Disturbing and distressing news today about former Newcastle player and local Gateshead boy, Paul Gascoigne.
Paul Gascoigne – strapped in a wheelchair yesterday in Herfordshire
The 41-year-old was detained after approaching a member of the public “appearing unwell and in an agitated state” in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire.
This is the now the second time the former English international has been sectioned, and Paul has struggled with alcoholism and depression for many, many years.
To say Paul doesn’t look well is a huge understatement, and he appears very thin and gaunt.
Only last February Paul was detained under the act for two weeks, after an incident at the Hilton Hotel in Gateshead, and then in May, Gascoigne was admitted to the Priory, after threatening to kill himself in a London hotel.
A Hertfordshire Police spokesman said today:
“Police were called just after 12.30pm on Sunday following a report that a man had approached a member of the public who was unknown to him, appearing unwell and in an agitated state in Hemel Hempstead.”
“Officers arrived and accompanied the man to hospital so he could be checked over.”
“He was sectioned under the Mental Health Act.”
Gascoigne was born in Gateshead, and during his great playing career, he had successes at Newcastle, where he started out, and then with Tottenham, Lazio and Glasgow Rangers.
He earned 57 England caps and scored 10 goals for his country, but never completely fulfilled his huge potential, due the the problems he always had with heavy drinking.
But this is now getting very very serious for Paul, and there are treatments and drugs available, that can help him a lot.
But he must now be kept in hospital, and put under some long-term care program, so he has a chance to recover.
Newcastle fans would like nothing better than to see Paul at every Newcastle home game, fit and well, next season.
And there are people at and associated with the Newcastle United club, with hearts of gold, like Kevin Keegan and Sir Bobby Robson, who have said they will try to help Paul as much as they possibly can.
Maybe fans can ensure Paul hears from them right now, in his time of need, and let him know we wish him every success, in his fight back to normality, and enjoying life to the full again.
We wish Paul the very best, from the bottom of our hearts.