VIDEO: Gazza speaks out about alcoholism battle ahead of Mansfield visit

PAUL "GAZZA" GASCOIGNE
PAUL "GAZZA" GASCOIGNE

Ex-footballer Paul Gascoigne, who is due to speak at an event in Mansfield next month, has spoken out about his ongoing struggle with alcoholism.

The former Newcastle and England footballer appeared on ITV’s Good Morning Britain talking about his 20-year addiction this morning (April 20).

He told hosts Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid that he was “doing alright” following a recent “two-day blip” after being clean for 11 months.

The 48-year-old spoke about how the “blip” was captured in photographs by the national press - showing him clutching a bottle of gin with cuts and bruises on his face.

He admitted that he struggles to come to terms with the fact that he is “never allowed to get on with his illness” due to being “followed by the press”.

But the press attention has helped him to realise the seriousness of his condition.

He said: “Sometimes that helps seeing us that way because I didn’t realise I was in... When I’m actually in it, I don’t realise how bad I actually am.”

And he added that he no longer blames everybody else for his “relapse” and really wants to stop drinking.

Gascoigne said: “I think I have a great personality and it’s only me that lets myself down.

“Years ago when I used to relapse, often when I first finished playing football, I used to blame everybody for my relapse.

“Today I don’t do it. I blame myself. I don’t like it when I do, I’m not like George Best and I’m not like Kenny Sansom for instance, they didn’t want to stop - I do want to stop and there has been good periods where I’ve been happy and now I’m back to being really happy and myself and I’m one of them.”

During the interview Gascoigne told the presenters that he had been to rehab three times for “the drink” an praised his treatments at alcohol treatment centre Providence Projects.

He also said the public were “brilliant” with him and he feels “embarrassed” at all the support he has received.

The former England midfielder is due to take to the stage at Mansfield Palace Theatre next month, in ‘An Audience with Paul Gascoigne’.

The evening of comedy, music, football and tears will take place on Thursday, May 19.

Coming off the back of Paul’s recent documentary, Gascoigne, fans will be able to hear the full life story of Gazza in his own words, at their local theatre.

Tickets range from £35.88 – £66.33 and can be purchased at the box office on 01623 633133.

Alternatively, visit www.mansfield.gov.uk/palacetheatre.