THE Football Association and England Footballers’ Foundation have donated £40,000 to help Paul Gascoigne in his battle against alcoholism.
Former England midfielder Gascoigne was admitted to an intensive care unit over the weekend after he suffered complications while receiving treatment at a clinic in Arizona for his addiction to alcohol.
The 45-year-old ex-Newcastle, Tottenham, Lazio, Rangers and Everton player has battled alcoholism for large parts of his life and was admitted to the specialist clinic following his latest relapse.
BBC Radio 2 DJ Chris Evans, a close friend of Gascoigne, is leading an appeal to help raise funds, with Club England and the England Footballers’ Foundation both having donated £20,000 each.
Gascoigne is said to be making good progress in his recovery, according to long-term psychotherapist Dr John McKeown.
Club England managing director Adrian Bevington said: “While Paul’s problems with alcohol addiction have been well documented over the years, he continues to be one of English football’s most iconic and loved players, and one of the most gifted midfielders of his generation.
“He was immensely proud to play for England and we all remember his contribution in helping Sir Bobby Robson’s England reach the semi-finals of Italia ’90. He was also always willing to serve as an ambassador for the FA and English football, supporting the FA’s international development work in Botswana in 2006.
“It is only right that the FA shows solidarity with Paul during this difficult time and the current England squad has been quick to support a player who inspired many of them to take up the game.”
Current England captain Steven Gerrard offered support on behalf of the whole squad for Gascoigne, who won 57 international caps and helped his country reach the semi-finals of Euro ’96, scoring a memorable goal against Scotland at Wembley.
Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney sent a personal message to a player whom he saw as an inspiration. “Paul Gascoigne was a hero of mine growing up and it’s sad for everyone to see and read about,” Rooney said. “My best wishes are with him and hopefully he can get himself out of this.”