Players' chief Gordon Taylor fears Paul Gascoigne could be heading the same way as George Best - but vowed the Professional Footballers' Association will not be giving up on him.
Gascoigne, who has spoken about alcoholism problems in the past and was sectioned five years ago under the Mental Health Act, appeared to be unwell and trembling at a charity appearance in Northampton on Thursday.
"We have tried to support him throughout all his problems with rehabilitation at various clinics, with medical help," Taylor told Press Association Sport.
PFA chief executive Taylor also expressed his concern that the case could be comparable with that of Best, the former Manchester United and Northern Ireland winger who died aged 59 in 2005 after a long struggle with alcoholism.
"We are in regular touch with him and have been again. We go one step forward and two back at times and this is just the situation. If we are not careful, it is going to be akin to George Best. It is unfortunate, but we try to keep going."
Gascoigne's agent Terry Baker says the 45-year-old had been drinking and needs immediate help, suggesting his life is "always in danger".
Gary Lineker admits he is struggling to see a positive outcome for Gascoigne, his former England and Tottenham team-mate. Match of the Day presenter Lineker, who played with Gascoigne at the 1990 World Cup, wrote on Twitter: "I can only hope he finds peace somehow, but fear those hopes may be forlorn."
Former Manchester United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel has called on the PFA to "step up" their efforts to help Gascoigne.
Referring to The Sun's video of the charity appearance, Schmeichel wrote on Twitter: "This is not fun watching. Gazza needs help. Come on PFA & Gordon Taylor, time to step up."
Reacting to those comments, Taylor said: "I can't think of a player who has had more support and constant help over the number of years that we have been there for Paul. It is quite ironic - it is nice that people like Peter Schmeichel care about him, but they don't appreciate the work we have done for him, a lot of which has to be confidential."