Paul Gascoigne’s unique talent set him apart from the crowd and earned him a place in the pantheon of special footballers bred in Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Here, we takes a look at some of the home-grown entertainers alongside whom Gascoigne could rightfully be considered.
For a generation of football supporters, Best was the most naturally gifted man from these islands to pull on a pair of football boots.
His ability to bamboozle defenders and the end-product that went with it were priceless to both Manchester United and Northern Ireland, and his premature retirement and subsequent off-field issues were a source of immense sadness.
Greaves’ career statistics do not tell the full story, but his 491 career goals for clubs Chelsea, Tottenham, AC Milan, West Ham and England – he scored 44 times in 57 appearances for his country – illustrate his remarkable potency.
He was England’s main man heading into the 1966 World Cup finals before injury handed Geoff Hurst the chance to establish himself as a national hero.
Already a hero in his native Scotland, where he had won four league titles with Celtic, Dalglish headed for Liverpool in 1977 and took English football by storm.
He helped the Reds to three European Cup successes and six league titles and his partnership with Ian Rush was one of the most deadly seen in British football.
Described by none other than Sir Alex Ferguson as “the finest player that Scotland has ever produced”, Law was an irrepressible force.
He was dubbed ‘The King’ during his glittering 11-year-stay at Manchester United, where he plundered 237 goals in 404 appearances, although he famously scored the back-heeled effort for rivals Manchester City which helped to send the Red Devils down to Division Two in 1974.
Bale’s talent was there for all to see when he made the breakthrough as a teenager at Southampton, and he exploited it to the full to rise to prominence at Tottenham before exploding on to the world stage with Real Madrid.
His pace, power, craft and finishing have established him among the biggest names in world football and he has helped to elevate Wales’ national team to unprecedented heights.
Provided by Press Association
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