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.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?