Gascoigne in hospital after hotel incident

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The Independent Online

Paul Gascoigne was back in hospital yesterday after police were called to a London hotel.

The troubled former footballer who has struggled for some time with alcoholism and depression, was said to have been behaving erratically at the Millennium Hotel in Knightsbridge when the police were called. Newspaper reports claimed that he was behaving as if drunk and in an unpredictable manner. Staff called the emergency services believing that he may be suicidal.

Scotland Yard confirmed yesterday that officers and an ambulance were called to the hotel shortly after 3pm on Sunday and a man was taken to hospital voluntarily. No offence was committed, a spokesman added.

Gascoigne, 40, who won 57 caps for England and was once fêted as the most gifted player of his generation, has had numerous problems since the end of his top-flight football career.

The former Newcastle, Tottenham and Lazio star was detained under the Mental Health Act in February after acting as "a potential menace" at a Newcastle hotel. He was released after two weeks of treatment.

Throughout his career, Gascoigne, known as Gazza, was labelled a genius, with his stunning volley against Scotland during Euro 96 hailed as one of the best goals ever scored by an England player.

His public profile soared after he burst into tears when was cautioned by the referee during England's World Cup semi-final clash against West Germany at Italia 90, a yellow card which meant he would have missed the final had the team not lost on penalties.

At first, his antics in bars and clubs across Europe had looked like the result of the overblown enthusiasm and thirst for the high life that rapidly became his off-the-pitch trademark. But his excesses finally led to his exclusion from the England World Cup squad in 1998.

Despite the professional acclaim, Gascoigne, from Gateshead, ended up a self-confessed wife-beater and alcoholic.

After a series of spectacular binges in 1998, he was admitted to a private clinic to tackle the alcohol addiction that he claimed had come to dominate his life. Emerging two weeks later, Gascoigne vowed not to touch another drop. But his attempts to pick up the pieces of his career failed, suffering a final ignominy of being sacked by non-league Kettering Town after just 39 days as manager.