It’s a name that is as synonymous with infamous moments of genius on the pitch as it is with drunken antics.
But as the former British star prepares to watch her 25-year-old son take Dancing on the ice rink for the first time on Sunday night, he knew Regan would garner headlines for the right reasons thanks to his mother Sheryl keeping him on the straight and narrow.
“He had a strong mother, she was strong because she was clearly with me,” admits Paul, 54.
Without a doubt, she came up with a lot. After marrying in 1996, Sheryl and Gazza had a tumultuous relationship, clouded by reports of abuse and turmoil caused by his drinking battle and health woes mental.
But 24 years after their divorce, they have put the past behind them and will be in the stands to see Regan perform.
And when it comes to Regan following in his father’s tumultuous footsteps, Paul is unafraid, saying: “He’s got a good head on his shoulders. He won’t be like me.”
It seems that Regan has a reasonable outlook on life. “I just think that attention comes with popularity,” he said. “It’s just part of it. You accept it or you ignore it, right? I’m here to live my life and just have fun, enjoy skating and dancing. That’s what I like to do. ”
As his son rose to prominence, did Paul have any words of wisdom about how to deal with the fame and attention that comes with it?
“Just enjoy it,” he said. “When I came back from the World Cup, a lot of things were thrown at us, and I just took it in my stride, you know? I tried not to let it bother us.
“However, I am lucky because I have football to go watch in the morning, so whatever is public, I at least have a couple of hours with you guys in the morning.
“If he does really well, he will throw everything at him and he will be on his own, he has no teammates. That’s the difference. He has my full support. I will always be here for him. But my advice is just enjoy it.”
Like model sister Bianca, 35, who appeared on an Italian dance show last year, Regan has forayed into television.
He has spent many years performing in theaters around the country and is the backing vocalist for US pop queen Demi Lovato.
Paul knew his son would not follow in his footsteps from an early age after he turned his back on football boots, choosing to buy ballet shoes instead. He enrolled at the Hammond Ballet School and then went on to study musical theater at Tring Park School of Performing Arts.
And while you can imagine Paul probably feeling heartbroken that his son didn’t pursue football, that doesn’t seem to be the case. In fact, quite the opposite.
Regan added: ‘I think my dad didn’t care that I didn’t follow in his footsteps. “He just wanted me to be happy. He won’t force me to do something I don’t want to do.”
Paul agreed: “Yes, he was going to learn to dance in London and I looked a little sly and just got a little choked up watching him dance, seeing how good he is and how much he loves it. .
“I was moved to see him enjoying himself. And after watching the Dancing On Ice workout videos he showed me, he’s good, he can win! ”
But while Paul may believe his son will claim the title, he’s quick to admit that he doesn’t want it to go smoothly – he’d rather see his son fall in his face.
He laughed: “I’d love to see him do it Gemma Collins and fall down! But maybe he’ll turn it into a worm dance or something, he’ll style it more than it’s embarrassing, but it’ll be funny! ”
Still worried, Regan replied: “I’ll just laugh if that happens. I’ll just smile and get up and move on, that’s all you can do, right? ”
You’d think Paul would be more sympathetic having tried to tackle the skating rink on his own because BBC Special On Ice in 2007. But his time on the show – which saw Beeb’s hit show swap the ballroom for an ice rink – was short-lived after his. almost paralyzed after an accident that left him with a broken bone in his neck. .
He remains apprehensive about putting his skates back on and he has ruled out joining his son on the ice during training.
Paul admits: “I did two sessions and then on the third, my partner came in a little late, so I said, ‘I’m good at this. I’ll do it alone.’ I tried to do a bit of variable and that’s it.
“I have been millimeters from being in a wheelchair all my life.
“I really thought I would never walk again, it was just my luck. I’m a little scared now, I think I’m going to miss the ice.”
Thankfully, Regan doesn’t hesitate and admits that he’s actually pretty fearless.
“I like the adrenaline rush,” he admits. “I am not afraid of such things. I know what I’m doing. I know what I signed up for.”
After weeks of training, all the celebrities will be hoping to impress the show’s judges – Olympic legends Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean, Diversity’s Ashley Banjo and the new judge, serious star, Oti Mabuse.
But Regan thinks he’d rather go to the grill instead and thinks his family would be the harshest critics.
He admits: “Dad would probably criticize me more. I like it more, though. I want it. Criticize me, then I can do something about it. What can you do with compliments? They don’t really help you improve, do they? I want to be humiliated more! ”
And it looks like he’s a chip off the old block. Paul said: “He looks like me when I play football. “The more support I get from the fans, the more it makes us want to play even better. Without a doubt, he still is. “If you listen to what the judges have to say, then you will do things better. But he will be able to solve them, I’m proud of him. ”
Dancing On Ice, Sunday, ITV at 18:30.