Ex-England player Gascoigne pleads guilty to racial offense

DUDLEY, England (AP) " Troubled former England player Paul Gascoigne has pleaded guilty to a racially aggravated public order offense and has been fined.

The ex-Tottenham and Lazio midfielder admitted used "threatening or abusive words or behavior" toward a black security guard in November at his stage show, "An Evening with Gazza," in Wolverhampton, central England.

The 49-year-old Gascoigne's guilty plea came ahead of a trial at Dudley Magistrates' Court which was due to start on Monday.

Once one of England's most talented players, Gascoigne has faced years of alcohol and mental health problems.

Gascoigne was fined 1,000 pounds ($1,300) after his guilty plea.

District Judge Graham Wilkinson told the retired star: "You sought to get a laugh from an audience of over 1,000 people because of the colour of Mr Rowe's skin."

"It is not acceptable to laugh words like this off as some form of joke," the judge said.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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