Paul Gascoigne shocked the world when he turned up at a deadly stand-off with killer Raoul Moat.
The violent former nightclub bouncer had already claimed three victims, leaving one dead and two injured, while vowing to ‘hunt’ police officers during a sickening gun rampage
Evil Moat shot and wounded ex-girlfriend Sam Stobbart, then 22, and killed her new partner Chris Brown, 29 in July 2010.
While third shooting victim PC David Rathband was left permanently blind, then tragically took his own life just over 18 months later.
After a terrifying week-long manhunt, Moat was surrounded by police on the banks of the River Coquet in the sleepy village of Rothbury, Northumberland.
While Moat stood with a sawn-off shot gun aimed at his neck, former England international Gazza turned up to the tense stand-off in his dressing gown with chicken, lager and a fishing rod.
Having heard about Moat’s horrific rampage on the news, Gascoigne decided he would try to help the murderer.
Gazza was at his most vulnerable during his battle with addiction at the time and had been drinking and snorting lines of cocaine.
“You’ve got to realise I’m half cut anyway, sitting in the living room, I’ve got about six lines [of cocaine] lined up,” explained the ex-Spurs midfielder during his ‘Evening with Paul Gascoigne’ talk in November 2015.
“I’m not realising much but a good line and me and Raoul Moat are sort of friends. A couple more lines and we are good buddies.”
The recovering addict admitted that taking cocaine distorted his ‘relationship’ with Moat, who he had never met before.
“A few whiskies, another few lines, I’ve had about eight lines and we went to school together.
“He was in Rothbury, that’s where I used to go fishing so I know the area quite well.”
After taking 14 lines of cocaine, Gazza got so confused that he became convinced that Moat was his ‘brother’.
“Another line and I have a couple of fishing rods and a chicken. He’s going to need a drink. I’ve had 14 lines now and he’s my brother,” he recalled.
“I’ve got my fishing rods, I’ve got Barbour jacket, I’ve got my four cans, I’ve got my chicken. My chicken is important because he must be starving.”
Gazza rang for a taxi and told the driver to take him to Newcastle airport so he would not suspect his real intentions.
“I thought that I could take Raoul Moat fishing because he was near a river,” he told The Mirror in February this year.
“I told the taxi driver ‘head for the airport’ and then when we got to Newcastle airport I said ‘head for Rothbury’.
“The taxi driver said ‘you are not going where I think you are going?’ And I said ‘yes I am’.”
The worried taxi driver was left shaking with fear, but reassuring Gazza claimed he was a ‘rehab connoisseur’ who could help Moat.
He added: “I was telling the taxi driver I could save him. I told him: Listen, I have been through so much, I am the best therapist in the world, I can save him’.
“I think that I genuinely believed that.”
The driver didn’t ask for a fare and Gascoigne went straight to the police cordon that was surrounding Moat.
Smiling for the cameras that were there, Gazza brandished a box of chicken and a loaf of tiger bread as he made his arrival at the tense scene.
“Where’s Moaty?,” asked the ex-Tottenham player, who confirmed to the officers there that he did not know the murderer.
However, his unexpected appearance sparked speculation that he was related to Moat in some way.
“People were saying he was my friend, and then my cousin,” added Gazza.
The former England star was not allowed entry and told to go home, leaving him devastated because his chicken was “getting cold”.
After walking into a local B&B he spotted himself on TV , to which he cried, “Oh s**t”, Gazza explained he returned home and fell asleep with a bottle of whisky.
During the early hours of the morning, Moat fired the gun on his own head and was pronounced dead after being rushed to hospital.
The next day, Gazza woke up to hundreds of texts and missed calls on his mobile phone hours later.
“You know in the morning when you panic the first thing you do is look at your mobile,” confessed Gazza in November 2015.
“I’ve got 250 missed calls, I was like — what have I done? I’ve got a chicken by my side, fishing rods, a Barbour, I’m like f*** me I must have done something.
“I turn on Sky News — Paul Gascoigne was there last night.”
It was a testing time for Gazza, who was battling drink and drug demons during one of his most vulnerable moments.
“I remembered some of it, but was trying to forget at the same time,” he added.
An inquest into Moat’s death was opened on 13 July 2010 to consider whether the use of Tasers on the former doorman was appropriate.
In September 2011, an inquest jury returned a verdict of suicide.
An Independent Police Complaints Commission report found there may be “some learning” for Northumbria Police but found no evidence of misconduct by officers.
*Manhunt: The Raoul Moat Story airs tonight on ITV at 9pm