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Gascoigne released after arrest

Paul Gascoigne, 38, once one of England's finest soccer players, was released yesterday after being questioned by police on suspicion of assaulting a man in the northwestern city of Liverpool.

A police source said Gascoigne had been arrested at about 11.30 p.m. on Monday after an alleged assault on a photographer.

Merseyside police confirmed a 38-year-old man from Gateshead had been arrested and was quizzed by officers.

He was released on police bail yesterday afternoon.

Gascoigne's arrest marks a new low for a man whose soccer talents once wowed fans and led footballing pundits to compare him with other on-pitch giants such as Pele and George Best.

However, over the past few years, Gascoigne - known as "Gazza" by millions of fans - increasingly found himself on the front pages of newspapers for his drinking exploits.

The arrest came after non-league club Kettering sacked him as manager, less than two months after he was appointed.

Gascoigne admitted on Monday he had drunk alcohol before a recent match, but remained in control.

"So what... I had a double brandy before the game," he said.

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