Paul Gascoigne Speaks about Alcohol Addiction

paul gascoigneEx-footballer Paul Gascoigne has spoken candidly about his alcohol addiction in a new TV interview.

The former England player, who has battled his dependency for over two decades, told ITV's Daybreak breakfast show about his brush with death and his recent experience in a rehabilitation clinic in the US.

Gascoigne, 45, was flown to the States for treatment in February after worrying footage of him in a drunk and incoherent state was published on the internet by a tabloid newspaper.

The video clip showed the former Tottenham Hotspur player rambling for approximately ten minutes during an appearance at a charity party, which spurred his manager Terry Baker to call for the athlete's immediate treatment.

He was said to have sobbed and shook uncontrollably during an interview with Baker in front of 500 guests at the event, just days after staying in a medical facility where a fellow patient had passed away while he held their hand.

Baker said: "He has got to want to help himself. He has to recognise the problem, I think deep down he does. But he didn’t know he was shaking on Thursday."

After his stint in a treatment facility, Gascoigne told Daybreak he begged doctors not to let him die.

He added: "I just remember the guy, the doctor at the treatment centre saying 'I don't think this guy is going to make it'.

"I put my head up a little bit and I was tubed, I had tubes on my arms and body and getting injected and I just actually said 'please don't let me die I need to water the plants'. The plants were more important than me. The plants passed away and I survived."

During the interview, the much-loved footballer disagreed with comparisons to the late alcoholic Manchester United star George Best, claiming that unlike Best, he is actively trying to overcome his demons.

He claimed that his friendship with the former Red Devil made him believe he did not want to get well, but argued he is trying "so hard" to battle his addictions.

The father-of-three also stated that people have tried to take advantage of him while he was under the influence of alcohol.

Gascoigne said although he did not ask to become addicted to the substance, he has got to remind himself of the consequences of his dangerous habit - which resulted in the loss of his money, marriage and car.

He added: "I'll get them back in time it’s just a matter of just working at it. You know if I went to any lengths to get my drink then I've got to go to any lengths - a bit more to stay sober you know."

The Gateshead-born athlete saw great success in his years as a professional footballer, originally playing for Newcastle United for three years until 1985 until he was sold to Spurs for £2 million.

He is well respected for earning 57 caps as an England midfielder, famously part of the squad that reached fourth place in the 1990 World Cup and cried after receiving a yellow card in the semi-final against Germany.

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