Paul Gascoigne, one of the greatest footballers of his generation, yesterday revealed the true extent of the mental health problems that ruined his career.
In a series of conversations with his psychologist, Gascoigne, 38, chronicles his battles with food, drink, drugs and gambling. He says he has been bulimic since he was 17 and has obsessive compulsive disorder. The conversations with John McKeown, who first met Gascoigne in 1998, are recorded in a book to be published next month by Gascoigne's biographer, Hunter Davies. Being Gazza lists six different mental health conditions from which the former England footballer suffers.
Gascoigne drew his "body map" at the Cottonwood de Tucson addiction clinic in Arizona, where he checked in after a disastrous 39 days as manager of Kettering Town. The body map technique encourages patients to annotate an outline of their body with explanations of how each part has been damaged.
An arrow pointing to Gascoigne's head reads "mood swings/life up and down/crazy". Another pointing to his right knee - the source of many of his major injury concerns - reads "my using used to numb pain for a while", referring to drugs and alcohol.
Gascoigne said he was hiding the extent of his drinking problem during the 1990 World Cup - the tournament that made him famous. He tended to drink champagne because "it was less fattening" and he said the only way he could relax during the World Cup was by having "a couple of drinks on the sly".Reuse content