Troubled star gives his first interview since returning from rehab in Arizona.
Former England midfielder Paul Gascoigne has said that he cannot guarantee that he will never drink alcohol again, despite being admitted to a hospital in the US in February.
Gascoigne, 45, who has struggled with alcoholism for years and was sectioned under Britain’s mental health laws in 2008, was being treated at an Arizona rehabilitation clinic at a cost of around $30,000 for a two-month stay.
In an interview with Sky Sports, he said his future health was a matter of getting through one day at a time following an adverse reaction to his treatment at the Arizona clinic.
“I don’t know if I’m going to touch a drink again. I just know that I’m not drinking today (Wednesday),” said Gascoigne.
“I always remember lying on my bed and hearing the doctor saying ‘I don’t think this guy is going to make it’,” the former Newcastle, Tottenham and Lazio midfielder recalled.
“I panicked and got off the bed and said ‘please don’t let us die. I need to water my plants’ and boom I was out of it.”
However, he insisted his health was improving and that the biggest issue facing him now was cutting out destructive “binges”.
“I’m much better now, coming up to six weeks. Over 11 years, I’ve only drunk for four months of it. Just five little binges. I’ve got to stop them binges.
“I’ve just got to stop picking up a drink. The press, what they wrote, it pulled me out of myself and it will hopefully help other alcoholics, seeing how close I was to passing away. Hopefully my story can help them.”
Gascoigne, whose talent shone at the 1990 World Cup finals where England reached the semi-finals, agreed to seek help after video footage emerged of a shambling public appearance he made at a charity event.
However, he was then pictured drinking a pint of beer at an airport bar immediately after arriving in Arizona.