What the papers said about . . . Paul Gascoigne

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'The Curse of Gazza: Devil has hijacked the talents made in heaven.' Sun

'In 1990 the Gateshead lad had everything: the nation's support following his full-hearted and lachrymose display at Italia '90, a Top Ten pop single, a waxwork likeness at Madame Tussaud's, a cuddle at Madame Thatcher's, and awards as Sports Personality of the Year and Best Dressed Man . . . Gascoigne's 1990 Italian odyssey ended in tears; it would be sad if his current stay ends in the same way.' Independent

'The bones may well mend but the temperament required to live in the game's highest order has perhaps been irreparably damaged.' Mail

'Paul Gascoigne's capacity for lifting football on to a plane more imaginative than any contemporary Englishman appears matched by the wretched misfortune that has put his career, once more, close to ruin.' Times

'Gazza who likes to play the clown, is more accident-prone than comedian Frank Spencer.' Mirror

'Perhaps he is just one of those people who seem to be jinxed . . . He even managed to injure himself getting out of bed four months ago.' Telegraph

'Gazza combined the strength of a tank with the delicacy of a butterfly. He was physically tough as old boots and yet he was as fragile as Dresden china . . . His talent was grounded by frailties in his temperament. Even when he was airborne, he was carried on the flimsiest of wings.' Sun

'It is now easy to write epitaphs on a career of ifs and maybes, or gifts fully fulfilled but ambitions never realised. Only Gascoigne can change that script.' Express

'The clown lives up to his billing remorselessly. Who knows whether he was playing the fool?' Mail

'Team-mates sharing hotel rooms with him have been shocked to discover Gazza is so afraid of the dark he sleeps with the lights on. Now the lights might be going out on his career for ever.' Mirror

'Finito]' Star