Paul 'Gazza' Gascoigne
Paul Gascoigne will face racially aggravated abuse charges at Wolverhampton Magistrates' CourtReuters

The troubled former football star Paul Gascoigne has been summoned to face racially aggravated abuse charges at a magistrates' court over an alleged "joke" he made. The ex-England international is accused of making a joke about a black bouncer at one of his "An Evening with Gazza" shows last autumn.

The 49-year-old made the alleged remark at the show at Wolverhampton Civic Centre on 30 November. At the time witnesses said there was an audible gasp after he made the comment.

It was unclear whether the security guard heard the comment at the time or whether he had complained to the police about it.

Gascoigne, once of Tottenham Hotspur, Lazio and Rangers, is set to appear at Wolverhampton Magistrates' Court on 17 June to answer and summons and be charged with an offence, the Crown Prosecution said on Saturday.

It follows a West Midlands Police investigation after a complained was made about the star's behaviour during the show.

Gascoigne's agent Terry Baker was not available for comment.

Widely considered one of the best players of his generation, Gascoigne shot to fame during the 1990 World Cup when he burst into tears after receiving a yellow card that would have seen him miss the final, had England not been knocked out on penalties by Germany.

A dreadful challenge in the following year's FA Cup final saw him come off worse and he seriously injured his knee.

It would become a recurring problem as his career progressed, although he would star again for England in 1996's European Championships – when the team was again knocked out in a penalty shootout in the semi-final against Germany.

The star later admitted that he began drinking heavily while he was still playing and he has suffered recurring bouts of alcoholism before relapsing after ending his career.

At his lowest point, Gascoigne tried to join murderer Raoul Moat during a stand-off with police after he killed his ex-girlfriend and her new partner, wearing a dressing gown and carrying a cooked chicken and a fishing rod.

Unsurprisingly, police denied him access to Moat, who killed himself at the scene, and Gascoigne later admitted he had been snorting lines of cocaine and drinking before the incident. He was also given a suspended eight-week sentence for drink driving.

In early 2016 he insisted during a TV interview that he was "back to his best after a two-day blip" after he was photographed looking dishevelled and clutching bottles of gin.