Former Spurs star Paul Gascoigne says that Sir Alex Ferguson still hasn’t forgiven him for choosing Tottenham Hotspur over Manchester United way back in 1988.
Gascoigne left boyhood club Newcastle United for Spurs in a £4.68 million in 1988 and spent four years in North London before leaving for Italian side Lazio in 1992 (Transfermarkt).
In an interview with Rob Moore, Gascoigne explained how he turned down a move to Manchester United in favour of Spurs, and that his decision is still a source of frustration for Sir Alex Ferguson to this day.
Of course, Manchester United were some way off the kind of success they enjoyed in the 1990s and a transfer to Tottenham was certainly the more appealing prospect. The deal was reportedly made even sweeter by Spurs’ offer of a sunbed and a car for Gascoigne’s family.
The former England international revealed that he ran into Ferguson at a game recently, and the Scotsman had some choice words for Gazza.
“He went ‘How we doing?’
“I said, ‘I’m alright, thanks.’
“Then, ‘You b*****d, why didn’t you f***ing sign for me when you had the chance, no one ever f***ing lets me down.’
“I said, ‘I know, I’m sorry.’
“He said ‘You were some f***ing player then, son.'”
Gascoigne added: “I’m still annoyed looking at him, thinking, ‘F***, what a manager.’ He took no s**t. I reckon I’d have gotten a few b******ings from him definitely but I’d have been the same player.
“I turned down Man United more because Spurs offered my mum and dad a house phone and £20,000 and my dad a car and my sister a sunbed.
Gazza was full of praise for Ferguson though: “The best in the world. When you see the likes of Pele, Maradona, Johan Cruyff and that I thought, ‘Right, I can be as good as them, definitely.’
“I knew that as a player. But when you say you want to be a manager, how can anyone be as good Alex Ferguson?”
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It’s great to see that both Gascoigne and Ferguson haven’t lost any of their character after all these years and there’s clearly a strong mutual respect between two legends of the game there. To be a fly on the wall for any conversation between the two of them would be pure gold.
One thing’s for sure, we’re glad Gazza was offered that sunbed and chose Tottenham at the time. He was a generational talent, and for Spurs to be a part of his journey is pretty special.
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