Gazza pleads guilty to racially aggravated crime

Paul Gascoigne
Paul Gascoigne

Former England footballer Paul Gascoigne has pleaded guilty to a racially aggravated public order offence.

The 49-year-old, whose career included spells at NewcastleUnited, Tottenham Hotspur and Rangers, had been due to stand trial accused of using racially aggravated "threatening, abusive or insulting" words or behaviour.

But the star, who lives in Dorset, changed his plea to guilty before the first witness was called to give evidence at Dudley Magistrates' Court.

District Judge Graham Wilkinson was told the offence was committed during an on-stage performance by Gascoigne on November 30 last year at Wolverhampton's Civic Hall.

After Gascoigne's change of plea, Judge 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.