London Hearts Supporters Club

Report Index--> 1995-96--> All for 19960518
<-Page <-Team Sat 18 May 1996 Rangers 5 Hearts 1 Team-> Page->
<-Srce <-Type Daily Record ------ Report Type-> Srce->
Jim Jefferies <-auth None auth-> Hugh Dallas
[B Laudrup 37] ;[B Laudrup 50] ;[G Durie 66] ;[G Durie 79] ;[G Durie 85]
2 of 002 John Colquhoun 76SC N

It ended in tears again for Gazza - but this time they were tears of joy.

They call him Peter Pan in Glasgow because he is the boy who never grew up. And no wonder, because Paul Gascoigne is finally living in Never Never Land.

After years of nightmares and torment, a dream finally came true at Hampden Park when he hoisted the Scottish FA Cup aloft and picked up a winner's medal.

Gazza has waited five long and lonely years to make up for the greatest disappointment of his career when he was carried off on a stretcher after just seven minutes of the FA Cup Final.

He was the villain for Spurs at Wembley that day when he crashed into a ludicrous tackle with Nottingham's Forest's Gary Charles.

His career was in tatters then but, like the knee he shattered that fateful day, he has rebuilt it. And yesterday was further evidence of that.

"My mum has got that medal from Wembley and I have hardly seen it," he said.

"I can't bring myself to look at it because of what happened, but she's not getting this winner's medal. I'm keeping hold of it because it's so special.

"I was just so desperate to go out there and really enjoy myself - I didn't have hardly any time to enjoy it at Wembley.

"I said to myself before the game I was going to go out there and play like I did when I was 18 or 19 - and I'm thrilled because I did."

It is a prospect that many never thought possible before Gazza signed for Rangers in July 1995.

He had endured countless operations on his knee, was overweight and faced constant speculation that his England career was over. But he proved his English critics wrong by becoming the flower of Scotland - and oh how he has blossomed!

"It has been a very, very special season for me. And next season will be an awful lot better for us in the Champions League,'' he said. "Today meant everything to me, even in the warm-up they had to come out and drag me off the pitch."

Gazza's day was almost ruined by a terrible tackle by Hearts full-back Paul Ritchie, which was cruelly similar to that which Gazza committed on Charles.

The England man dragged himself back into the fray despite a badly bruised shoulder, which must cause concern for Terry Venables as he prepares to fly out to the Far East.

And Gascoigne added: "It's really, really sore and I'm going to have it looked at in the morning, but I wasn't going to let it bother me.''

Dane Brian Laudrup was truly great as he scored two goals and created a hat-trick for Gordon Durie.

For Durie it was a dream for more than one reason - not only did he fulfil the wish of his four- year-old son, Scott, but he also won pounds 50 off Gazza.

"I spoke to my son on the morning of the game and he said: 'Daddy please get a hat-trick for me.' He was watching in the stand and I'm so happy to have done it - I'll give him my medal and my shirt from this game.'' And of his bet with Gazza, he said: "We had a pounds 50 bet to see who would score more goals in the season and when I got my hat-trick he came up to me and pretended to place the money in my hand.

"I'll have to have a word with him later to try and get it off him so we can get a round of drinks in."

But if the story of the season in Scotland has been the return of Gazza, then the story of this final was that of Laudrup.

Never can a man have influenced a final as much as he did. He has been linked with Manchester United - and no wonder.

He opened the scoring after 37 minutes with a stunning goal - and got better and better. He ran on to a great through-ball from Durie and smashed a volley into the far corner from 20 yards. Just minutes into the second half and the great Dane had effectively ended the match as a contest.

His cross from the right somehow squirmed through keeper Gilles Rousset's legs and into the corner.

It opened the floodgates, and it was Durie who capitalised - set up by Laudrup.

Laudrup crossed from the left after 66 minutes for Durie to volley the ball home.

Next he squared from the left to give him a simple tap-in, and finally Laudrup crossed from the right for another easy chance.

In between, the valiant John Colquhoun got a consolation with a stunning 25-yard volley.

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