Gazza's tryst with death

Boozy troubles

Former England footballer Paul Gascoigne said he thought he was going to die last month while he was being treated for alcoholism in the United States.

The 45-year-old said he heard three doctors saying they did not think he was going to pull through before he slipped into a coma that lasted for three days.

"I thought I was on my way out. It has got to inspire me to never let this happen again. I've come through that - death. I was dead," Gascoigne said in an interview in The Sun on Sunday.

In the interview he recalls saying to doctors: "Please save my life - I don't want to die," and said when he came around at one stage he heard them talking and heard them agreeing with one who said: "I don't think this guy is going to make it." He added: "I thought I was on my way out at that split second. Handcuffed, I looked like a corpse. I was a total wreck."

He said the doctors strapped his ankles, knees and chest and tied his hands to the bed. "The medics who have spent their careers treating alcoholics said my detox was the worst they had ever seen," he said. "The reason I was tied to the bed was I had tubes in either arm, and those tubes could not come out. I was getting constantly injected around my heart and around the lung. I knew that. I've had quite a few chances in my life but I am so grateful to be alive. I was pumped with more drugs than any other patient. I was out cold for three days. It was unbelievable looking down and wondering how this had happened to me."

Gascoigne has battled alcoholism for years and said his latest problems started in Dubai last summer when he started drinking again after 17 months "dry". He said he followed that by staying off alcohol for the following six months, but his own despair at his lapse meant that he failed to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and isolated himself, barely eating. 

Eventually, he started drinking heavily again before breaking down sobbing on stage at a charity event in Northampton in January.

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