A good samaritan saves his hero Paul Gascoigne after he was reported found ‘battered and bruised’ outside a hotel in Bournemouth.
54 year old Terry Swinton had been staying in the Travelodge Bournemouth Seafront hotel, and at the time was watching the Premier League fixture between Arsenal and West Ham. It was half time, so he went out for a cigarette where he spotted Gazza being taken advantage of by two people.
He was in a row with the two who allegedly tried to get money off Paul, so Terry stepped in to try and diffuse the situation.
— Daily Mail Online (@MailOnline) January 2, 2024
While he wasn’t present when the trouble first took place, he did go on to tell the pair to ‘do one’ when they attempted to snatch the £10 that Terry was offering to Gascoigne so that he could get a taxi home.
Terry managed to help him get back inside the hotel so he could ‘sober up’ and found somewhere to sit with him for around 10 minutes before leaving him with staff at the hotel.
Terry said of what happened, as per the Daily Mail: “I went downstairs for a fag during the football and immediately recognised who he was.
“He is a hero of mine, when I saw him I was heartbroken to be honest.
“Men of a certain age, we all know who he is, we have grown up with him.
“When I went up to watch the football I wasn’t interested, I kept thinking of Gazza. I am old school, if you see someone in trouble I would make sure they got home alright. It just so happened to be Paul Gascoigne.”
At half time, he popped out for a cigarette where he spotted football legend Gazza surrounded by two people.
Terry added: “The two people around him were trying to take money off him.
“I didn’t have any money on me but I went back upstairs to get him some money to get a taxi home.
“When I went to hand him the money, the man and woman tried to take it and I told them to do one and told Gazza to get inside.”
Terry recalls seeing Gazza “physically battered”.
“He couldn’t string a sentence together he was physically and mentally battered,” Terry goes on to say.
“I made sure the two people didn’t take anything off him and went back upstairs to watch the football.
“When I went up to watch the football I wasn’t interested, I kept thinking of Gazza.
“I am old school, if you see someone in trouble I would make sure they got home alright.
“It just so happened to be Paul Gascoigne.”
Terry said that Paul stayed a night at the hotel and was seen in reception when he came down for a morning smoke.
He said: “I said good morning to him and asked him how he was feeling.
“He could still barely string a sentence together.
“As someone who has grown up with him, I was heartbroken to see him this way.”
You’re likely to see Gazza down in the area of Dorset, with the former footballer spending his days in Bournemouth or Poole.
He moved to Boscombe in 2010 while he had his ongoing battle with drugs and alcohol, but since then, his problems have come and gone enjoys life in the area, often takes the time to have a selfie with locals and likes to play football with the children when they approach him.
In 2023, he turned up to greet Prince William in Bournemouth at a branch of Pret A Manger, with the royal coming to hear about the company’s work with homeless people.
Last year also saw Paul Gascoigne crowned winner of Channel 4’s Scared of the Dark which he says had ‘bought his smile back’ and he is a ‘better person’ after his time in the dark.
“People always question my mental strength but my success on this series proves that I am strong. I was nervous going in there but having got this far on the series made me the happiest man around. I’m so happy. It’s unbelievable,” he said.
“I’ve got my smile back. I’m a better person. I got electrocuted and got shot with a cannonball in the bollocks. I f***ing fell backwards. I thought I was 50 foot up in the air and I went through all that. So to come out the other side and to be smiling, is such an amazing achievement and to win it is like the most unbelievable feeling, it’s just fantastic.”
He added: “I’m really honoured to have won but in my eyes, all my fellow Scared of the Dark celebrities are winners. They all did really well and I really enjoyed spending those eight days getting to know them in the dark. We worked so well as a team.”
“This journey for him has been really, really hard and I think he just needs to be really proud of himself,” Donna Preston said.
Chris McCausland added: “He just opened himself up and laid himself out for everyone to see.”
Nicola Adams shared: “Paul you got my vote buddy.”
Chloe Burrows said: “The way that he has been so open about his emotion and talking about you know his mental health, I feel like that’s probably the most remarkable thing that’s happened.”
Danny Dyer also wanted a cuddle with the group and said he had been “dying for this”.
— theMNT (@themntalent) April 20, 2023