England players eager to help save troubled Paul Gascoigne

Captain Steven Gerrard pledges support for fallen idol after yet another relapse

The England captain Steven Gerrard said that a players' delegation from the national team has approached the Football Association and pledged to offer to help over the plight of Paul Gascoigne, whose declining mental state has been a case of concern over the past week.

The offer, which was made via the England players' committee, is understood to include financial help for the 45-year-old former England international, who has been booked into a rehabilitation centre in America but as of Tuesday was yet to have flown out there. His treatment is being paid for by a number of organisations and individuals including his former England team-mate Gary Lineker and former cricketer Ronnie Irani.

Gascoigne was drunk and incoherent at a public appearance in Northampton on Thursday, prompting fears that he was declining rapidly. For the current generation of players, including Gerrard and Wayne Rooney, Gascoigne and his performances at the 1990 World Cup finals remain their stand-out childhood memories of watching football.

Gerrard, who will captain England against Brazil at Wembley, said that the players had made an offer of help: "We have a committee in the group, in the squad, and went to see Michelle [Farrer, director of Club England team operations]. We backed that up.

"If the management team think the players can help in any way we're available and prepared to do so. I've read today he's already checked into a place in America, so action has already been taken by people who are lot closer to him than we are as players."

Roy Hodgson said that Gascoigne needed to take "drastic measures to try and get his life back into some sort of order." He added: "Sometimes being a friend might have to mean telling people things they don't want to hear and telling them not to do things they want to do. Hopefully he will come out the other side a fitter and stronger person. He has our full support and anything we can do that could help him, we'd be more than happy to do.

"It's a question of Paul now getting the treatment he needs and kind words won't be enough. It needs some quite severe action and let's hope he gets what is required to come through the situation and come out the other side as the person and player we all remember and revere as a player. I'm very happy the players have made the gesture because I'm sure to Paul having the love of the current England team could be a factor in aiding his recovery."

Hodgson will start Ashley Cole on the occasion of his 100th cap and there will be a presentation for both him and Gerrard, who won his against Sweden in November, on the pitch before the match. There are no plans to make Cole captain for the occasion, as has been the case in the past because, in Hodgson's view, he has never "pushed to be a potential captain".

Hodgson said that Cole, a divisive figure, deserved a good reception from the Wembley crowd: "I see no reason for England fans not giving him the credit and reception and the admiration he deserves playing his 100th game. If you are an England fan and don't respect or love someone for doing that, then that's your problem and not his."

Jack Wilshere will also begin the game for England alongside Gerrard in midfield, his first start for his country since June 2011. Hodgson conceded that he has many options in midfield but fewer in attack where Daniel Sturridge and Jermain Defoe have already withdrawn because of injury.

News
Lois Pryce... Life Without a Postcode. Lois lives on a boat with her husband.. Registering to vote in the election has prooved to be very difficult without a fixed residential post code. (David Sandison)
newsHow living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Sport
Steven Fletcher scores the second goal for Scotland
cricketBut they have to bounce back to beat Gibraltar in Euro 2016 qualifier
News
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing