On Sunday 1st June 2008, Paul Gascoigne
was sectioned under the Mental Health Act for the second time in a few months,
after acting strangely in Hemel Hempstead.
Here are our readers views on his current problems ...
It is shocking to see Paul Gascoigne being dragged out of hotels and into ambulances to be put in secure accommodation over-night, with the stigma of the Mental Health Act procedure of being "sectioned" hanging over him.
Believe me, it is not a simple procedure to get two doctors to sign the paperwork to section someone. So, why has it happened to Gazza twice in a matter of months ?
Does his fame make him a more acceptable target for the procedure to be put into place or does it mean that there is a more genuine care for his safety and future than perhaps there is with other less well known cases ?
I am sure it has been done for the right reasons, but with Gascoigne going down a different spiral to George Best, he might be in a self-destructive downward trend that he could find it impossible to get out of. You would hope that the PFA or the Tottenham Hotspur Trust could make a direct approach to Paul to try and offer help to one of their own.
The buzz of the crowd, the dressing room banter and the thrill of that extra special piece of magic on the pitch coming off are what keeps players playing, but when it comes to an end, what next ? Many players say it is impossible to replace and for some players like Gazza, who appears to have an addictive personality, it is something else that replaces that buzz with something not as wholesome.
Paul loved to be loved.
Witness his fooling around and his relationship with the fans. The sheer joy of the celebration after scoring from that free-kick against Arsenal at Wembley in 1991. His reception of the adulation of the crowd when the 1990 World Cup squad returned to Luton and he appeared with the false breasts on the open top bus.
Were these experiences replacing things that he had missed in earlier years of his life ?
Out on the greensward, he was a master of his own universe. Gascoigne could control what happened to the extent that his performances in the 1991 FA Cup run almost single-handedly took Tottenham to the Final, where he was so-hyped up that it all went wrong for him. And maybe that was the beginning of the end.
Injury ... not being able to play ... knee injury at night club ... hangers on taking the place of team-mates in the dressing room ... distractions outside of the game that he loved and loved him ... a foreigner abroad, not able to adjust to the new country that was to be his home ... back home and drink taking a bigger part in his life ... hitting his wife and the break-up of his marriage ... string of newspaper stories about his failure to hold down jobs he was given.
Perhaps what he really needed when he left the game was a coaching role with youngsters.
Anyone who ever saw him with young kids will realise that he was in his element. He felt at home with them, as he was nothing more than a big kid himself. Also, they adored him and he would have had so much to give to them in terms of showing them his tricks and how to play.
But when his playing stopped and he failed to hold onto a coaching job at Boston United and a management job at Kettering Town, mainly because of his drinking, the offers dried up (which is what he could have done with doing) and his friends faded away. leaving him alone and vulnerable to being preyed on by those who wanted to make a name for themselves.
it is a real shame that the game to which he gave so much and made the game what it is for footballers of today after the explosion of Italy 1990, now shuts it's doors to him. Yes, as stronger personality than Gascoigne might have pulled through and done something after retiring from playing, but the support systems are not there for ex-footballers just as they are not there for the mentally ill in this country.
Maybe something needs to be done about both of those issues.
THE FUNKY PHANTOM
I have posted twice on this web-site. Both
times in frustration about the transfer policies and the mis-management
of our beloved club. The simple truth at the moment is that I realy
don't give a hoot if Berbatov leaves, if Bent ends up being worth money
or if Santos or Modric can improve a somewhat stagnant season. I don't
care about any of that. For the decades I have been a Tottenham fan I
have always dreamed of one day seeing the 'next' Paul Gascoigne at The
Lane. Fact is this. There will never be one. In this day of over paid
barrels of lard living lives of unparalleled luxuries I fear we will
never see Gascoigne's combination of passion, flair and desire to give
his heart every single game in whatever shirt he wore.
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