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Joe Cole: Gazza inspired me

Paul Gascoigne has been an inspirational figure to many when it came to football and one such person is Chelsea’s England international midfielder Joe Cole. The former West Ham United star has revealed to the News of the World that it was Gazza who inspired him to become a professional footballer. Cole also heaves a sigh of pain for the current turmoil that Gazza is at the moment.

Joe Cole remarks:

Gazza was the player who inspired me when I was growing up, especially when he was playing for England.

I was eight during the 1990 World Cup and remember it so well, especially England’s semi-final shoot-out defeat against Germany.

Gazza was so great in that tournament and after seeing the game I turned around to my mum and said ‘I want to be a footballer.’

With that I went outside with a ball and played, dreaming of what I could do, thinking of how Gazza had performed.

He was my idol. It was all the things with him, not just what he did on the ball, but the tears as well.

I always feel that the sub-plots help make football extra special and Gazza certainly provided those.

I just hope he is OK.

I have met Gazza and played with him in a testimonial which was very special.

They say sometimes you should never meet your heroes in case you are disappointed. But when I met him he was a gentleman.

He signed a canvas picture of himself and it hangs on a wall in my house.

The 40-year old fallen star is in a psychiatric unit in the private Middleton St George Hospital near Darlingon, Co Durham at the moment. He has have his fair share of drugs and alcohol problem yet he still has a soft corner in every Englishman’s heart.

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