The sad story of Merson and Gascoigne’s old drinking games

Harry Kettle

We’ve all got ourselves into a right state before. You wake up the night after a heavy session and think to yourself “what even am I?” or “why haven’t my parents disowned me yet?”. Well, you can forget all that because, Paul Merson and Paul Gascoigne – shock – took things to an entirely different stratosphere.

In some retrospects, this is a sad story when you consider what’s happened to both men since. They have had their demons but thankfully it seems as if they are coming out the other side stronger than before, and for that we salute you gents. But either way, you can’t deny that they weren’t the most subtle of blokes back in their prime.

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Towards the back end of both men’s careers they found themselves at the Riverside playing for Middlesbrough, and whilst they’d lost a step they were still considered valuable assets to the side. However, the majority of their days were spent trying to drink themselves into oblivion.

In his book, Merson stated that he and flatmate at the time Gazza used to play a game after training; perhaps it was a friendly game of scrabble or a quick few rounds of Monopoly? Nope, definitely not. The two troublemakers would buy multiple bottles of red wine and a packet of sleeping pills each, before proceeding to bet literally thousands of pounds on which one of the two would fall asleep first.

Just let that sentence sink in for a second because it’s understandable that you may need a minute or two. Whilst some may find this funny or somewhat amusing, the sad reality is that this is where the obsession began to spiral out of control for the two. Merson has got himself back on the right tracks as of late, but Gascoigne has been fluctuating from good to bad and back again so very many times in the last decade or so.

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I mean, who can forget his numerous outbursts in the media during a nationwide manhunt. It’s a shame really, because members of the paparazzi seem more intent on following him round snapping pictures of the bloke as opposed to trying to help.

This article isn’t being written to make a spectacle of the man he once was. Paul Gascoigne was one of the greatest footballers and personalities in the history of the English game, and we as a nation can only hope that his future is as prosperous as can possibly be.

 

Have a look at the players whose clubs held them back from success… 

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