Rangers boss Walter Smith ‘terrified’ Gazza

Radio and TV Presenter Danny Baker and footballer Paul Gascoigne. Picture: PA
Radio and TV Presenter Danny Baker and footballer Paul Gascoigne. Picture: PA
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RADIO host Danny Baker has revealed Paul Gascoigne was terrified of former Rangers manager Walter Smith during his time at the club.

The presenter told how Gazza feared his Rangers career was finished after he was spotted out with him and Chris Evans during an infamous bender.

The trio became known as the ‘Three Muska-Beers’ because of their notorious boozing and partying during the 1990s.

They were photographed together at a radio industry awards show in London in 1997 when the midfielder was supposed to be at home resting an ankle injury.

In his new autobiography Going Off Alarming, Baker, 57, told how Gazza was “frozen with fear” when he realised Smith would discover he had lied to him.

He said: “If you study that notorious photograph you can see that both Chris and Paul have simultaneously started to realise what a terrible idea this was.

“Now the fun had well and truly stopped. Paul had by far the most to lose by being seen lotus-eating the day away at some brash showbiz booze-up in the West End.

“He was supposedly injured. He was supposedly in Scotland. He had promised his boss Walter Smith that he was going to stay put at the lodge by the lake that Rangers had rented for him doing nothing more physically strenuous than channel-hopping.

“Chris made the obvious executive decision: ‘We’re going to have to run away’.

“Paul was mentally miles away let us all in on his continual inner dialogue. He said to Chris: ‘I’ll ring Walter. I’ll say I had to come down to give you an award. Charity. You’d asked special. Forgot to tell him. You asked me and I flew down on the spur of the moment. Just for the morning and flew straight back.

“This he continued going over and over until he’d convinced himself the scenario sounded totally plausible.

“Paul spent the rest of the day making a series of long phone calls to Walter Smith until he felt he really had smoothed it all out.”

Gazza was later fined Pounds 30,000 by Smith over the incident and left Rangers the following year.

Baker insisted they were “stone cold sober” when the infamous photograph was taken and didn’t start drinking until later in the day.

Earlier, Gazza had jumped on a London bus and drove it around Marble Arch on their way to the bash.

Baker also told how at that time Gazza, who has suffered from alcoholism, didn’t like the taste of booze and would often pour drink away when others weren’t looking.

He said: “Paul never seemed to really like the stuff. Whenever possible, he did his best to avoid alcohol.

“An early trick I observed, and a common one for men who feel intimidated by the capacity of those around them, was to surreptiously pour booze away when he thought everyone else was distracted.

“In the early days, with just the three of us, Paul would actually seek ‘permission’ to either miss a round or have a soft drink.

“That desperate ambition to numb himself round the clock was still some way off at this stage.”

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