Gazza pleads guilty to racially aggravated offence

Football legend Paul Gascoigne has pleaded guilty to a racially aggravated public order offence.

The 49-year-old, whose career included spells at Newcastle, Tottenham and Rangers, admitted using "threatening or abusive words or behaviour" during An Evening With Gazza show in Wolverhampton.

(Chris Bacon/PA)
Gazza earned 57 caps for England during his international career (Chris Bacon/PA)

Gazza, as he is affectionately known, admitted committing the offence while telling a joke during the course of the show on November 30 last year.

The former England footballer, who lives in Dorset, was due to stand trial at Dudley Magistrates' Court on Monday, but entered a guilty plea before it started.

Gascoigne has often been involved in controversy both during and after his international football career formally ended in 1998, with mental health problems and alcoholism plaguing his time off the field.

(Rui Vieira/PA)
The former England footballer posed for selfies with fans before pleading guilty to the offence (Rui Vieira/PA)

After Gascoigne's change of plea, District Judge Graham Wilkinson said the ex-player had admitted "the sort of insidious racism" that needed to be challenged.

The judge said Gascoigne would face a financial penalty for the offence, details of which have yet to be outlined to the court.

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