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My Meeting With Gazza
Published : 04 Feb 2013 11:36:17
Paul Gascoigne still believes he can "get back on track" after his latest "relapse".
His agent Terry Baker said the 45-year-old had been drinking and needs immediate help, suggesting Gascoigne's life is "always in danger".
I met him a few weeks ago in a hotel in Newcastle and he was "off his tree".
He said: "Do you know who I am?" and that was not in the usual 'I'm greater than thou' tone of voice you associate with footballers, because Gazza isn't like that.
But he REALLY didn't know who he was!
The Professional Footballers' Association have been in contact with Gascoigne over the weekend, chief executive Gordon Taylor said: "He still feels he is capable of getting back on track and [that] it is a relapse he has had.
"I can only say, whatever help he needs, he must come on [board] and we will help to provide it. I think he does need specialist care and a very strong 24-hour support system, but again, it needs him to be part of that.
"We have tried to support him throughout all his problems with rehabilitation at various clinics, with medical help.
"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.
"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.
"If anything, I have been criticised at times for keeping faith and trying to keep going with him.
"I think it is fair to say above all I don't want him to be a tragedy so that everybody will say everybody should have done more.
"I would like, whilst he is living and we have still got a chance, for it to be a success story.
"But I do feel that it does need a team of people with one intention, to keep him alive, to get him back on track and to make his life seem worthwhile.
"That is probably the most important job, because somebody out there, including me, has to be able to connect with Paul to make him make that quantum change in his life."
Source: Newcastle United Mad