Gazza: 'Robbie helped me beat the bottle'

Last updated at 17:57 19 October 2004

Former soccer star Paul Gascoigne has revealed how Robbie Williams helped him beat his alcohol addiction.

Gascoigne said his friendship with the singer guided him through his darkest days.

Both stars have spent periods in rehab to conquer their addictions.

And that is not all the pair have in common - Williams' new girlfriend Lisa Brash is reportedly one of Gazza's old flames.

In a TV interview, the football star said: "Robbie and I have become good friends.

I've been to his concerts and spent time with him.

"One of the nicest things he's ever done was about six months ago. I had said to a paper during an interview that sometimes I find it tough trying to cope with things that I hadn't ever done without the drink.

Good friends

"Robbie called me up and said 'these things can be achieved, you've just got to face your challenges'.

"I saw him the other day and thanked him face to face."

But the former England star admitted he had not done much to help Williams stay on the wagon.

"Robbie and I were playing together in a charity match once and he came into the dressing room.

"I was drinking at the time and offered him one but he said 'I can't drink, I've been off it for three months'.

"I basically forced him to drink this pint and we got blotted - I think he's still cursing me for that, although he did go out and score four goals," he recalled.

Robbie dating Gazza's 'old flame'

Gascoigne talks about Williams during an appearance on tomorrow night's Orange Playlist show on ITV1.

He named Williams' hit Let Me Entertain You as his favourite ever song.

"This songs reminds me of myself," he said. "I didn't want to be told how to do it - I would always do things my way. Let me entertain you, just sit back and enjoy. I'm Paul Gascoigne and I'm not going to change for nobody, and that's what Robbie is all about too."

Williams is said to be dating Geordie mother-of-two Ms Brash after meeting her at a celebrity football match in Newcastle.

The probation service worker also had a brief fling with Gascoigne a few months ago, according to a London newspaper.