DRUNKEN Paul Gascoigne lies in a heap outside a hotel — and pals fear he could be dead within weeks.
The troubled football legend, who collapsed on Monday after a massive bender, was pictured propped up against a litter bin by worried passers-by who then ran for help.
Another snap shows hotel staff, who called 999, standing over the England hero who had been staggering around on crutches.
A motorcycle paramedic rushed to the Royal National Hotel in central London to tend to Gazza before an ambulance took him to hospital. Last night ex-England cricketer Ronnie Irani — who helped pay for Gazza to fly to a US rehab clinic earlier this year — said he feared the worst.
Ronnie, 41, said: “He’s had a major relapse. I hope he can come back again and fight it off but whether his body is capable of doing it is the key issue.
“There are cases daily of people who die from alcohol addiction. We hope not.”
Irani urged Gazza’s pals to get behind him again — adding: “We must all keep trying. You should never give up on anybody.” But he admitted: “He’s got mental health issues as well so it’s going to be very tough for him.”
The Sun told yesterday how before collapsing at the Royal National Hotel in Russell Square. a dazed Gazza had broken down in tears, called out for ex-wife Sheryl and pleaded for more booze.
He had two gin bottles in his pockets. Onlookers said he looked lost and confused.
Pals said Gazza’s latest booze battle began a month ago after he had hip surgery. Last week he was arrested for allegedly assaulting Sheryl, 47, in a drunken row at Stevenage train station in Hertfordshire.
The ex-Newcastle and Spurs star was freed on bail but went straight to an off licence where he bought gin and swigged it on the spot.
Family and friends pleaded with him to return to rehab in Bournemouth. He had planned to go to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting with close pal Jimmy “Five Bellies” Gardner on Monday — but instead headed into London.
Last night a friend of Gazza said: “He’s hit the self-destruct button again. He is drinking himself to death.”