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undomielle

The Boat Was My Friend

...The cliff edge of workaday morality

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World Cup Hero, by Ian Hamilton

In fact he didn’t crack–in that game or in any other. For a minute or so after the booking he was out of action: gulping for air, doing his strange neck-jerk thing, but looking blank, as if he had forgotten where he was. And then he conquered it, he rallied and began looking for the ball. It is not often that a soccer match affords such close-ups. And it was perhaps this flash of inner drama, this visible raising of his game, that the 'Independent' had in mind when it declared: ‘If you believe football is a noble pursuit, Gascoigne, in that moment, was noble.’

 

- From the archive, Ian Hamilton on the rise and fall of Paul Gascoigne in Granta 45: Gazza Agonistes.

 

Read Ian Hamilton's World Cup Hero HERE.

 

Source: http://www.granta.com/Archive/45/World-Cup-Hero/Page-1