Paul Gascoigne recalls sticking up for historian David Olusoga when he was targeted by racist school bullies

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ABERDEEN, SCOTLAND - DECEMBER 15: Paul Gascoigne on the red carpet at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards, at the P&J Live arena on December 15, 2019, in Aberdeen, Scotland. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group via Getty Images)
Paul Gascoigne at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards, at the P&J Live arena on December 15, 2019, in Aberdeen, Scotland. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group via Getty Images)

Former England hero Paul Gascoigne has spoken about helping historian David Oulsoga when he was targeted by racist bullies while the pair were at school together.

Writer and broadcaster Olusoga, known for BBC shows such as Black and British: A Forgotten History and A House Through Time, told last year how football legend Gascoigne came to his aid after pupils targeted him for the colour of his skin.

Read more: BBC to re-air David Olusoga's Black and British: A Forgotten History

Talking about their time at Brighton Avenue Juniors in Gateshead, Olusoga reminisced how Gazza picked him up from the ground following a confrontation.

He told the Mirror last year: “I remember him putting his hand out to pick me up. I was five or six and he was nine or 10. I recall it vividly, because I had never known anyone with blue eyes.

JAIPUR, INDIA  JANUARY 26: British Nigerian writer, broadcaster, presenter and film-maker David Olusoga during The World's War: Forgotten Soldiers of Empire session at the third day of ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival 2019, at Diggi Palace, on January 26, 2019 in Jaipur, India. (Photo by Amal KS/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)
David Olusoga at the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival 2019, at Diggi Palace, January, 2019 in Jaipur, India. (Photo by Amal KS/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

"He was the only tough kid who did not have a problem with black people.”

Speaking to the same publication recently, Gascoigne has spoken about the incident for the first time publicly.

He said: “I was only young but I do remember. I hated bullies and I did not like what was happening.

Paul Gascoigne, Newcastle United  (Photo by S&G/PA Images via Getty Images)
Paul Gascoigne, Newcastle United (Photo by S&G/PA Images via Getty Images)

“My dad always taught me to look for the hardest lad in a new school and stand up to him, fight if I had to. It was quite good advice back then.

“It must have been tough for David, getting bullied is always tough but especially at that age.”

Read more: Paul Gascoigne says there's a Gazza biopic in the works

Olusoga was born in Lagos, Nigeria, but grew up in the north east when his parents moved to Gateshead.

Addressing Gascoigne’s comments on Twitter, he said: “I'm very moved that Paul remembers me and my sister from school. And still grateful for him sticking up for us, all those years ago.”

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