Phantoms in Our Known Walks
by Brian Phillips · February 22, 2008
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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