‘He intended to go to the bookies but didn’t end up getting out of the training ground!’: Paul Gascoigne once stole Middlesbrough’s brand new team coach and CRASHED it just hours before a game at Aston Villa, new book reveals
- Paul Gascoigne delayed game by four hours after stealing team bus and crashing
- The bus was brand new but Gasciogne, then of Middlesbrough, ‘smashed it up’
- He was taking it to the bookies but crashed coming out of the training ground
- Boro were due to make a trip to Aston Villa but had to order a replacement coach
- Then boss Bryan Robson said: ‘I knew when I signed him he’d be up to something… not many managers have fined a player for crashing the team bus’
Paul Gascoigne once hijacked Middlesbrough’s brand spanking new team coach and crashed it just hours before a match.
The former England international was waiting to make the trip to Aston Villa with his team-mates when he decided to take the bus for a spin after noticing the keys had been left in the ignition.
Gascoigne, who was known for being a practical joker throughout his career, intended on taking it to the nearest bookies but ended up ‘smashing it up’ and causing thousands of pounds worth of damage.
Paul Gascoigne once stole Middlesbrough’s new team bus and crashed it before a game
Boro had to set off for game at Villa in 1998 four hours late after a replacement bus was needed
Gascoigne’s crash caused Boro to set off for their game at Villa four hours later after they managed to summon a replacement vehicle for the trip, which they lost 3-1.
Boro manager at the time Bryan Robson revealed the crazy tale about Gascoigne in new book, Our Gazza: The Untold Tales, being serialised by The Mirror.
Speaking about the incident, he said: ‘The danger for Gazza always came when he got bored or wanted to stage a prank. One day at training he decided to jump on to the team coach and take it for a ride. He ended smashing it up!
‘It was a brand-new bus that the club had purchased. Gazza couldn’t resist it because it was so new and had that lovely ‘new vehicle’ smell. He intended to drive to the local bookies to put some bets on, but he didn’t get out of the training ground.
Then Boro boss Bryan Robson said he fined him two weeks’ wages to pay for the damage
Paul Merson said Gascoigne was taking the coach down the bookies to place some bets
‘Instead, he went headlong into a big rock. When he came into my office all sheepish-looking after the incident I told him I hoped all his horses would come in first because he was paying for the damage to the coach and would be forking out two weeks’ wages in a fine.
‘I knew when I signed him he would be up to something but I suppose not many managers have had to punish a player for crashing the team coach.’
Robson’s memory of Gascoigne’s kamikaze trip on the bus was shared by Paul Merson.
He added: ‘It must have cost a gazillion quid because it had just about every appliance known to man on board. Gazza noticed that the keys had been left in the ignition and hoped in.
The crazy story was revealed in a new book, titled: Our Gazza: The Untold Tales
‘He started the one mile drive to the nearest high street to put some bets on for a few of the lads. ‘But when he got to the end of the road that led out of the training ground, he turned right and crashed the bus into a concrete bollard.
‘The side of the coach was caved in and the locks on the compartments that contained our kit for the next match had been mangled so the doors were wedged shut. Gazza was shitting himself at this point. A big fuss had been made about the new bus and it was wrecked before the team even made a journey on the motorway.’
Gascoigne spent two years at Boro between 1998 and 2000 before leaving for Everton.