English football

Gascoigne: 'I was dead'

March 10, 2013
By ESPN staff

Former England international Paul Gascoigne has revealed he thought he thought "I was on my way out" after suffering a reaction to detox in rehab.

Paul Gascoigne's famous 'dentist chair' celebration in 1996 remains one of England's most memorable moments
GettyImagesPaul Gascoigne's famous 'dentist chair' celebration in 1996 remains one of England's most memorable moments

Gascoigne, 45, was admitted to a clinic in Phoenix, Arizona in the United States after again seeing his life fall apart due to his addiction to alcohol. But he reacted badly to the detox, which sent his body into seizure and led to a spell in intensive care.

After returning to England on Saturday after completing a month in the clinic, Gazza revealed how serious his condition had become.

In an interview with the Sun, Gascoigne said: "I thought I was on my way out.

"The medics who have spent their careers treating alcoholics said my detox was the worst they had ever seen. I had been pumped with more drugs than any other patient.

"Three doctors didn't think I would make it. I was out cold for three days. It has got to inspire me to never let this happen again. I've come through that - death. I was dead. I knew I was in a bad way, but I didn't realise it was that bad. I looked like a corpse. I was a total wreck."

Gascoigne revealed he had been "dry" for 17 months until his problems resurfaced last summer on a trip to Dubai. Even though he went another six months without alcohol he stopped attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and eventually fell off the wagon.

The situation came to a head when a disturbing video emerged of a drunk and dishevelled Gazza at a charity event in Northampton, leading to the latest stay in rehab.

It was organised by TalkSPORT presenter and former England cricketer Ronnie Irani and Radio 2 presenter Chris Evans, a long-term friend of Gascoigne. Several high profile names, including former England team-mate Gary Lineker, helped to fund the treatment.

Football Association charity the England Footballers Foundation contributed £40,000 from the national team.