The news over recent days that Paul Gascoigne has relapsed in his constant fight against alcoholism deeply saddened Tottenham supporters and football fans around the country. Gascoigne is fondly remembered by supporters at every club where he played – Newcastle United, Tottenham, Lazio, Glasgow Rangers, Middlebrough, Everton and Burnley. A club career which spanned 17 years and over 460 senior appearances in top flight Leagues in England, Italy and Scotland, with some truely amazing strikes in his total of 108 League and Cup goals.
Gascoigne’s appearance at a charity speaking event at Northampton Town Football Club sparked deep concerns about the former player’s health. His agent, Terry Baker, stated in a BBC radio interview with Stephen Nolan, that when he collected Paul in Bournemouth to drive him to the venue that he had alcohol with him, the first time that he had seen Paul drink in their two year association. Baker said that Paul was ‘unwell’ and he hadn’t wanted him to go on stage that evening but that Paul had insisted, not wanting to let anyone down. Once on stage, Paul started shaking, his speech was slurred and was unable to respond coherently in the question and answer session. The show didn’t go as had been planned and after fifteen minutes, Baker cut it short and took Gascoigne off the stage. Baker was deeply troubled by Gascoigne’s current state and said that in the time they had worked together that Paul was “the loveliest, nicest, most generous person” you could wish to meet.
There has been widespread concern over Gascoigne’s state of mind and questions asked about who could help him. Paul Gascoigne has been in rehab on many occasions in an attempt to control his addictions but often left earlier than the doctors would have wished. From books that Gascoigne has written on his problems, it is clear that he has so many issues that as he tries to get on top of one, another one takes over. During his battle with alcoholism, Gascoigne has become obsessed with his fitness and weight, training constantly in hotel fitness suites and gyms, often without taking proper meals.
The news that Paul Gascoigne has ‘willingly’ gone in to rehab once again in the United States, is a positive step for the former Tottenham star. According to a report in the Mirror newspaper, once Gascoigne had asked for help, friends and former colleagues worked together to get Gascoigne to a clinic in America as quickly as possible. Chris Evans, Gary Lineker, Ronnie Irani and Piers Morgan with the help of British Airways, put arrangements in place to finance and organise the trip.
On Twitter, Gary Lineker echoed the thouhts of every football fan,
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.
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) February 3, 2013
As Spurs play Newcastle United on Saturday, both sets of fans will have many memories of Paul Gascoigne at his very best and wish him well in his latest battle and hope for a positive outcome in the weeks and months ahead.
Paul Gascoigne As Tottenham Fans Remember Him – Tottenham ‘Legend’: Here
Gascoigne’s Tottenham Debut at Newcastle: Here
Gascoigne and Lazio: Here
A Goal To Remember: Here
Over To You!
What are your memories of Paul Gascoigne, the player, for Tottenham an dEngland?