Tyne & Wear

Paul Gascoigne in rehab to 'get free of his demons'

Paul Gascoigne Image copyright PA
Image caption Paul Gascoigne has suffered from alcoholism for years

Ex-England footballer Paul Gascoigne has gone into rehabilitation to "get free of his demons", his agent said.

The former Newcastle United and Tottenham player, who won 57 England caps, has suffered from alcoholism for more than 20 years.

The star's representatives, A1 Sporting Speakers, said he was seeking professional help to give up alcohol.

In a statement on their Facebook page, they said he had suffered an "annus horribilis" since his nephew had died.

Jay Kerrigan-Gascoigne, 22, was found dead at his girlfriend's flat in Gateshead last year following a history with mental health issues.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption In 2010 Paul Gascoigne was given an eight-week suspended sentence by Newcastle magistrates after driving while more than four times the legal alcohol limit

The statement reads: "Paul wants to let everyone know that he has gone into rehab.

"He is making a serious effort to get free of his demons and trying to become alcohol free for 2017.

"I'm not religious at all but if any of you are, say a prayer for him."

Less than a week ago Gascoigne, 49, posted on Twitter he had been kicked down the stairs at a London hotel, fracturing his skull and breaking two fingers.

The star has been in rehab previously.

In 2013 he revealed he thought he was going to die during a spell at a clinic in Phoenix, Arizona, that specialises in treating alcoholism.

He has also been treated on more than one occasion at the Priory Hospital, near Southampton, and at the Providence Projects treatment centre in Bournemouth.

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