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Gascoigne pleads guilty to racism offence

19 September 2016, 19:57

London - Former England footballer Paul Gascoigne has been fined £1 000 and ordered to pay £1 000 in compensation by a court on Monday for making a racist comment to a black security guard at his 'An Evening With Gazza show' last year.

Gascoigne, 49 pleaded guilty to a racially aggravated public order offence at Dudley Magistrates Court on Monday following a 'joke' he made during his one-man show in the nearby English West Midlands town of Wolverhampton on November 30 last year.

He admitted using "threatening or abusive words or behaviour" during his performance.

It had appeared Gascoigne, who made his name at northeast club Newcastle United before enjoying spells at Tottenham Hotspur, Rome club Lazio and Glasgow Rangers, would contest the charge.

But Gascoigne changed his plea before the first witness was called to give evidence on Monday.

Following Gascoigne's guilty plea, District Judge Graham Wilkinson said the former midfielder, a member of the England side that reached the semi-finals of the 1990 World Cup in Italy, had admitted to "the sort of insidious racism" that needed to be challenged.

One of the most naturally talented English footballers of his generation, Gascoigne's post-playing career has become best known for repeated struggles with alcoholism and mental illness.

However, he appeared fit and well as he signed autographs for fans before entering court on Monday.



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