April 14, 2008

Controversial boxing legend Mike Tyson, will try to help troubled former England star Paul Gascoigne when he visits the U.K. next month.

The "Baddest Man on the Planet" served a three-year prison sentence in the 1990s and believes that his own past as a troubled sportsman could help him connect with the former Tottenham, Lazio, Rangers and England star, who was recently admitted to hospital to undergo psychiatric treatment.

The former undisputed heavyweight champion is scheduled to complete a tour of speaking engagements in northern England next month, including a date in Gateshead, which is close to where Gascoigne grew up.

"I know all about Gazza and I feel I can help him," Tyson said. "A lot of top sportsmen have suffered in their private lives, including me, and that is why I want to help.

"I still see him as a superstar and would like to meet him if he feels up for it. Back in 2005, Wayne Rooney was on a downer and I met him and lifted his spirits. I am sure I can do the same for Paul Gascoigne."

Promoter Ray Fisher added: "Mike is a very polite guy and very humble. He has been through a lot and he said he would like to meet Gazza and help him if he could."

In February, Northumbria Police became involved when Gascoigne began to worry staff at a Newcastle hotel with his disturbing behavior. The 40-year-old is currently staying with family following his hospital stint.

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