal with alcohol problems since retirement but Baker says Gascoigne is in good shape thanks to a rigorous exercise routine that sees him spend two hours per day in the gym.