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Paul Gascoigne: The drink nearly killed me but I wont give up

Gazza: The drink nearly finished me off this time, but I won't give up the fight

David Kent


12:31 GMT, 3 March 2013



12:31 GMT, 3 March 2013

Paul Gascoigne has revealed he came close to death after his latest drinking binge.

The former England star was admitted to a clinic in the United States last month after his celebrity friends came together to fund his 6,000-a-week treatment.

And the 45-year-old insists he is determined to finally conquer his demons.

Emotional: Paul Gascoigne suffered a public meltdown in Northampton

Emotional: Paul Gascoigne suffered a public meltdown in Northampton

‘The drink nearly finished me off this time,' he told Jimmy 'Five Bellies' Gardner.

'I know I’ve never been as bad as this before. But I’m not ready to give up the fight. I’m getting better now. I’m not there yet, but I’m getting there.’

Gardner, who revealed to the Sunday Mirror that he had spoken to Gascoigne, said: ‘Paul sounded frail and weak and scared. But I could hear something else in his voice too.

'I could hear grit and determination. No one knows Paul like I do and I can tell you, he’s not for throwing in the towel.’

Rehab: Gascoigne has since been flown to America for treatment

Rehab: Gascoigne has since been flown to America for treatment

Gascoigne had a public meltdown at a charity function in Northampton in January with pictures showing him looking bloated, sobbing and unable to stand or speak.

Video footage also emerged of the former Tottenham midfielder at the depths of his alcoholism and mental torment.

He was drinking two litres of
gin and 15 cans of Stella Artois a day before he was rushed to a rehab
clinic, a former friend claimed.

time housemate Shane Abbott, 36, has also said he was taking up to 30 antidepressant Valium pills a day and
injecting cocaine.

He was rushed
to intensive care from the Cottonwood Clinic in Phoenix, Arizona when doctors feared he
could have suffered a major organ failure after having a seizure due to
alcohol withdrawal.

Heyday: Gascoigne was one of the best players of his generation

Heyday: Gascoigne was one of the best players of his generation

such as Chris Evans, Alan Shearer, Alan Sugar and Ronnie Irani have
lent support to a Twitter campaign to raise the 100,000 needed to cover his treatment.

English players Frank Lampard, John
Terry, Wayne Rooney and Jack Wilshere had contributed funds, while FA
Charity the England Footballers Foundation also contributed 40,000 from
the national team.

Gascoigne is expected to be alone for two months during his rehabilitation.


June 1996:
An alcohol-related 'dentist-chair' stunt in a Hong Kong bar during
England's Euro 96 preparations puts Gascoigne on the front pages of the
newspapers back in Britain.

August 1998:
Gascoigne's marriage to Sheryl ends after she is granted a quick
divorce. The player left his wife with a black eye and badly bruised
face and arm after he attacked her in a drunken rage in Gleneagles,

October 1998: The 31-year-old is admitted to the Marchwood Priory hospital to receive treatment for stress and drink problems.

June 2001: Gascoigne admits himself to an alcohol rehabilitation clinic in Arizona on his Everton manager Walter Smith's insistence.

May 2007: Undergoes emergency surgery for a perforated stomach ulcer.

February 2008: Gascoigne is arrested in Newcastle and detained under the Mental Health Act.

June 2008:
The former England footballer is sectioned under the Mental Health Act
following reports that he was acting strangely in Hemel Hempstead.