Ex-England footballer Gascoigne denies sexual assault charge in court appearance
Former England international footballer Paul Gascoigne has pleaded not guilty to charges of sexual assault as he appeared at a crown court in the north east of England.
Gascoigne – known as ‘Gazza’ to football fans – is accused of sexually assaulting a woman by kissing her on a train journey from York to Durham in August of last year, after which he was arrested.
The former Tottenham, Lazio and Rangers star, 51, entered a not guilty plea at a magistrates' court in December, and saw the case transferred to a crown court.
He repeated his denial of the incident while appearing at Teesside Crown Court on Tuesday.
Gascoigne had previously taken to social media to protest his innocence in several messages that were later deleted.
In one post, he suggested that he had let a woman kiss him on the cheek after he defended her from insults she was receiving from a third party on the train.Also on rt.com ‘I did nothing wrong’: Paul Gascoigne tweets then deletes his response to sexual assault charge
Gascoigne elected to be tried by a jury, and will likely stand trial at the same court in October. He was given unconditional bail by the judge.
The former footballer emerged as one of his country’s most popular - and talented - sporting figures after his performances at the 1990 World Cup, where England reached the semi-finals.
He famously broke down in tears after being booked in the game against Germany, knowing that he would have been banned for the final had England made it through.
He won 57 caps for England in all, but since retiring he has faced numerous personal problems, including battling with addiction.
Gascoigne appeared in good spirits on leaving court, being pictured kissing a member of his personal staff.