Former England soccer star Paul Gascoigne has said “boredom” was behind his most recent struggle in an attempt to overcome a longstanding alcohol problem.
The 45-year-old, who has struggled with alcoholism for years, was taken to hospital last month after being treated at an Arizona rehabilitation clinic at a cost of around US$30,000 for a two-month stay.
He found himself at the treatment center after his agent told BBC Radio the former Newcastle, Tottenham and Lazio midfielder needed help. That came after a charity appearance in Northampton, central England, showed Gascoigne to be visibly unwell and shaking badly.
“There was no one to blame for my relapse. I might drink in the future, but that’s what it is, being an alcoholic,” Gascoigne told Sky Sports News in an interview on Wednesday.
“I didn’t respond to [chief executive] Steve Spiegel [at] the Providence Projects [an alcohol and drug rehab organization] and I should have done when I was feeling down and the support I got around the Providence was fantastic,” he said.
“I was just bored, that’s the worst thing for me, but I suppose it was me that made myself bored,” Gascoigne said.
“The last 11 years, I’ve probably drank 14 months out of it. The press say I’m drinking all the time, I’m not,” he said. “I was three years sober and then I had a four or five weeks binge. It’s just those little binges so I’ve just got to stop those binges.”