What Gazza did

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So sad to see, this weekend, that Paul Gasgoine is off the wagon.  He is a tragic figure, lurching in and out of sobriety.  In good times he seems to cope, but he seems not to be able to deal with the constant pressures that being "Gazza" brings.  Having taken up residence in Bournemouth a few years ago, he has, with support from a local facility, tackled his addiction admirably. It would seem that the danger times of Christmas and New Year may have been too much.  His appearance in Northampton last Thursday was obviously a disaster and the clips of the event on various newspaper websites indicate that he really shouldn't have ventured on stage.  His agent Terry Baker, from just up the road in Christchurch, sounded pretty desperate on the Radio 5 Live interview I heard, and the video clips of him questioning Gazza on stage were, frankly, shocking.

I took this photograph of Gazza last summer with Terry, his wife Freda and daughter Nicole in Bookends book shop in Christchurch, where he was signing memorabilia and having photographs taken with some of his fans.  People queued to see him, but he was very nervous and I felt, fundimentally unhappy with the whole publicity set up.  When he was being photographed he perked up and suggested "Let's all stick our tongues out" … so they did.  At one point a brass band marched past the shop.  We were upstairs, but there was one high window in the small room we were in.  Gazza jumped up, stood on tiptoe and peered out, singing along as the band went by playing "When The Saints Come Marching In".  For that brief moment he seemed quite happy.  



© Hattie Miles 2017