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Football | England

Troubled Gazza seeks treatment in USA



Paul Gascoigne has been admitted to a treatment centre in the United States just 24 hours after his agent revealed the troubled former England star was losing his battle with alcoholism.

Gascoigne, who has struggled with alcohol problems for many years and was sectioned under the Mental Health Act in 2008, was filmed sobbing and speaking incoherently at a charity event in Northampton on Thursday.

The footage, published by The Sun newspaper, prompted Gascoigne's agent, Terry Baker, to say the 45-year-old needed immediate help and that, as an alcoholic, his life was "always in danger".

In a statement, Gascoigne's management company GamePlan Solutions said the former Tottenham, Lazio, Rangers and Newcastle star had been willingly admitted to an unnamed centre in the US.

"Alcoholic Paul Gascoigne has been experiencing a tough time of late," the statement read.

"He has been asking for help and has willingly been admitted to a treatment centre in America.

"He has complex issues that are currently being dealt with by professionals.

"Paul has been extremely touched and overwhelmed by the generous offers of help and support over the past few days.

"He is motivated to fully understand and control his addiction problem under guidance."

Known to fans as "Gazza," Gascoigne made 57 appearances for England and is considered one of the most talented English players ever.

He achieved legendary status for his exploits at the 1990 World Cup in Italy, where he helped England reach the semifinals before bursting into tears during the defeat against Germany after receiving a booking that would have ruled him out of the final.

But Gascoigne has struggled with addiction and depression since retiring in 2004 and has spent time in rehabilitation clinics, as well as undergoing treatment for bulimia and obsessive compulsive disorder.

He was detained twice under the Mental Health Act in 2008 and wrote in his autobiography about how he once considered committing suicide by throwing himself in front of a train.

The former star was given a suspended prison sentence in 2010 after admitting drink-driving, while a separate charge of drink-driving was dropped in 2011.

He has also been involved in a much-publicised row with his ex-wife.

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