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By ESPN Staff

Gascoigne arrested in criminal damage probe

Former England footballer Paul Gascoigne has been arrested on suspicion of causing criminal damage.

Northumbria Police would not confirm the identity of the man in custody but it is understood to be the former midfielder.

Gascoigne, who has battled alcohol addiction, was arrested at a house in the Dunston area of Gateshead this morning.

A force spokeswoman said: "A 41-year-old man was arrested at an address in Ravensworth Road, Dunston this morning on suspicion of criminal damage. Inquiries are going."

It is understood that the former Newcastle, Tottenham and Lazio footballer was arrested following an incident with a freelance photographer outside the The Metz Experience pub.

Today pictures were published in national newspapers showing 41-year-old Gascoigne trying to get in for an early morning drink.

Newspapers reported that Gascoigne, sporting a new tramline haircut, banged on the doors and window for 20 minutes and even tried to gain entry using his own keys to unlock the door.

In February, Gascoigne was detained under the Mental Health Act following an incident at the Hilton Hotel in Gateshead after he was said to be acting as a "potential menace".

That followed an incident at the Malmaison Hotel in Newcastle hours earlier, where the hotel said Gascoigne made other guests and staff feel "threatened".

His daughter Bianca Gascoigne said at the time that her father needed "respect and privacy" to get back to good health.

Gascoigne has been treated numerous times for drink and mental health problems.

He had an illustrious football career and is still perhaps best known for his exploits in the 1990 World Cup finals in Italy, and at Euro 96 in England.

He appeared 57 times in an England shirt and scored 10 goals for his country.

But the talented midfielder, who also played for Scottish giants Rangers, has a troubled history of emotional instability and erratic behaviour.

Once regarded as one of the world's finest footballers, Gascoigne's playing career was plagued by personal problems, many linked to his heavy drinking.

In 2005, he was admitted to hospital with pneumonia, sparking fears over his long-term health, and last year he underwent emergency surgery for a perforated stomach ulcer.

He has also had several run-ins with the police.

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