By Daniel Feliciano

4th May, 2022 | 11:45am

Paul Gascoigne pays touching tribute to Jimmy Bell, backs Rangers to beat Leipzig

Paul Gascoigne has paid his respects to the ‘incredible’ Jimmy Bell in a touching tribute after the Rangers legend passed away suddenly on Tuesday.

Bell passed away after 30+ years of service to the club, stemming back to when Gascoigne was a player at Ibrox during the 1990’s.

But in an interview with Jim White on the White & Jordan show on talkSPORT [May 4th, 11:08am], Gascoigne remembered his close friend and described him as a ‘big part of the football club’ before discussing the huge Europa League semi-final against Leipzig.

“From the first day I arrived at Rangers he was the one I came up to,” he said. “He gave me my training gear and we were very, very close.

“I was shocked because it wasn’t that long ago that I saw him at the charity game and the last thing he gave me was a bar of chocolate. So sad, he said not long ago he wasn’t feeling too well but he said he was on the mend now so I was really shocked and saddened by him passing away.

“He was always class, always good, always made sure I had what I need before a game. Also the number 8 shirt he always let me give it to family, or a supporter or charity. He was a really big part of that football club. He was incredible. The amount of work he put in for Glasgow Rangers was incredible.”

Gascoigne was then asked about the club’s chances of qualifying against Leipzig, and he was positive despite defeat in the first leg.

“Yeah definitely [they can go through]. Definitely. Games like that for the fans are incredible. No doubt they’ll have the fans right behind them, the fans are always up for games like that.

“I always remember when we’d play Champions League qualifiers, the buzz you got when walking out of that tunnel with the fans was just incredible. I’ve never heard anything like it.”

Painful

When you hear all the huge praise and love that Bell is getting from legends and figures of the club and Scottish football, you realise just how amazing a man he was.

For Gascoigne to come out and publicly declare his love and sadness at his passing is something, and Bell will be greatly missed by all at Ibrox going forward.

As for the game on Thursday in the Europa League, Gascoigne is of the same belief as all the Rangers fans that are looking forward to the game also.

There is great hope that the team can progress because of the amazing Ibrox crowd being behind them, and now they will have the spirit of Bell behind them too to help.

Rangers won’t have a better chance of reaching a European final for a long while, and they need one last big push to get there.

In other Rangers news, TalkSPORT pundit shares how Rangers compare to Liverpool for clash v Leipzig