Gascoigne going the same way as Best, says players' chief, as friends fear for his life

The Northern Echo: DRINK FEARS: Paul Gascoigne DRINK FEARS: Paul Gascoigne

PLAYERS chief Gordon Taylor fears Paul Gascoigne could be heading the same way as George Best - but vowed the Professional Footballers Association will not be giving up on the troubled former England midfielder.

Gascoigne, who has spoken about alcoholism problems in the past and was sectioned five years ago under the Mental Health Act, appeared to be unwell and trembling at a charity appearance in Northampton on Thursday.

His agent Terry Baker says the 45-year-old had been drinking and needs immediate help, suggesting Gascoigne's life is always in danger.

PFA chief executive Taylor has expressed his concern that the case could be comparable with that of Best, the former Manchester United and Northern Ireland winger who died aged 59 in 2005 after a long struggle with alcoholism.

Gary Lineker admits he is struggling to see a positive outcome for Gascoigne, his former England and Tottenham team-mate.

Match of the Day presenter Lineker, who played with Gascoigne at the 1990 World Cup, wrote on Twitter: "I can only hope he finds peace somehow, but fear those hopes may be forlorn."

Taylor is adamant, though, that his union will continue to give Gascoigne as much support as possible.

"We have tried to support him throughout all his problems with rehabilitation at various clinics, with medical help," Taylor said.

"We are in regular touch with him and have been again.

"We go one step forward and two back at times and this is just the situation.

"If we are not careful, it is going to be akin to George Best.

"It is unfortunate, but we try to keep going."

The Northern Echo: BACKING PLAYERS: Gordon Taylor

Former Manchester United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel has called on the PFA to step up their efforts to help Gascoigne.

Referring to The Sun's video of the charity appearance, Schmeichel wrote on Twitter: "This is not fun watching. Gazza needs help. Come on PFA & Gordon Taylor, time to step up.

"Instead of getting great deals on cars & other luxury goods for members, PFA should commit more time and funds to help the like of Gazza."

Reacting to those comments, Taylor said: "I can't think of a player who has had more support and constant help over the number of years that we have been there for Paul.

"It is quite ironic - it is nice that people like Peter Schmeichel care about him, but they don't appreciate the work we have done for him, a lot of which has to be confidential.

"If anything, I have been criticised at times for keeping faith and trying to keep going with him."

Having spoken today with Gascoigne, who he says believes he can get back on track, Taylor has emphasised how important the former Newcastle, Tottenham, Lazio and Rangers playmakers role will be in any recovery he makes.

"I offered all our help that he needs," Taylor said.

"It is just sometimes, it is down to the individual - it is down to him, and he just knows we are here for him whenever he needs us. We are not going to give up on him.

"He still feels he is capable of getting back on track and it is a relapse he has had.

"I can only say, whatever help he needs, he must come on (board) and we will help to provide it.

"I think he does need specialist care and a very strong 24-hour support system, but again, it needs him to be part of that."

Comments (3)

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3:23pm Mon 4 Feb 13

the-big-yin says...

How much more help does this pathetic excuse of a person need...
He should just disappear off the face of the earth, as he is a waster whose only aim in life is to get p.i.s.s.e.d. every day.
What a sad man....No sympathy here...
**** and before all the remarks about what a great footballer he was ****
Who cares!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
How much more help does this pathetic excuse of a person need... He should just disappear off the face of the earth, as he is a waster whose only aim in life is to get p.i.s.s.e.d. every day. What a sad man....No sympathy here... **** and before all the remarks about what a great footballer he was **** Who cares!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! the-big-yin

4:21pm Mon 4 Feb 13

st-george1 says...

Ex footballer Gascoigne, like the now deceased singer Amy Winehouse, came across too much cash so quickly they both became addicts of one sort or another in their quest for love, power and attention, whose so-called agents took their share of the spoils and did little else to keep them safe, sober and free from booze and drugs in my opinion … get real folks, they both like many others before them, entered the murky world of addiction freely, that was an attraction for scummy-celeb hangers-on bleeding them for their money !
Ex footballer Gascoigne, like the now deceased singer Amy Winehouse, came across too much cash so quickly they both became addicts of one sort or another in their quest for love, power and attention, whose so-called agents took their share of the spoils and did little else to keep them safe, sober and free from booze and drugs in my opinion … get real folks, they both like many others before them, entered the murky world of addiction freely, that was an attraction for scummy-celeb hangers-on bleeding them for their money ! st-george1

4:55pm Mon 4 Feb 13

Brighouseandback says...

Unfortunately, there are a number of people who have to take some responsibility in respect of Gascoigne's current state of health. Right the way back to Stein and Lazarus, his agents during the "heady" days, along with management and players alike, all of whom laughed and told everyone how great a guy he was whilst watching him destroy a career. I'm sick of reading and hearing of ex players telling stories of "Gazza's" fun and frolics when it was painfully obvious back then that a screw was loose. His antics in Italy, which formed part of a documentary as did his brief flirtation with a Chinese club, highlighted glaring mental frailties, and everyone laughed because it was Gazza. His so called "celebrity" hangers on, Danny Baker & Chris Evans et al, all willing to associate themselves with a superstar, and at the same time helping him drink himself into oblivion....I think it's the British public who need help, for being subjected to his antics for so many years!
Unfortunately, there are a number of people who have to take some responsibility in respect of Gascoigne's current state of health. Right the way back to Stein and Lazarus, his agents during the "heady" days, along with management and players alike, all of whom laughed and told everyone how great a guy he was whilst watching him destroy a career. I'm sick of reading and hearing of ex players telling stories of "Gazza's" fun and frolics when it was painfully obvious back then that a screw was loose. His antics in Italy, which formed part of a documentary as did his brief flirtation with a Chinese club, highlighted glaring mental frailties, and everyone laughed because it was Gazza. His so called "celebrity" hangers on, Danny Baker & Chris Evans et al, all willing to associate themselves with a superstar, and at the same time helping him drink himself into oblivion....I think it's the British public who need help, for being subjected to his antics for so many years! Brighouseandback

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