Gazza: My huge regrets over snubbing Fergie's United and leaving Tottenham

23 March 2009 03:33
Paul Gascoigne said he regrets not signing for Manchester United

as well as leaving Tottenham

too soon.Gazza joined Spurs for a British transfer record of £2million in 1988, passing up the chance to join Sir Alex Ferguson's developing United side, but left the club three years later, moving to Lazio in a £5.5m deal.The 41-year-old, speaking on BBC Radio Five Live, said:  'I should've signed for Manchester United and I should have stayed at Spurs. I had two unbelievable seasons at Spurs. Maybe I left there too early. The fans were great.'

Happier times: Paul Gascoigne celebrates after inspiring Spurs to their FA Cup semi-final triumph over arch rivals Arsenal at Wembley in 1991

In his interview last week, Ferguson said failing to secure Gascoigne's signature was his biggest regret in football and the former England midfielder has echoed the manager's sentiments.'I had the chance to go to Manchester United when Newcastle sold Peter Beardsley and Chris Waddle and you don't stay at teams where they are selling their best players,' said Gascoigne.'Spurs were fantastic but I said to Sir Alex Ferguson I was going to sign for him, then I passed him and then I carried on for London.'I let him down and you don't let Sir Alex Ferguson down. It took six years - I wanted to speak to him and say sorry but I didn't have the bottle.'United's loss was Spurs' gain and Gascoigne became a White Hart Lane legend, scoring 33 goals in 102 appearances - most memorably a stunning 30-yard free kick in Spurs' 3-1 1991 FA Cup semi-final victory against Arsenal at Wembley.

Rejected: Sir Alex Ferguson

'I could've done that backwards,' joked Gascoigne. But he was more serious when talking about the magic of the FA Cup.'A footballer's dream is to walk up those steps, get your medal and lift the trophy and that was my boyhood dream,' he said.But Gascoigne lasted just 17 minutes of the 1991 final against Nottingham Forest after tearing his knee ligaments in a lunging challenge on Gary Charles. Spurs went on to lift the trophy, beating Brian Clough's Forest side 2-1 after extra-time, but it would be the last game Gascoigne played in a Spurs shirt.'Sitting in a hospital bed and watching the lads walk up there - there were more tears,' he said.

Gascoigne has had a well-documented battle with drink and drugs and was sectioned under the Mental Health Act last year, but he says his life is now back on track.The footballer discussed returning to the game in a coaching capacity and hinted this might even be with Tottenham. 'I didn't watch football for a few years. I'd had enough because I'd packed it in. But now I watch a lot games,' he said.'I'm going to be going to games, talking to managers, doing my badges. I want to do them properly.

'There's an opportunity to go back to Spurs but I just take things as it comes. I want to have some fun now. I've had a rough 14 months.'

 Gazza: Fergie would have made me one of his legends had I joined United

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Source: Daily_Mail