Paul Gascoigne to appear in court over alleged racist 'joke'

Paul Gascoigne to appear in court over alleged racist 'joke'

Troubled ex-football star Paul Gascoigne will appear in court over an alleged racist "joke" he made.

The former England player has been summonsed to appear before magistrates, accused of racially aggravated abuse after allegedly making the joke about a black bouncer at one of his An Evening With Gazza shows last autumn.

Gascoigne, 49, who has battled alcoholism for years, made the alleged remark at the show at Wolverhampton Civic Centre in November.

He will now appear at Wolverhampton Magistrates' Court on June 17 to answer the summons and be charged with the offence, the Crown Prosecution Service said on Saturday.

It follows a police investigation into a complaint made about the star's conduct during the show last November 30.

It is understood the decision on whether to proceed with a prosecution has been with CPS lawyers since then.

The apparent "joke" was reportedly a remark made by Gascoigne, who played for Spurs, Newcastle Utd, Everton and Glasgow Rangers, at the expense of a black security guard he spotted in a darkened corner of the stage.

Gascoigne's agent Terry Baker was not available for comment.

A talented midfielder, originally from Gateshead, Gascoigne was described as the most gifted footballer of his generation and at his peak in the 1990s.

But he has suffered recurring bouts of alcoholism and drying out before relapsing.

Earlier this year he insisted during a TV interview that he was "back to his best after a two-day blip" after he was photographed looking dishevelled and clutching bottles of gin.

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