Paul Gascoigne has said he is back to his best after suffering a “two-day blip” in his ongoing struggle with alcoholism.
The former England footballer, who has had a drink problem for more than 20 years, told ITV’s Good Morning Britain today that he is doing “all right” and has been clean for 11 months.
I’m not like George Best ... I do want to stop.Paul Gascoigne
In March, Gascoigne was photographed clutching a bottle of gin and being escorted by a police officer in his home town of Poole, Dorset.
Later, more photographs emerged of the ex-Tottenham player, showing cuts and bruising to his nose, lip and forehead.
Speaking openly to show presenters Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid, Gascoigne was smartly dressed, with Morgan telling him: “You look good, mate.”
Shrugging off his recent relapse as nothing more than a “blip”, the 48-year-old said he had been sober for months and was “back to my best”.
However, he admitted that he only realised the seriousness of his recent relapse after seeing stories in the newspapers.
“I said to someone I’m glad the papers didn’t get hold of it,” he said.
“But then I saw it ... I didn’t realise how bad I was. You know, I have to look back and think where did it all start?”
During the interview Gascoigne said he had only been in rehab three times for “the drink”, but added: “Where I live ... a lot of people who have this addiction are allowed to get on with it.
“When I have an obsession to drink, it gets too much for us, you know.”
Gascoigne talked in depth about his treatment at the Providence Projects, an alcohol treatment centre in Bournemouth, where he said he received “fantastic” support and counselling.
“Sometimes I go in to help myself, but also to help someone else,” he said. “Whether it’s to give someone a fiver, a packet of cigarettes, you know.”
Asked by Morgan if he felt it was right for people to compare him to George Best, Gascoigne said “He’s dead ... it’s not true.
“I’m not like George Best ... I do want to stop.”
During the interview, Doctor Hilary Jones told Gascoigne that his behaviour was typical of someone suffering from adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
“I’ve met Paul over the years, he knows he’s an alcoholic, he’s always known he’s an alcoholic,” he said.
“The problems of OCD, substance abuse, problems other than alcohol... adult ADHD fits your description really well.
“It’s not an excuse, it’s an explanation.”