Football fans will be saddened to read that Paul Gascoigne is fighting, what for now at least, is a losing battle with alcoholism. Paul's health problems are not new. They have been widely reported down the years. A much loved footballer in the UK he was one of those players who 'had it all'.
Perhaps Paul had too much success at too young an age.
Whatever went wrong the player has struggled with physical and mental health issues for a number of years. When he is seen, on TV for example, he looks pale and too thin. A shadow of his former self. A haunted man. Paul was in the news when gunman Raoul Moat was on the run from police. Moat was holed up with a weapon when Paul turned up offering to help police. Claiming that he knew Paul, who was not a 'bad guy, according to Paul, he was widely believed to be intoxicated.
The latest news is that Paul is seeking help in the USA. Paul's management company, GamePlan Solutions, issued a statement which read:
"Alcoholic Paul Gascoigne has been experiencing a tough time of late. 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.
During Paul's all too brief football career he played for Tottenham Hotspur, Lazio, Newcastle United and England. He famously cried on the pitch when England lost to West Germany in a semi-final in Italy in 1990. This endeared him to fans. He went on to reap financial gain from his 'tears' in a commercial for Walker's crisps, alongside Gary Lineker.
An obviously troubled man, Paul has found it hard to fight his demons. His public battle with alcohol is not dissimilar to the late George Best. No-one wants to see a similar fate befall Paul.
Paul continues to be supported by the Professional Footballers' Association. He still believes that he can sort himself out. The nation will hope the same. Best wishes are sent to Paul and his family. Good luck Gazza.
When 23-year-old Bolton Midfielder Fabrice Muamba collapsed during the first half of a football match on March 17, 2012 it took emergency services two hours to restart the young footballer's heart. He collapsed during an FA Cup tie between Bolton and Tottenham and the events were watched by TV audiences at home as well as the match crowd of 36,000 football fans. As the drama unfolded it was plain to see that Fabrice was seriously ill.
Early yesterday evening it was confirmed that Fabrice had in fact suffered a heart attack and was receiving treatment in an intensive care unit. The footballer today remains in a critical condition. Fans and footballers in the UK have today, March 18, been paying tribute to Muamba, as he fights for his life.
At the time of his collapse no players were close by and there was no foul play involved. It appears to be just one of those sad incidents in life. An apparent healthy young man who you would probably least expect to fall ill, collapsing in such a way.
Sky News reported that," He has since been anaesthetised in intensive care and doctors say he will remain that way for at least 24 hours"
In a statement released on Monday evening, the hospital said:, "Fabrice Muamba is able to breathe without a ventilator, he has been able to recognise family members & respond to questions."
The Bolton team issued a statement saying, ."(We) can confirm that Fabrice Muamba has been admitted to the heart attack centre at London Chest Hospital where he is currently in a critically ill condition in intensive care. "No further information will be issued at this stage. The club has requested the media to respect his family's privacy at this time."
Fabrice was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, then known as Zaire. His family fled the country, moving to the UK. Fabrice proved to be a bright young man soon learning the English g. He excelled at school and left with 10 GCSEs as well as A-levels in French, maths and English. A firm believer in God Fabrice has in the past said, "God is the reason for everything he has done and accomplished."
Best wishes are sent to Fabrice for a good and speedy recovery.