Gazza's sublime strike against Scotland at Euro 96 has been voted in England's top ten
, a major star at the World Cup in Italy but his career blighted by injury since then, was now back to his brilliant best as England hosted the European Finals for the first time.
In their second match of the tournament, against Scotland, the Rangers midfielder scored memorably to clinch a 2-0 win.
Late last year we asked fans via our official England Facebook page
to choose their favourite Three Lions strikes. Gazza’s goal charmed nearly 77,000 fans inside Wembley on a hot Saturday afternoon and has been voted in at number two.
’ England had struggled in their opening ‘Group A’ fixture against Switzerland, also at Wembley. Alan Shearer
cleverly avoided the offside trap before shooting them into the lead on 23 minutes but they lived on their nerves for the rest of a match increasingly dominated by the Swiss.
England emerged with a point after a 1-1 draw and a week later faced their oldest opponents in international football.
After a first half arguably shaded by the Scots, there was a new verve apparent in England at the start of the second period and Shearer quickly headed them in front from Gary Neville
’s accurate right-wing cross.
There was an exciting finale to come. Thirteen minutes from time the Italian referee pointed to the penalty spot after Durie had fallen over Tony Adams’ outstretched leg. But David Seaman became England’s hero as he deflected McAllister’s fierce shot over the bar.
Then Gazza took centre stage to score the best of his ten England goals.
Only a couple of minutes after the reprieve of Scotland’s missed penalty, he flicked the ball over Hendry with his left foot and buried a half-volley past Goram with his right to produce an ear-splitting reaction from the shirt-sleeved English fans.
The Three Lions were now on their way and three days later they were back at Wembley to put Holland to the sword, winning 4-1 on what became known as ‘Orange Night’. Football was coming home.
Gazza made 14 more appearances for England after Euro ’96, with both of his goals coming in matches against Moldova.
Glenn Hoddle didn’t include him in his squad for the 1998 World Cup in France and he didn’t play for his country again. After leaving Rangers he turned out for Middlesbrough, Everton, Burnley, Gansu Tianma and Boston United.
He had well-publicised personal problems in his 40s and The FA and the England team have been assisting with his rehabilitation
The top ten, so far…
2. Paul Gascoigne v Scotland (June 1996)
3. Michael Owen
v Argentina (June 1998)
4. Geoff Hurst’s third
v West Germany (July 1966)
5. Joe Cole
v Sweden (June 2006)
6. John Barnes
, v Brazil (June 1984)
7. David Platt
, v Belgium (June 1990)
8. Geoff Hurst's second
, v West Germany (July 1966)
9. Steven Gerrard
, v Germany (September 2001)
10. Danny Welbeck
, v Sweden (June 2012)
Next week we'll unveil which goal you voted for as no.1 in England's best.