Paul Gascoigne finally left England for Lazio in 1992 a whole year after he was supposed to. He landed in the place as a curious visitor.
'This is Rome but where is Lazio?' was his opening query made while standing outside the Lazio club shop in Rome.
Ominously, Lazio hired Glenn Roeder as Gazza's personal minder, responsible for keeping him on the straight and narrow. It's tempting to chalk this down as perhaps the funniest of Roeder's managerial failures but in truth the future West Ham manager didn't get to fulfil this responsibility. Instead it was Gazza's younger brother and father who accompanied him Rome to keep an eye on the lad. Their work speaks for itself.
His farewell party back home in Newcastle famously involved a stripper called Lindsay Nesbitt who removed her nurse's uniform, told Gazza to bend over and proceeded to whip him vigorously while the crowd cheered.
He didn't get any less wild at Lazio.
We were treated to three years of childish japes, cultural misunderstandings, funny sketches with James Richardson mingled in with the odd, but all too intermittent, football match.
During his Guardian live chat today, he was asked about the response of the Italians to his sense of humour and what was the most awkward moment during his time there.
They had no option. No option. They couldn’t believe what they were seeing, I must admit.
I did one on Di Matteo, who would sometimes get on my nerves. I went back to the villa and there was a little snake. I went back to training in the afternoon and put the snake in his pocket. When we came back in after training I asked him if he had any money. He put his hand in his pocket and nearly shat himself.
But at training I put the effort in as well. Once Dino Zoff said Blatter was coming. He wanted us on time in the Lazio suit. I turned up 30 minutes later in a Santa Claus outfit. I sat next to Blatter and said: “Hello, I’m Santa, ho, ho, ho.” The security wanted to get rid of me and Zoff wasn’t happy and made me train morning and afternoon for a week.
Paul Gascoigne, ladies and gentlemen. pic.twitter.com/fczmuB4GEV
— Balkanfabrikken (@RunarNordvik) June 9, 2015