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Paul Gascoigne once ran away from a pair of streakers who were apparently trying to 'cheer him up.'
In a Premier League match between Middlesbrough and Newcastle in December 1998, the former England international was accosted by a pair of female streakers. Vanessa Richards and her best mate Rachel Sadler entered the pitch wearing a Christmas skirt and hat – but not even a pair of baubles each to hide their chests.
The scenes got a few cheers from the Riverside Stadium, while Gascoigne appeared to enjoy the attention.
Richards told The People a year after the X-rated incident: “People are always asking me what I was thinking as I ran across the pitch chasing Paul Gascoigne. Well, it was as exciting as Christmas morning – if not better.
"Sitting in the pub one Friday lunchtime, Rachel and I decided that Gazza – who had been having a hard time – needed cheering up. Well, I knew something that would guarantee to put a smile on his face – a streak! And Rachel loved the idea.
“On the morning of the match, Rachel and I met up and dressed for the occasion. Under a long skirt and tracksuit top, I had a red, fur-trimmed French maid-style outfit which I'd decided I would take off once I was on the pitch.
"Rachel was much more daring. All she had on under her tracksuit was a G-string! But at the ground, thousands of people were pouring into the stands and I didn't feel so brave.
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"We chased after Gazza but didn't manage to catch him. Five stewards ran after us with big yellow coats and marched us off. But not before we blew kisses at Gazza, who was leaning on one of the goalposts, grinning from ear to ear. We knew we'd made his day.”
The pair were arrested for the pitch invasion and had to spend six hours in a jail call in Middlesborough, while their names – and boobs – were splashed all across the front-pages of the tabloid press.
The two streakers then had to go to court, where they received a conditional discharge for a year. They were both banned from Middlesbrough matches for a year as well.
The northeast derby between Boro and the Magpies ended in a 2-2 draw, with Andy Townsend and Colin Cooper scoring for the home side, while Laurent Charvet and Nikolaos Dabizas found the net for the Black and Whites. But somehow the draw wasn't the focal point of attention.
- Paul Gascoigne
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