It has been confirmed that former England footballer Paul Gascoigne is in Libya, trying to persuade embattled leader Colonel Gaddafi to step down.
Gascoigne or "Gazza" achieved fame playing for the England national squad in the 1990s, but has been plauged by alcohol and drugs problems in recent years. Last July, the former footballer famously tried to persuade crazed gunman and former nightclub security guard Raoul Moat to surrender himself to police in Northumbria, England. Moat had shot his ex-girlfriend as well as her new partner and after days in hiding, was cornered by police - but the Gascoigne effect had no impact: after a long standoff with police, Moat shot himself.
This time, Gascoigne hopes to have more success. The footballer told reporters yesterday that he flew out to Libya after watching events unfold on television. "Fortunately, the Colonel was a football fan and knew who I was" said Gascoigne, "So I was allowed in to talk to him." Mr Gascoigne is now trying to persuade the Libyan leader to relinquish power and avoid further bloodshed in his country. "He's a good man," said the former footballer, "Just give him some time and he'll do the right thing."