Former England player Paul Gascoigne to stand trial

Paul Gascoigne. (Scott Heppell/AP)

DUDLEY, England — Former England player Paul Gascoigne will stand trial after pleading not guilty to a racially-aggravated public order offence.

The former Tottenham and Lazio midfielder is alleged to have directed the abuse at a black security guard in November at his stage show, "An Evening with Gazza," in Wolverhampton, central England.

The 49-year-old Gascoigne appeared Wednesday at nearby Dudley Magistrates’ Court, signing autographs for fans outside the court.

A single charge alleges Gascoigne "used threatening or abusive words or behaviour or disorderly behaviour within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress" and that the offence was racially aggravated.

Gascoigne was granted unconditional police bail ahead of a trial scheduled for September.

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

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