Gascoigne arrested after alleged assault

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The Independent Online

Paul Gascoigne has been arrested after an alleged assault outside a city centre hotel.

The former England midfielder will be questioned by police later about the incident involving a photographer near the Hope Street Hotel in Liverpool.

A Merseyside Police spokesman said: "A 38-year-old man was arrested following reports of an alleged assault outside the Hope Street Hotel at around 11.30pm last night.

"He is currently in custody at a police station in the city and will be interviewed by detectives later today."

The Sun reported that freelance photographer Steve Farrell made a complaint to police that he had been assaulted.

Farrell said he needed treatment from paramedics for a cut eye after he followed Gascoigne in the street, along with several other photographers.

He told the newspaper: "I said to Gazza, 'You don't mind if we take your picture, do you?' He walked over and made like he was going to shake my hand and said, 'No, but you don't mind this, do you?'.

"Then he whacked me with a left hand. There was a cut above my eye and there was blood down the side of my face. It was a proper punch.

"His mates pulled him off - and the worst thing was, Gazza just started laughing hysterically. He seemed to think it was hilarious."

Gascoigne, 38, had visited the city yesterday to speak at a fund-raiser for a drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre.

It is not clear whether he was staying at the Hope Street Hotel, which is billed as Liverpool's "first boutique hotel".

Earlier yesterday, Kettering Town chairman Imraan Ladak decided to remove Gascoigne as manager after just 39 days in charge at the Nationwide Conference North side.

Ladak said he spoke to Gascoigne after 37 separate incidents since he became manager.

He said Gascoigne was "under the influence of alcohol before, during and after several first-team games and training sessions".

The one-time Newcastle, Spurs, Lazio and Rangers midfielder admitted drinking a double brandy before one game, but insisted he had been "stitched up".

Gascoigne said he intended to join the team for their game at Alfreton tonight despite the appointment of a new manager, Kevin Wilson.