England legend Paul Gascoigne has sparked fears he is losing the battle with booze again.
The former Newcastle, Spurs and Lazio midfielder has been seen stumbling from a taxi at lunchtime, clutching a bottle of gin.
Worried neighbours called police but he had vanished from his seafront pad by the time they arrived, according to The Sun.
Officers launched a missing persons investigation before he was spotted in another cab, at one point accidentally exposing himself as he struggled to keep his trousers up.
Gazza returned to his home in Poole, Dorset, 2½ hours after the first police visit and called in paramedics. He was put in the back of a patrol car and driven to hospital.
One source said: “He looked a right mess. I fear there could be a very tragic end for him.”
Tuesday’s incident came two weeks after the 48-year-old boasted he had been sober for a year.
He said he was on a radical “Marmite” cure in which he was put on a drip of niacin, a vitamin found in the spread, during fortnightly treatments at a private clinic in Hertfordshire. He said: “It’s given me hope.”
He had planned to mentor alcoholics, but neighbours said he had been spiralling out of control for weeks.
One said: “He apparently wanted a taxi to drop off booze and fags for him. But the cabbie left because he couldn’t even stand up.”
Last night former Spurs teammate Gary Mabbutt told The Sun: “I knew things had started to go wrong last week.
“Generally we speak or text every couple of days and I haven’t been able to get hold of him. I generally know something is up when I don’t hear from him.
“Paul has been having a really good spell. We had him dry for the last five or six months. It was one of the longest times, a fantastic spell of late.
“He has had a relapse and has been taken in for his own welfare. He is being looked after.
“Unfortunately for people with these conditions there is always a chance a relapse may occur.”
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