Paul Gascoigne is back in Toon as Peter Beardsley offers football lifeline at Newcastle United

By Colin Young

Paul Gascoigne has returned to Newcastle United in a bid to reignite his coaching career.

The former England midfielder has been offered a lifeline and a coaching role with the club's Academy by his former international and Newcastle team-mate Peter Beardsley.

Gascoigne, who was a focal part of the Newcastle/Gateshead 2018 World Cup host bid at Wembley this week, hopes to have put a string of personal difficulties behind him as he puts his feet back on the coaching ladder at his first club.

Paul Gascoigne with his two nephews Joe (left) and Cameron (right) during the Bobby Robson Trophy match

Family man: Gascoigne with his two nephews Joe (left) and Cameron (right) during the Bobby Robson Trophy match in 2009

The 42-year-old has been out of the game since he was sacked as Kettering boss four years ago and his life has been hit by a series of drink-related and mental health issues.

Although he needs hip surgery, Gascoigne said: 'I am really well, fit and healthy. I am training really hard with the kids, Pete picks me up and we go into training which is good and it is nice to be training again.

'I am just enjoying playing football and every day just keeping myself busy. Pete has been fantastic with me, making sure that I am ok and that I have got bread and milk in the fridge and stuff like that, which has been great. And it has been good to be involved with the kids. Hopefully it will progress with me doing some of my coaching badges again.'

Paul Gascoigne and Peter Beardsley in a double act during England training

Joker of the pack: Gascoigne (left) with Beardsley played together at club and international level

And Beardsley added: 'He gave me the credit but he deserves the credit. The kids love him being at the academy and it is great for him to be joining in every day.

'We go to play in the Youth Cup at Doncaster next week and he will be with us there. It is fantastic to have him around the place.'

Newcastle face fourth-placed Swansea City at St James' Park today, with captain Alan Smith fully recovered from the root canal surgery he had just hours before Monday's win at Preston North End.

The former England international insisted on playing at Deepdale, despite being in agony for most of the day, although he did pick up his sixth booking of the season and was fortunate not to be dismissed for an elbow on former Sunderland striker Chris Brown.

For manager Chris Hughton, Smith's performance at Preston shows the dedication of his entire squad.

Hughton added: 'They made a commitment to get out of this division and the start we've had says a lot about the character of the players who are still here.

'Once it was determined that they were going to be here they had a decision to make: do they want to just be here or do they want to be here with a purpose? Thankfully they chose the latter.'

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