Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Get well soon Gazza, you’re a legend!

As I’m sure everyone is aware, Paul Gascoigne was held under the Mental Health Act again on Sunday after reports he was acting strangely. There are more rumours in the press that he collapsed soon after his release and has voluntary signed himself back into medical care. Whatever is going on I don’t believe the press or paparazzi are helping.

Gascoigne has battled addiction and depression for a long time and is clearly very poorly. Reading between the lines it looks like there are plenty of people and organisations offering him help. Unfortunately it doesn’t appear that he is very open to accepting assistance. The news from the last few days in particularly troubling considering he spent a fortnight in hospital earlier this year.

I find the manner in which Gascoigne has suffered since hanging up his boots incredibly upsetting. Gazza has always been a big kid. He loved his football and he loved entertaining the crowd. When the time came for him to stop playing he was unable to fill the void with anything that he found as worthwhile, and his personal problems have got gradually worse. To a point where, although I’m no medical professional, his life is probably in danger.

I wish Gazza all the best after his latest setback. I hope someone can find a way to convince him that he needs to want to solve the problems facing him and rebuild his life. And spouting rubbish like Fergie has done (“I could have saved him if he’d signed for ManUre instead of Spurs”) is surely not going to help anyone.

Anyway, enough of the negative stuff. To me Paul Gascoigne was a footballing genius. In fact, I bet if he put his boots on now he could still wow most of us with his ability. He is, without a shadow of a doubt, the greatest footballer I’ve ever seen in the flesh. Rooney, Ronaldo and the like can all take a running jump as far as I’m concerned. Gascoigne was my hero as a youngster and a huge factor in my love for football.

I’m sure regular readers will remember some my stories about
wanting to ‘be’ Gazza when playing football at school. He was an inspiration to children from all walks of life, and after the 1990 World Cup he became a national icon as Gazzamania swept the country.

To me, one of the best moments of my life was his goal in the 1991 FA Cup semi-final. It was an incredible moment that I will never forget. And just in case you haven’t seen it for a while, here it is again (complete with superb commentary):

Despite what the press might like to insinuate, Gazza is no a lazy, drunken waster. He’s very sick and he needs medical help. But until he recovers from his current plight, I like to remember him in his playing days as a genius, a hero and an inspiration.

Get well soon Gazza, you’re a legend!


David said...

The man is a legend like you that goal is my best mem in football. Why cant the FA help Gazza? They should give him a job in a soccer school 7 days a week playing with and coaching youngsters, that would keep him occupied and he would enjoy it

Anonymous said...

Gazza'a boozing and mental health problems were with him when he was playing. These demons have not appeared since he stopped playing, he has always had them. The likes of Terry Venables ignoring Gazza'a excessive drinking while at Spurs did not help the guy. He needed help when he was playing, but people turned a blind eye to it because they needed him to perform on the pitch or make money off of him.

Diamond-Lights said...

I think Fergie saying "I could have saved him" certainly isn't going to help. Not only is he battling depression addiction but now Fergie is trying to fill him with regret as well.
He should have been given more help but you never know how someone will turn out in 5 - 10 years. Gazza should have no regrets about joining Spurs as he was and still is loved by almost anyone connected to our great club. Spurs/Newcastle should get him involved with the club somehow but you have to ask is it now a case of the horse having bolted.
God bless Gazza and I hope you get yourself out of this.