Former England midfielder Paul Gascoigne is being held under the Mental Health Act, a police source said on Thursday.
The former Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United player, widely known as Gazza, was arrested at the Hilton Hotel in Gateshead, on Wednesday evening.
Nobody was injured and there was no violence and no damage to the hotel.
"A 40-year-old man has been detained," a spokesman for Northumbria Police said.
"We had received a report of concern for a 40-year-old man staying at the hotel. The man was detained under the Mental Health Act."
Gascoigne's last direct involvement in football was as manager of minor League club Kettering Town, a job he left in 2005.
He was capped 57 times by England between 1988 and 1998 scoring 10 goals, and made international headlines during the 1990 World Cup finals in Italy.
Famously bursting into tears after receiving a yellow card in England's semi-final against West Germany, which would have seen him suspended for the final if England had qualified, he became a household name and "Gazzamania" was born.
He had already been identified as the most naturally gifted player of his generation, but hopes that his early promise would be fulfilled were seriously compromised playing for Spurs in the 1991 FA Cup final against Nottingham Forest.
Early in the match at Wembley Gascoigne made a reckless challenge on Gary Charles and seriously damaged his knee, delaying a move to Lazio in Italy for more than a year.
His Lazio career was also marred by injuries and inconsistent form and although he continued playing for England until 1998 and at the top level with Rangers, Everton and Middlesbrough, he never quite reached the heights he displayed as a youngster with Newcastle and Spurs.
His final ports of call as a player were with Chinese second division side Gansu Tianma before a brief reprise back in England with lowly Boston United.
Another short spell as manager of Kettering ended amid allegations that he had been drinking while at work.
Gascoigne has made tabloid headlines throughout the years for trouble off the field which he detailed in his 2004 biography "Gazza: My Story" including admissions of beating his wife Sheryl and other personal problems.
Ex-England manager Bobby Robson once endearingly referred to Gascoigne "being as daft as a brush" and while some of his antics were light-hearted pranks, a more troubled side to his character has always lurked in the background.