Merson's offer of help for Gascoigne

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The Independent Online
Donald Findlay, the Rangers vice-chairman, was unable yesterday to confirm reports that Paul Gascoigne was seeking help from Beechy Colclough, the therapist whose clients have included his England colleague, Paul Merson, about his drinking problems.

Gascoigne has been at the centre of much controversy over the last week for an alleged attack on his wife followed by a red card against Ajax in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Findlay said yesterday: "The boy needs help and we have made it plain that when someone is in need of help we will do what we can for him. There is no real evidence that the decent Rangers supporters had turned against him on Saturday but that is not to say Rangers are ignoring the issues here."

Findlay would make no comment on Gascoigne's marriage, indicating that it was personal to the player. However, in terms of his drinking problem, it would appear that Gascoigne does not drink to excess whenever the occasion arises. Those close to the player suggest he is more of a binger, who will drink quickly for a short while and thereafter cannot hold what he has consumed.

Merson, who is recovering from a drink, drugs and gambling addiction says he was contacted by Gascoigne and asked for the number of his counsellor.

Merson said: "I feel sorry for Paul. I know what he is going through and I have told him if there is anything I can do I will. I am anxious to help him out with his problems. I only hope and pray that he doesn't repeat what he did earlier this week."