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Gazza pal in dole riddle.

Gazza's pal Five Bellies said last night: "I'm no dole cheat."

He spoke out following claims that he is being watched by benefit fraudbusters.

Yesterday, Rangers ace Gazza told Virgin Radio listeners that he was travelling to London with Five Bellies, who he used to employ as a pounds 39,000- a-year minder.

But he added: "I'm not allowed to mention him 'cos he's on the dole."

Gazza's DJ mate Chris Evans revealed Five Bellies had been investigated several times by the DSS.

And he said: "The thing about being on the dole is that you've got to be available for work."

Gazza quipped: "That's why he's going to London - he's looking for work. He wants to be a pilot!"

Last night, at his home in Bensham, Gateshead, Five Bellies said: "I am available for work. I am down at the job centre all the time.

"I am always back in Newcastle to sign on."

Five Bellies, real name Jimmy Gardiner, gets a Jobseekers' Allowance plus child benefit and mortgage help.

But a DSS spokesman said: "If Mr Gardiner is working for Mr Gascoigne he is not available for work. If we find that to be the case either he stops claiming or stops working."
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Author:Aitken, Vivienne
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Feb 5, 1998
Words:205
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