Another 'relapse' for troubled ex-footballer Paul Gascoigne

Former footballer Paul Gascoigne, who has struggled with alcoholism for a number of years, has had another relapse, a friend said.

The 48-year-old "has been taken in for his own welfare", former Tottenham Hotspur team-mate Gary Mabbutt told The Sun.

Pictures showing Gascoigne with cuts to his face, appearing to carry a bottle of alcohol and being accompanied by a police officer were published in the newspaper on Saturday.

The former England player, affectionately known to fans as Gazza, had a relapse earlier this week, the Sun said.

Mr Mabbutt said: "As far as I'm aware he's just gone in and he's being looked after. It's being treated as someone who has this condition and has had the relapse."

There is a strong support network around the star, he added.

Gascoigne has previously told how he realised he was an alcoholic when he was 33, having been confused as to why when he woke up at 5am after a night out he would still want another drink.

Speaking last year Gascoigne said he was "in a good place".

He told an audience at a screening of Gascoigne, a film on his life, troubles and career in June: "I just pray I don't pick up another drink, I don't want to but I just stay strong for you guys ... I love the world, I love the people in it and the most important bit, you know, today I love myself."

Gascoigne's management said they did not want to offer comment at this time.