Rangers boss Steven Gerrard has described Paul Gascoigne as “my hero” in response to a decision to withdraw the former England favourite’s nomination for the Scottish Football Hall Of Fame.
Gascoigne, a former Rangers star, was due to be inducted at a Glasgow dinner this weekend but organisers cited “a number of factors including ongoing enquiries and concerns over the state of Paul’s health” for the decision.
The U-turn came on the back of reports that several Scottish Football Association board members were set to snub the event in relation to concerns over Gascoigne’s suitability for the honour.
“Paul Gascoigne is my hero,” said Gerrard. “A player I admired an awful lot.
“I bought the VHSs, the CDs, the shirts - all the memorabilia that comes with Gazza.
“He’s my hero, so I’m disappointed for him of course.
“It’s a shame because as a player and a talent and a man, he deserves to be in there.
“I don’t know the circumstances (behind the decision) so I’ve got nothing more to add to it.
“But I’d just like to echo that fact that I love Paul Gascoigne and that’s all I need to say on it.”
Gascoigne recently wrote on Twitter: “I don’t need to be in The Scottish Hall of Fame to be be recognised as one of the best
“I feel the love & support of the People and know I was the best.”
The former England midfielder also directed footage of his Euro 96 goal against Scotland to the SFA’s official Twitter account with the message: “NO HARD FEELINGS xxxx”.
Former Rangers boss Ally McCoist - who played alongside Gascoigne - cited the news as an “embarrassment” when speaking on talkSPORT, calling him “one of the players to brighten up Scottish football over the last 30 to 40 years”.