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Football | England

Gascoigne in intensive care



Troubled Paul Gascoigne remains in hospital in the United States as he battles alcoholism but there are no fears for his life, the former England star's long-time therapist revealed on Sunday.

Gascoigne, 45, who has struggled with alcoholism for years and was sectioned under Britain's mental health laws in 2008, is being treated at a rehabilitation clinic in Arizona at a cost of around $30 000 for a two-month stay.

John McKeown, a psychotherapist who has worked with Gascoigne for more than 10 years, insists the ex-Tottenham, Newcastle and Lazio midfielder is not in immediate danger.

"Following reports today I feel it's appropriate to bring people up to date on Paul Gascoigne's condition," McKeown said in a statement.

"Paul has experienced severe complications with his detoxification. This is not unusual for someone who has been drinking as heavily as he has.

"Paul was transferred from the US Clinic Cottonwood to a local hospital to be monitored so as to be completely satisfied that there are no other complications to his health.

"He is still receiving that care but the hospital has reassured me that he is up and about walking. There are no fears for his life. We will aim to keep everyone concerned updated on a regular basis."

The Mail on Sunday claimed that Gascoigne became seriously ill on Saturday and doctors had him moved from his hospital room to intensive care.

Former England and Spurs teammate Gary Lineker – who along with other friends have helped pay for the cost of the clinic – said that his friend is "struggling".

"Gazza is struggling, Let's hope he can hang on in there," tweeted Lineker.

Gascoigne, whose talent shone at the 1990 World Cup finals where England reached the semifinals, agreed to seek help after video footage emerged of a shambling public appearance he made at a charity event.

However, he was then pictured drinking a pint of beer at an airport bar immediately after arriving in Arizona.

Gascoigne has received the support both personally and financially from present England players such as Wayne Rooney and captain Steven Gerrard.

Rooney said things could have worked out differently for Gascoigne had he been at Manchester United and taken care of by manager Alex Ferguson.

"You never know what would have happened but I know Alex Ferguson is the best in looking after his players and making sure his players are doing the right thing," the United forward told Daily Star Sunday.

"I'm sure he would at least have tried to help him. It's a shame what's happening to Gazza. He was a hero of mine growing up. I'm sure everyone, every England fan and every Paul Gascoigne fan wishes him the best of luck. It's a sad time for him just now and I wish him all the best."

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