Paul Gascoigne has opened up on how his booze addiction “nightmare” left him with feelings of loneliness.

The England icon, 56, captured the hearts of the nation at Italia 90 thanks to his spectacular talent and larger than life personality off the field. Gascoigne featured for the Three Lions again at Euro 96 but was dropped for the 1998 World Cup by Glenn Hoddle, prompting an alcohol-fuelled rage from the midfielder.

Gascoigne’s troubles with alcohol only worsened after he hung up his boots in the early-2000s, with his drunken antics regularly being covered in the news. Now ‘Gazza’ has opened up about the negative effects of his alcohol addiction in a raw interview with Vinnie Jones.

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Speaking on Jones’ new TV series, titled ‘Vinnie Jones in the Country’, Gascoigne said: “Thing is, once I start, that’s it.” The ex-Wimbledon hard-man implied he too had experienced a similar thing, before Gascoigne added: “I cannot stop, it’s a nightmare.

"‌It wasn’t so much the drink, it was the consequences, Vinnie. God, f****** hell, the consequences. The thing is, when you’re in it, you’re in it.

Paul Gascoigne struggled with alcohol addiction during his career and after retirement
Paul Gascoigne struggled with alcohol addiction during his career and after retirement
Paul Gascoigne's famous 'dentist's chair' celebration at Euro 96
Paul Gascoigne's famous 'dentist's chair' celebration at Euro 96

“Do you know what I mean? A nightmare. And then you become a loner, no one wants to speak to you.”

Gascoigne entered therapy sessions in October 1998 after being admitted into Priory Hospital. He began a period of sobriety but has since relapsed on several occasions.

Paul Gascoigne and Vinnie Jones are former foes turned friends
Paul Gascoigne and Vinnie Jones are former foes-turned-friends
Gazza has battled his demons
Gazza has battled his demons

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The former football hero was confirmed to have entered rehab again in 2017 in an effort to stop drinking alcohol. That has seen several former team-mates and friends such as Gary Lineker publicly voice their concerns over Gascoigne’s welfare.

The documentary series hosted by tough-tackling midfielder-turned-Hollywood actor Jones is available for fans to stream on Discovery+. It's billed as being based in 2,000 acres of West Sussex countryside, with the Hollywood star joined by different celebrities to talk about their careers.

For emotional support, you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email, visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website.