Friends help Gazza get treatment

Paul Gascoigne has been admitted to a treatment centre in the United States

Paul Gascoigne has been admitted to a treatment centre in the United States

First published in National News © by

Ex-England footballer Paul Gascoigne has been admitted to a treatment centre in the United States after celebrity friends intervened to help the star.

TalkSPORT presenter and former England cricketer Ronnie Irani spoke of how he and Radio 2 presenter Chris Evans, a long-term friend of Gascoigne, organised the Italia 90 and Euro 96 legend's flight to the centre in Phoenix, Arizona.

The move came following a charity appearance in Northampton last week, during which the alcoholic former Tottenham Hotspur, Lazio and Newcastle United star, 45, appeared unwell and shaking, before breaking down and sobbing on stage in front of a room full of fans.

During his radio show on Monday night, Irani also spoke of how his friend had failed to take advantage of help offered by the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA).

He said: "I had a chat with Chris Evans and he just asked how we could help him. We knew we just had to get him on this flight, out to the priory in Phoenix, we just had to get him on the plane. I called British Airways and explained the situation, that we had to get him out to Phoenix to get him some help.

"He needs it, and if not, who knows what's going to happen? With Paul Gascoigne, I'll be really honest with you, he's had all the help he could possibly have right in front of him from the PFA. It's tough. Mental health issues are a serious, serious subject. But sadly he's not been able to help himself."

Gascoigne's management company GamePlan Solutions confirmed that he has "willingly" been admitted to the centre for help, adding that he had been touched by the help and support shown by fans and figures within football over the past few days.

"Alcoholic Paul Gascoigne has been experiencing a tough time of late. He has been asking for help and has willingly been admitted to a treatment centre in America. He has complex issues that are currently being dealt with by professionals."

After his latest breakdown, Gascoigne's agent Terry Baker said he had been drinking and needs immediate help, suggesting the wayward star's life is "always in danger" and fearing that "maybe no-one can save him".

Clarke Carlisle, chairman of the PFA, told Radio 4's Today Programme: "We'll continue to give him our full support because that's what we're here for. We have put several people to Gazza and, bar manhandling him and dragging him to a facility, which unfortunately we can't do and would do if we could, we have put everyone we possibly can across his path."

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