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Ex-England star's alcohol relapse due to boredom

23 March 2013, 15:05

London - Former England football star Paul Gascoigne has said "boredom" was behind his most recent struggle in an attempt to overcome a longstanding alcohol problem.

The 45-year-old, who has struggled with alcoholism for years and was sectioned under Britain's mental health laws in 2008, was taken to hospital last month after being treated at an Arizona rehabilitation clinic at a cost of around $30 000 for a two-month stay.

He found himself at the treatment centre after his agent told BBC Radio the former Newcastle, Tottenham and Lazio midfielder needed help.

That came after a charity appearance in Northampton, central England, showed Gascoigne to be visibly unwell and shaking badly.

Among those who helped organise Gascoigne's latest stint in a rehab facility were radio DJ Chris Evans and former England cricketer turned radio sports presenter Ronnie Irani.

"There was no one to blame for my relapse. I might drink in the future but that's what it is, being an alcoholic," Gascoigne told Sky Sports News in an interview on Wednesday.

"I didn't respond to (chief executive) Steve Spiegel (at) the Providence Projects (an alcohol and drug rehab organisation) and I should have done when I was feeling down and the support I got around the Providence was fantastic.

"I was just bored, that's the worst thing for me but I suppose it was me that made myself bored."

Gascoigne added: "The last 11 years, I've probably drank 14 months out of it. The press say I'm drinking all the time, I'm not.

"I was three years sober and then I had a four or five weeks binge. It's just those little binges so I've just got to stop those binges.

"When I'm drinking, I forget about everyone and don't realise the hurt I'm doing to everyone but I've also got to think about the hurt I was doing to myself.

"I don't know if I'm ever going to touch a drink again. I just know that I'm not drinking today."


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