PFA chief Taylor vows not to give up on Gazza as agent says troubled former England star's 'life is in danger'

February 04 [Mon], 2013, 11:36
Paul Gascoigne's agent believes the former England midfielder’s life is in danger after he started drinking again.

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.

Players chief Gordon Taylor has promised Gascoigne all the support he needs but the 45-year-old's agent Terry Baker told BBC Radio Five: 'He won’t thank me for saying but he needs to immediately get help.

Better days: Paul Gascoigne seemed to be in better health before ChristmasBetter days: Paul Gascoigne seemed to be in better health before Christmas


‘Whatever’s happened to him in the five or six weeks since I saw him before Christmas, he is not as well as he has been.

‘He’s been absolutely fine, he really has, and now he isn’t. But I think he knows that.

‘His life is always in danger because he is an alcoholic. Maybe no-one can save him - I don’t know. I really don’t know.’

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

Lineker, who played with Gascoigne at the 1990 World Cup, wrote on Twitter: 'Lots of you asking for my thoughts on Gazza's plight. I can only hope he finds peace somehow, but fear those hopes may be forlorn.'

Old friends: Lineker and Gascoigne played together for Tottenham and EnglandOld friends: Lineker and Gascoigne played together for Tottenham and England



Old friends: Lineker and Gascoigne played together for Tottenham and England

PFA chief Taylor fears Gascoigne could be heading the same way as George Best - but vowed that his organisation would not be giving up on the troubled former England midfielder.


'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.'


Hard times: Gascoigne has battled with drink since quitting footballHard times: Gascoigne has battled with drink since quitting football


And former Manchester United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel had called on the PFA to step up and help the ex-Newcastle, Tottenham, Lazio and Rangers playmaker.

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

‘We are all responsible for how we live our lives. But that doesn’t mean we can’t step in and help, and I think the footballing community, as the family we at times claim to be, must do more to help Gazza and others like him.

Adored: Gascoigne was cheered by Spurs and Lazio fans when his two former sides met last yearAdored: Gascoigne was cheered by Spurs and Lazio fans when his two former sides met last year


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

‘So what if he’s had help before and has messed it up, does that mean that we just give up on him?

‘What really gets me here is people. Everyone close to him was looked after by him. Now he’s abandoned by the lot and in many ways they helped him becoming what he is today. He needs help, they should be there to provide that for him, regardless.’


1990 World Cup

Paul Gascoigne


Hero: Gascoigne won the nations' hearts with his performances for England during Italia 90



Dentist chair: Gazza's infamous celebration came after he scored against Scotland at Euro 96Dentist chair: Gazza's infamous celebration came after he scored against Scotland at Euro 96


'Ok maybe it’s now becoming political. But we have a very wealthy PFA, the whole idea of PFA is to look after the interest of members.

'Members are high-profile people, often very young, living in a world with dangers and temptations that are no good for their profession.

'PFAs job has to be protection from all this, make them better pros, and if they get into trouble, help and support them so they can get out

'Like most I real about footballers in trouble one way or another, but I also know from the inside that the public only know a fraction of it and in all this I never mentioned The FA, UEFA or FIFA....!'

Call for help: Former Manchester United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel has called on The PFA to help GascoigneCall for help: Former Manchester United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel has called on The PFA to help Gascoigne


Reacting to Schmeichel's 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 playmaker's 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.

Hitting back: Taylor says he has done all he can to help GascoigneHitting back: Taylor says he has done all he can to help Gascoigne


'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.'


Meanwhile, Baker said he hadn't witnessed the former footballer drink alcohol in two years.

He added: 'I swear to you I have never seen Paul drink in all the time I've known him, until very, very recently.

'He has definitely been clean for most of the last two years, absolutely for definite. And he has made huge massive efforts to get his life on track and it's just gone a bit wrong at the moment.'

GASCOIGNE’S PROBLEMS WITH ALCOHOL




June 1996: An alcohol-related 'dentist-chair' stunt in a Hong Kong bar during England's Euro 96 preparations puts Gascoigne on the front pages of the newspapers back in Britain.

August 1998: Gascoigne's marriage to Sheryl ends after she is granted a quick divorce. The player left his wife with a black eye and badly bruised face and arm after he attacked her in a drunken rage in Gleneagles, Scotland.

October 1998: The 31-year-old is admitted to the Marchwood Priory hospital to receive treatment for stress and drink problems.

June 2001: Gascoigne admits himself to an alcohol rehabilitation clinic in Arizona on his Everton manager Walter Smith's insistence.

May 2007: Undergoes emergency surgery for a perforated stomach ulcer.

February 2008: Gascoigne is arrested in Newcastle and detained under the Mental Health Act.

June 2008: The former England footballer is sectioned under the Mental Health Act following reports that he was acting strangely in Hemel Hempstead.


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