Page last updated at 14:29 GMT, Monday, 14 April 2008 15:29 UK

Tyson offers to counsel Gascoigne

Paul Gascoigne
Tyson believes Paul Gascoigne is still a 'superstar'

Mike Tyson has offered to provide counselling and support to troubled Paul Gascoigne when he tours the UK.

The former Newcastle United player recently suffered a mental breakdown and had to spend two weeks in a psychiatric hospital.

Former heavyweight champion Tyson believes his own chequered past could help the 40-year-old.

Tyson is holding a series of speaking engagements in the North in May, including a date in Gateshead.

The 41-year-old said: "I know all about Gazza and I feel I can help him. 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."

'On a downer'

He has already met England striker, and boxing fan, Wayne Rooney several times.

Their first meeting three years ago was a boost for the young footballer at a time when he was under fire for his aggressive style of play.

Tyson said: "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."

Tyson was convicted of rape in 1992 and jailed for a day in November 2007 for driving while under the influence of drugs.

Gascoigne was detained in February after Northumbria Police were called to a Newcastle hotel following reports he was acting erratically.

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