What can you say about Paul 'Gazza' Gascoigne?
When a cheeky and outrageously talented young Geordie playing for Tottenham won the hearts of all during England's run to the semifinals of the 1990 World Cup, a star was born.
Ever willing to clown around, Gazza willingly played the fool, though he would often stray into poor taste in his desperate search for attention.
The stories are too numerous to recount in full here.
Suffice to say that disembarking the England team coach wearing a pair of plastic fake breasts and asking a workman to have a go of his pneumatic drill were all typical behavior.
But for all his messing around, there was always a destructive streak about the mercurial midfielder from Gateshead.
That came to the fore when he charged around like a man possessed during the 1991 FA Cup final against Nottingham Forest. A dangerously high tackle on Gary Charles ended with Gazza rupturing his own cruciate knee ligaments, and he left the Wembley pitch on a stretcher in his last ever appearance for Tottenham.
He moved to Lazio, then Rangers, showing flashes of the player he once promised to be, but he was never the same again.
Spells at Middlesbrough, Everton, Burnley and Boston United were unremarkable.
Always fond of a drink, Gazza's alcoholism spiraled out of control, and he later admitted beating his wife on a regular basis.
The number of those holding sympathy for him began to dwindle with each new shocking admission or revelation. As his career stuttered to a farcical conclusion—including a four-game stint in China and an ill-fated tenure as manager of Kettering Town—Gascoigne became hooked on cocaine and has pretty much flitted between stints in hospital, custody, therapy and rehab ever since.
The story of Gazza still has not replaced that of George Best as the cautionary tale told to young players about the trappings of fame.