Paul Gascoigne set off on a mission to ‘save’ Raoul Moat… then woke up wondering what he had done.
The ex-England star recalled his ‘mad’ bid to help the suicidal killer, then Britain’s most wanted man, almost 10 years ago.
Gazza, 52, admitted he was at his most vulnerable during his battle with addiction back in July, 2010.
“I just remember that I was in a taxi, I had a fishing rod, some chicken, four cans of lager and a fishing jacket,” he said.
“I thought that I could take Raoul Moat fishing because he was near a river. I told the taxi driver ‘head for the airport’ and then when we got to Newcastle airport I said ‘head for Rothbury’.
“The taxi driver said ‘you are not going where I think you are going?’ And I said ‘yes I am’.”
He added: “I was telling the taxi driver I could save him. I told him: Listen, I have been through so much, I am the best therapist in the world, I can save him’.
“I think that I genuinely believed that.”
When he got out, the driver did not ask for the fare and Gazza headed straight for the police cordon where Moat was surrounded in a field in the Northumberland village of Rothbury.
“I said ‘Where’s Moaty?’,” he recalled, in an exclusive interview near his Bournemouth home. “Someone said to me ‘Do you know him? and I said ‘No don’t’.”
Unaware that his arrival was breaking live on TV news, Gazza’s appearance at the scene triggered rumours about how he knew Moat.
“People were saying he was my friend, and then my cousin,” he added. In reality, they had never met. “I walked into a local B&B, saw myself on TV thought ‘oh s***,” he said.
“I went to the house where I was staying, got half way up the lamp post and fell off.”
Next morning, after Moat shot himself in a field after being surrounded by armed cops, Gazza woke to hundreds of texts and missed calls on his mobile phone hours later.
“I remembered some of it, but was trying to forget at the same time,” he said.
Two days after his release from Durham prison, Moat had wounded ex-girlfriend Samantha Stobbart then shot dead her new boyfriend Chris Brown, 29, on July 3, 2010.
Hours later, Moat, 37, then shot and maimed Pc David Rathband, who was blinded in both eyes.
Tragically, the Northumbria traffic officer took his own life in February, 2012.
After a week on the run, Moat killed himself on July 10, 2010. Last month, the Mirror told how Gazza was turning his life around with the help of pellets sewn into his stomach to reduce his intake of alcohol.
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