Ex-England footballer Paul Gascoigne admitted to US treatment centre

Former Tottenham and Newcastle player has been battling alcoholism

Ex-England footballer Paul Gascoigne has been admitted to a treatment centre in the United States.

The former Tottenham Hotspur, Lazio and Newcastle United star, 45, has "willingly" been admitted to an un-named centre, his management company said tonight.

The move came after fears for the Italia 90 and Euro 96 legend when he appeared unwell and shaking during a charity appearance in Northampton last week, when he broke down sobbing on stage in front of a room full of fans.

In a statement, GamePlan Solutions said Gazza 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.

"Paul has been extremely touched and overwhelmed by the generous offers of help and support over the past few days.

"He is motivated to fully understand and control his addiction problem under guidance."

The world of football has shown its concern at the latest troubled period in the life of Gascoigne, one of England's most naturally gifted players ever.

Gascoigne, who has spoken about alcoholism problems in the past, was sectioned five years ago under the Mental Health Act.

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 Professional Footballers' Association, 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.

"We have been in touch with his friends, his advisers, and agents and we will do again."

Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker admits he is struggling to see a positive outcome for his former England and Tottenham team-mate Gascoigne, writing on Twitter: "I can only hope he finds peace somehow, but fear those hopes may be forlorn."

Frank Lampard told today how his "idol" Gascoigne took him under his wing as a young player.

He told ITV News: "I was lucky enough to be involved in Euro '96 with him as a kid and he took me under his wing.

"I was completely in awe of his character, how much he was joking around and more than that the quality of his football. I've got no message for him now, I don't know enough about it. I've just read and I wouldn't want to read too much into that.

"Whatever anyone says about Paul Gascoigne, he was my hero and he'll always be that."

PA

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