Former England football star Paul Gascoigne, affectionately called Gazza, was barred from boarding an Air Malta aircraft because he was under the influence of alcohol, the Times of Malta reported Tuesday. Officials told the newspaper that Gascoigne was stopped from entering the airport's passport control section Sunday because he had had one drink too many.
An Air Malta spokesman would only confirm that a passenger had been prevented from entering the departure lounge because he was deemed unfit to travel.
Advertisement"The Air Malta staff immediately detected that this passenger was under the influence of alcohol and stopped him from going any further," he added.
Gascoigne had been in Malta since Wednesday to play in the Italy v England Legends match at the Maltese national stadium last Thursday, a match for former football stars.
According to The Times, Gascoigne had asked another person to check in his luggage, a frequent practice among stars. His attempt to appear sober failed because an air stewardess immediately realised the state he was in and called the airport's security who ordered him to collect his luggage and leave.
A top draw footballer in his day, the 40-year-old has become a permanent fixture in the British tabloids for his antics and his battle with the bottle.
Last May he underwent surgery on a perforated stomach ulcer, after falling ill while celebrating his 40th birthday.