Gerrard and Co are out to help Gazza

The Northern Echo: ENGLAND’S FINEST: Paul Gascoigne celebrates his memorable goal against Scotland in 1996 ENGLAND’S FINEST: Paul Gascoigne celebrates his memorable goal against Scotland in 1996

STEVEN GERRARD has led a player deputation to the FA to ensure Paul Gascoigne is offered every assistance in his battle against alcoholism.

Gascoigne has checked into a clinic in the United States after his agent revealed over the weekend that the former England and Newcastle star had started drinking again.

As the most prominent player of his generation, Gascoigne was a hero to many of the current England squad, including Gerrard.

And the skipper is willing to help in any way possible if it means Gascoigne can overcome his personal demons.

“We have a committee in the squad, and went to see (director of team operations) Michelle (Farrer),” said Gerrard.

“If the management team think the players can help in any way, we are available and prepared to do so.”

That Gascoigne has found help so quickly has to be seen as a positive sign. The 45-yearold has tended to live on the edge throughout his adult life.

However, there were real signs of more stability in his life until the latest downturn, when he attended a function for a personal appearance apparently worse for wear.

It has often been suggested Gascoigne is the victim of his own publicity.

Roy Hodgson is not so sure, although the England coach has nothing but good wishes for Gascoigne.

“Many of the players looked up to Paul as the star player of the day,” said Hodgson.

“I can only back that up.

“Perhaps his problems today are nothing to do with his playing career. I don’t know. I just hope he realises he’s so well loved and respected and that a lot of us are very sad to see him fighting to get his life back to where he wants it to be.”

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