WHY ARE THEY FAMOUS? NO 12: CHERYL GASCOIGNE

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The Independent Culture
Main claim: "Shezza" is suddenly a feminist issue. The 31-year- old tits-'n'-teeth wife of soccer's "clown prince", Glasgow Rangers star Paul "Gazza" Gascoigne, recently became a victim of domestic violence. Gazza allegedly head-butted and threw her to the floor at the "luxurious pounds 550-a-night" suite in the Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland, and her injuries went public. Much agonising ensued: should a wife-beater play for England?

Appearance: Despite the fact that her habitat is a few miles west in Hertfordshire, Shezza's look is Essex via Dallas: blonde, big hair, rancorous eyes, designer clothes.

Psychodrama: Gazza is hanging his head, blaming his "inner rage", for which he is now receiving counselling. This cut little ice with the pragmatic Shezza, who spat "it's news to me" about the childish footballer's therapy, and who now wishes he would simply "shut up". Sheryl, meanwhile, retains a scary sangfroid. "I've got much more important things to think about, like fireworks night," she smiled to a doorstepping gutter press earlier this week.

Love Herts: Sheryl couldn't stand Rome during Gazza's Lazio tenure and pined for green-belt bliss in Hertfordshire. Eyebrows were raised when she left Italy without him - "I felt like a football widow," she lamented - but it still looked as if Gazza had found true love. "He prefers to make out that he is a macho and unsoppy person," she cooed, "but really he loves to spring surprises on me." And how.

Interests: Shezza openly "hates football". "It's like Placido Domingo's wife saying `Oh do shut up, darling,' every time he bursts into song," observed Gazza's former personal assistant Jane Nottage. But, Nottage acknowledged, Gazza is completely obsessed with Sheryl. Though not, apparently, obsessed enough to turn up for his son's birth.

LIfe After Gazza: Will she, won't she? Take him back, that is. "The signs aren't looking good," said a "close soccer pal" to the tabloids. It is more likely that Shezza will melt into Home Counties single motherhood, sporting a tasty divorce deal.

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