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Paul Gascoigne

Posted on 6 June 2008  - 12:00

As the media embargo, originally requested to secure privacy for Paul, has now been lifted, the Club would like to provide our supporters with an update on the position regarding our former midfield great Paul Gascoigne.    

Paul Gascoigne

As the media embargo, originally requested to secure privacy for Paul, has now been lifted, the Club would like to provide our supporters with an update on the position regarding our former midfield great Paul Gascoigne.

Gazza, one of English football's favourite sons, was yesterday sectioned under the Mental Health Act and will receive treatment for a period of up to six months.

The gravity of his problems came to light in February when he was first sectioned and Gary Mabbutt, the Club, the Professional Footballers' Association and the Football Association, along with other footballing friends and family of the 41-year-old privately came together with the aim of providing the former England international with the medical care he required.

There remains the need for enforced and prolonged treatment, which Gary feels Gazza will now receive.

"Since Paul was first sectioned in February a number of people came together quietly - the Club, both directly and through the Tottenham Tribute Trust, the FA, the PFA - to provide support both practical and financial - and to work, along with his friends and family, with his specialists to get the best treatment for him," said Gary, captain during Gazza's three-year spell at the Lane from 1988-91.

"We were able to get treatment for Paul at the Priory and other clinics, but the problem was that when he was sober he would discharge himself only to relapse again.

"He was on the road to self-destruction so, after making every effort to protect his privacy, it was decided that we must enter the public domain in order to put some pressure through the media on the powers that be to have him sectioned.

"The Club has been kept very much up to date with everything and I have liaised with them on a daily basis. It has been a case of us all striving to help Paul through this difficult period of time."

Gary stressed that a dependence on alcohol is one of a number, but not the root cause, of Gazza's problems.

"I must make it clear that Paul is not just an alcoholic, that is not the situation. Some articles have portrayed this as simply an addiction to alcohol, but that is a symptom rather than a cause and there are far more serious problems that have to be addressed. He suffers from several disorders, including manic depression, that add to a pretty nasty cocktail of things going on in his head.

"Unfortunately, until they cure the first problem, they can't cure the second, third and fourth problem.

"The good thing now is that treatment can be administered on a sustained basis to deal with his addictions and other problems."

Daniel Levy, acknowledging the contribution made by Gary, said, "Gary Mabbutt has played an important role in helping Paul - he has worked tirelessly to help him through his difficult times and been a central point of liaison for support. While the plight of Paul has in some quarters been put down to one of simply alcoholism, Gary has highlighted the real cause of Paul's illness. With great patience and determination he has continued to gather support for his former teammate and called for him to be sectioned for his own long-term benefit.

"The fact that Paul is now sectioned offers him a real chance of recovery and I am sure I speak for many in saying we wish him well."