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Fears rise for Gascoigne´s health

Concerns are growing for troubled former England star Paul Gascoigne.

Both former Manchester United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel and his agent claim Gascoigne is in need of ‘immediate help’.

His agent, Terry Baker, revealed that the 45-year-old had lapsed in his recovery from alcoholism.

The former Newcastle, Tottenham and Lazio star, who has battled drink and drug addiction since he retired from the game nine years ago, broke down while giving a speech at a charity event on Thursday.

Gascoigne had recently been receiving help at the Providence Clinic in Bournemouth which, in 2011, he claimed changed his life for the better but this latest episode has put his life at risk.

Baker told BBC Radio 5 Live: “He won’t thank me for saying but he needs to immediately get help.

“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.”

Meanwhile, Schmeichel has called on the Professional Footballers’ Association to help.

Schmeichel believes the PFA must step up and help Gascoigne “instead of getting great deals on cars and other luxury goods for members.”

The Dane Tweeted on Sunday morning: “This is not fun watching. Gazza needs help. Come on PFA and Gordon Taylor, time to step up.

“We are all responsible for how we live our lives,” he said.

“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.

“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?”

The former Tottenham and Lazio midfielder has had numerous problems with depression and alcoholism since retiring from the game in 2004 – and Schmeichel says the PFA need to support him at a critical time.

“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.

“(The) 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. I also know from the inside that the public only know a fraction of it.

“There is always a ‘right’ time to start doing something, with what we’ve seen from Gazza today, time has come for football.”

Sun 3 February, 2013
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