Former England midfielder Paul Gascoigne has suggested he would be interested in becoming chairman of Newcastle United after insisting he has won his battle against alcohol.
The former Magpies hero has struggled with addiction problems in recent years, and also went to court after being accused of sexually assaulting a woman on a train, something he was later cleared of.
Newcastle fans have never warmed to their current chairman Mike Ashley, and in an exclusive interview with the Mirror Gascoigne suggested he would like to take over ahead of a potential bid for England to host the World Cup in 2030.
“I’ve always said if I could be chairman of a football club, I’d go to Newcastle or Manchester United or Glasgow Rangers,” he said.
“It doesn’t matter which division those teams are in, you’re always going to get a full house regardless.
“If the 2030 World Cup comes North, the place will be absolutely buzzing.
“It would be a boost for not just for clubs and grounds but shops, bars, restaurants.
“I would buy a pub in Newcastle – or rent one.”
Gascoigne had an operation in 2018 which included getting alcohol pellets sewn into his stomach, and speaking about the procedure he said: “I’ve been to Australia, and spent £20,000 including all the travel, to get an operation that stops me drinking.
“You get pellets in your stomach and it makes you feel sick if you have too much.
“It means you can have a beer or a glass of wine and socialise, but you cannot have any more.
“As soon as you touch drugs or spirits it makes you feel sick. I just want to go and get drunk sometimes, and that’s what I have to stop. One drink can be too many, and then 50 is not enough.”