Football: Gascoigne reveals fear of return to drinking

Former England midfield soccer star Paul Gascoigne arrives at Stevenage Magistrates Court in Stevenage England Monday Aug 5, 2013. Troubled former England star Paul Gascoigne admits he might start drinking again even though he recognises it coul
Former England midfield soccer star Paul Gascoigne arrives at Stevenage Magistrates Court in Stevenage England Monday Aug 5, 2013. Troubled former England star Paul Gascoigne admits he might start drinking again even though he recognises it could kill him. -- FILE PHOTO: AP 

LONDON (AFP) - Troubled former England star Paul Gascoigne admits he might start drinking again even though he recognises it could kill him.

Gascoigne has a long history of alcoholism and recently returned from a treatment clinic in the United States, where he overheard doctors say he might die.

He is battling to stay sober but speaking in an ITV documentary, the ex-Tottenham, Newcastle and Lazio midfielder concedes he can't guarantee he will be able to stay away from drink.

The 46-year-old told the filmmakers: "I just remember one bit after the third day of being in hospital when he (a doctor) said 'I don't think this guy is going to make it' and I sort of put my head up a little bit and I was like, tubes in my arms and an oxygen tank injecting round my heart and lungs and that.

"I just come forward and I went 'I don't want to die, I need to water the plants' and that was it and then I woke up two weeks later." Gascoigne, who describes himself as "an addictive personality", said: "With me now if I did have a drink and relapse, it's like becoming tipsy and merry is okay for a couple of days but like the next mouthful I'm so down, I'm so depressed, I cry.

"I do all that because I know inside I'm hurting myself again. I know where I'm heading, a wooden box. Or I'm back in treatment or hospital. Or getting sectioned." Gascoigne said he had been "lucky twice" after almost dying from drink, saying: "I hope I don't die through it. Because I won't get any sympathy. At least I know if I did pass away through it I wouldn't be in this pain all the time.

"The pain's like I know probably in the future I am going to drink again." Gascoigne, who lives alone in Bournemouth on the south coast of England, described his addiction counsellors as "true friends" and said: "When I packed in football a lot of my mates disappeared." He also said he spent around £60,000 (S$120,300) on "James Bond" gadgets which he says can spot if he is being filmed by hidden cameras.