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With Gazza at dentist's.

When Gazza sat in the infamous Hong Kong dentist's chair gulping down amber nectar the wires buzzed across the world and another legendary tale entered history.

Gazza had been reunited with his girlfriend Stella Artois!

However, to a footballer lounging quietly in the corner of the China Jump Club the incident was little more than regular high spirits. The difference, of course, was this was Paul Gascoigne, no ordinary Joe, and his mates the rest of the England team.

"I honestly thought nothing about it," admitted Carlton Fairweather, who had just played for the Hong Kong team that all but exposed England's frailties.

"The club was the place everyone went on a night out and the dentist's chair was a tourist attraction. You sat in it and tried to drink a yard of ale. Gazza and the England lads were bound to have a go, weren't they?

"I was there but I didn't turn a hair. I never thought about it until I got back home to England and realised the huge fuss it had all caused. I couldn't work it out."

Fairweather was player-coach of Golden FC and England were in Hong Kong as part of their build-up for Euro 96.

"We played their full side and only lost 1-0," Carlton recalled. "It was my Golden club team boosted by Dave Watson, the old Everton centre-half, and former Sunderland goalkeeper Iain Hesford."

There was a postscript to the dentist's chair episode witnessed by Fairweather. When Gazza scored a superlative goal against Scotland, flicking the ball over Colin Hendry's head with one foot and volleying it into the net with the other, he raced behind the Wembley goal and lay flat on his back while delirious team-mates pretended to pour booze down his throat.

Apart from playing in Hong Kong, our globetrotter also turned out for Koparit Pallo Toveritt in Finland and American clubs New York Fever, Greek Americans and Connecticut Wolves.

"I coached in Los Angeles, California and San Francisco, both while I was playing and afterwards," said Carlton, who holds an American as well as a British driver's licence.

"It's a wonderful place to live what with the weather and the like.

"Football has been good to me, taking me all over the world."
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Feb 17, 2004
Words:376
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