Paul Gascoigne, one of the finest footballing talents this country has ever produced, was in London today on the eve of England’s Euro 2012 warm-up match against Norway to show his support to the team’s tournament hopes.
Gazza, capped 57 times, last appeared in an England shirt against Belgium in 1998 and now he wears the Three Lions once more as England gears up for Europe’s biggest football tournament. One of his most memorable performances for England was scoring a spectacular volley in a 2-0 win against Scotland at Wembley in Euro 96.
Today Gazza, who celebrates his 45th birthday on Sunday [27th May], unveiled a giant 13m x 10m image of himself which plays up to the famous ‘tongue out’ pose from his playing days.
The image of Gazza is the first in a series of ‘Faces of England’ from official England kit suppliers Umbro which celebrates icons of England. Over the coming months, other famous figures that represent English culture will appear on the billboard on Old Street, London.
Gazza is pictured proudly wearing the current England Home shirt, tailored by Umbro, which will be worn by the England squad in Poland and the Ukraine.
The England home shirt is inspired by the red and white of the St George’s flag and the striping detail under the collar is a nod to the Umbro jacket worn by England manager Sir Alf Ramsey during England’s 1966 World Cup winning campaign.
Gazza said: “It brings a lump to my throat when I think about how proud I am to have played for my country. There’s nothing better than representing England – the buzz of the crowd and feeling the support of the whole country. Wearing the shirt again has brought back many happy memories and seeing myself on display in the capital, being celebrated as an icon of England is truly an honour.”
Gazza also joked: “I bumped into Colin Hendry recently and it [the game against Scotland] felt like only yesterday that I left him on the turf at Wembley. We delivered in style that day and I wish the current squad all the best this summer and hope they wear the shirt with pride.”
Trevor Cairns, Global Chief Marketing Officer for Umbro, said: “‘Faces of England’ will celebrate icons of English culture and in Gazza we’ve chosen one of the most entertaining and passionate players this country has ever seen.
“The pride which Paul displays when talking about playing for England proves he was the perfect choice. He has quite literally given blood, sweat and tears in the Three Lions shirt and if you’re an England fan, you can ask for nothing more.”
Images of Gazza in the England home shirt will also appear on fly postering sites across England.
Visit www.umbro.com/facesofengland to watch Gazza’s thoughts on playing for England.