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Holloway SOS for troubled stars

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26 Sep 2013 20:46:56

Holloway SOS for troubled stars

Football must unite to prevent players following former England midfielder Paul Gascoigne into a downward spiral, according to Crystal Palace manager Ian Holloway.

Gascoigne's 20-year battle against alcohol addiction was the subject of a moving television documentary this week.

Holloway, who managed Clarke Carlisle at QPR when, in 2003, the defender faced up to his own alcohol problem, believes the game's authorities must act to guide players through all the off-field problems they can face within the modern game.

"It is the pressures of this world and being in the limelight. It is learning to deal with that. I don't know if anyone saw the programme on Gazza the other night, but I was in floods of tears myself," said Holloway.

"I don't blame him for that. It is just awful.

"He can't go anywhere, can't do anything, doesn't know where he is, he doesn't know who he is. We all love him to bits, don't we? It is like George Best all over again.

"I think us football people have a duty to make sure our young lads don't get like that. It is heartbreaking to see him like that. We all wish him well.

"That is a problem, not the score in a football game.

"Let the football family get hold of someone like that and make sure we help as much as we can."

Carlisle, having confronted his problems, was appointed chairman of the Professional Footballers' Association in November 2010.


PA

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