Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

'Distortion of the Truth' on Gazza Angers His Old Boss; Former Dunston Manager Tells of Pride and Guilt over Troubled Star

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

'Distortion of the Truth' on Gazza Angers His Old Boss; Former Dunston Manager Tells of Pride and Guilt over Troubled Star

Article excerpt

Byline: JOHNGIBSON

PAUL GASCOIGNE'S old manager has broken years of silence to reveal the mixture of intense pride and gnawing guilt he feels over the stricken Geordie superstar.

Tommy Robinson, who ran Gazza's team at Dunston Juniors, maintains he is opening his heart because of the growing "distortion of the truth" about the former Newcastle United, Spurs, Lazio and England genius.

Robinson said: "Honestly, as time goes by, more and more people are having a pop at Gazza yet don't know the lad.

"It is rowing so much I feel I want to put the record straight for his sake, and at the same time apologise publicly to him for not doing anything to help him in his hours of need. That is why I am speaking out after all these years.

"I bumped into Gazza by accident outside our local supermarket not so long ago and apologised personally for not trying to come to his rescue. He gave me a cuddle, it was quite emotional.

"Everybody seems to have a strong opinion about him yet only know the public image, not the real person.

"Paul is much maligned. He has done so much unseen charity work because he is so big-hearted yet people who have benefited from him financially have not lifted a finger to help in his bad times.

"I am so proud of the young lad I knew who was infectious, willing to help out and so hugely gifted.

"All he ever wanted was a cuddle, to be loved. That is the way he played even if those days before fame came along. He played for the adulation of those who were watching, even at Dunston Juniors."

Robinson, who was a left-back at Gateshead for more than a decade, went on: "Gazza was a genius, a pure entertainer. We had him for two years before he signed YTS at Newcastle.

"He was a schoolboy with them and I had to get the permission of Joe Harvey, then in charge of development, to play him at Dunston Juniors. I knew Joe well - his fifties FA Cup final teammate Bobby Mitchell had been my manager at Gateshead. …

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