The Run of Play is a blog about
the wonder and terror of soccer.

We left the window open during a match in October 2007 and a strange wind blew into the room.

Now we walk the forgotten byways of football with a lonely tread, searching for the beautiful, the bewildering, the haunting, and the absurd.

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Phantoms in Our Known Walks

Tom and Daryl have both written nice posts about Paul Gascoigne, who was arrested and detained as a mental-health risk yesterday after a series of bizarre incidents in English hotels. The collapse of this great player has been covered with admirable sadness and tact by nearly everyone who’s written about it, and I’ll only add one thing, a quote from Lionel Trilling for anyone who thinks that Gazza’s genius on the pitch was fundamentally related to his madness off it: “The expressions of many schizophrenic people have the intense appearance of creativity and an inescapable interest and significance. But they are not works of art, and although Van Gogh may have been a schizophrenic he was in addition an artist.”

Here’s a video of one of Gazza’s greatest moments, the free kick against Arsenal that gave Tottenham the lead in their FA Cup semi-final match in 1991. Spurs went on to win the cup, but Gazza was injured in the final in what now looks like the turning point of his career. This is Paul Gascoigne, to whom we all send our best wishes, and this is your historical goal of the week.

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Phantoms in Our Known Walks

by Brian Phillips · February 22, 2008

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