Gascoigne sectioned after hotel incident

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The Independent Online

The former England footballer Paul Gascoigne is receiving medical treatment after being sectioned under the Mental Health Act.

He was arrested on Wednesday night after an incident at the Hilton Hotel in Gateshead. Gascoigne, 40, who has a long history of depression and drink problems, was spoken to by police at the nearby Malmaison Hotel in central Newcastle earlier in the day.

Yesterday, a Northumbria Police spokesman said: "Police attended the Hilton Hotel in Gateshead after receiving a report of concern for a 40-year-old man staying at the hotel.

"The man was detained under the Mental Health Act and no one was injured during the incident."

A spokeswoman for the Hilton hotel chain confirmed that the football star had been staying there.

"He had only been staying with us for one night," she said. "He checked in on Wednesday morning. The call actually came in from the police so it was not from the Hilton. From our end, the police call came in and we were obviously happy to help but there was nothing that happened at the hotel to make us think that there was anything wrong and once the police arrived that evening, he was escorted peacefully away. It's a very sensitive situation."

Police last night said Mr Gascoigne was not in custody and was receiving medical treatment. It is understood they may have received a call from a member of the public after the earlier incident at the Malmaison. A spokesman for the hotel said Mr Gascoigne had been staying with them until Wednesday morning but that he left peacefully following an incident.

"Mr Gascoigne had been staying with us for 10 days and had been a perfectly friendly guest," he said.

"There was an incident at approximately 3am on Wednesday morning that lead to a fire alarm being triggered and Mr Gascoigne left shortly afterwards."

A source at the hotel said his behaviour had caused concern among a number of staff and guests.

Gascoigne, who became known as Gazza, made his professional debut for Newcastle in 1985 and went on to become one of the most celebrated players of his generation, although he never lived up to his early promise after suffering a serious injury during the 1991 FA Cup Final, by which time he was playing for Tottenham Hotspur. He went on to play for the Italian club Lazio, Glasgow Rangers, Middlesbrough and Everton, and won 57 England caps. The midfielder famously burst into tears after receiving a yellow card during England's semi-final clash against West Germany in the 1990 World Cup.

Off the pitch, he was dogged by media stories about his excessive drinking and juvenile pranks. In his 2004 autobiography Gazza: My Story he admitted he had beaten his wife Sheryl. They divorced in 1998. Gascoigne has not worked in football since being sacked as Kettering Town's manager in 2005 after just 39 days.