England

Paul Gascoigne in hospital after car crash in Newcastle

Scene of accident
Image caption The car is thought to have left the road and hit a signpost

Ex-footballer Paul Gascoigne is recovering in hospital after a car crash in Newcastle upon Tyne.

The incident, involving a Vauxhall Astra, happened on Sunday at 2145 BST at Sandhill, on the city's Quayside.

The car, in which the former England and Newcastle United star was a passenger, is thought to have left the road and hit a signpost.

A 36-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of drinking and driving, and later bailed.

A Newcastle General Hospital spokesman described Mr Gascoigne's condition as "comfortable".

He said: "He's not badly hurt, he's sitting up in bed and chatting and laughing with visitors.

"He's in a comfortable condition and I expect he will be with us for a few more days."

The female driver of the dark blue Astra was also taken to the hospital but has since been discharged.

The crash happened next to Newcastle's Guildhall and close to the Tyne Bridge.

Joyce Wemyss, manager of the nearby Bob Trollopes and Red House bars, was working a late shift.

She said: "I just heard the sounds of tyres screeching very loud and saw a dark blue car come pelting round the corner from under the Tyne Bridge.

"The driver lost control and went smack into the side of the Guildhall, hitting the taxi rank sign as it went.

"There was a lot of smoke coming from the car and all the cabbies from the rank outside the pub went running over.

"They pulled out the driver, a woman, and got on the phone to the emergency services."

1990 World Cup

She added: "I had no idea Gazza was a passenger. It had been dead quiet on the Quayside that night and he had not been drinking in here.

"I hope he's all right."

A former player with Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur, Lazio, Glasgow Rangers and Middlesbrough, Mr Gascoigne was a star of England's 1990 World Cup team in Italy.

He tried his hand at management at Kettering Town in 2005, but was sacked after 39 days.

The 43-year-old, of Jesmond Park, Newcastle, has faced a long battle with alcohol and drugs.

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