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Gascoigne going to rehab

Paul Gascoigne sneaks a drink on his way to rehab.

Paul Gascoigne sneaks a drink on his way to rehab.

Former England football star Paul Gascoigne has been admitted to a treatment centre in the United States after his celebrity friends agreed to pay the 6,000-a-week fees.

The alcoholic ex-Tottenham Hotspur, Lazio and Newcastle United idol, 45, has ‘willingly’ been admitted to the Meadows Rehabilitation Centre in Phoenix, Arizona.Gary Lineker teamed up with DJ Chris Evans, Piers Morgan and former England cricketer Ronnie Irani. Evans said: “It’s his only chance.”

A source said: “Chris was deeply moved and decided to organise help straightaway. Everyone realised that if nothing was done Paul would be dead in a year.”

The group is reportedly paying for 13,600 first class British Airways flights for Gazza and a career as well as the treatment fees.

Evans added: “A serious addict can only be helped if they really want to be. It is my understanding that as of approximately 10 o’clock Monday morning Paul asked for that help.

“Then and only then could a select group of his friends begin to put into operation the latest phase in a long fight to rid him of his demons. It’s his only chance — but at least now he’s going to get that chance.”

The move came after fears for the Italia 90 and Euro 96 legend when he appeared unwell and shaking during a charity appearance in Northampton last week, when he broke down sobbing on stage in front of a room full of fans

In a statement, GamePlan Solutions said Gazza had been touched by the help and support shown by fans and figures within football over the past few days.

The statement 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.He is motivated to fully understand and control his addiction problem under guidance.”

A shambolic public appearance by Gascoigne was caught on video in front of a crowd of 500 at An evening with Paul Gascoigne at the Park Inn hotel in Northampton on Thursday.

Audience members watched as he mumbled stories and swore repeatedly in response to questions from his agent Terry Baker, who was interviewing him for the benefit of the audience.

He also seemed to sob, and repeatedly raised his hand to his face. While holding the microphone with his right hand it shook so uncontrollably that he had to steady it with his left.

At one stage Gascoigne mumbled “I’ve been on a whisky diet” and one onlooker said he seemed to be “dying in front of our eyes”.

The extent of Gascoigne’s problem is such that yesterday as soon as he landed in Arizona, the desperate soccer legend ordered a pint of beer in an airport bar the moment a chaperon left him briefly alone.Moments later the pal returned, took the beer, and hauled away the star. (The Sun)†

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