Former England player Paul Gascoigne to stand trial

DUDLEY, England --

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

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 behavior or disorderly behavior within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress'' and that the offense 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.