Unfortunate comments from his 12-yr old son, but really sad re Paul Gascoigne - and that it's happening without something being done. (Maybe nothing can be done)
Gazza's son fears ex-England star close to death
LONDON (AP) -Paul Gascoigne's son fears that the former England midfielder is losing his struggle against alcoholism and mental health problems.
"He's probably going to die soon,'' 12-year-old Regan Gascoigne told a British TV channel in a documentary to be shown next year. "I don't think there's any point helping him - we're wasting our time. If I could wish, I would wish that he would go away from us.
"Everyone thinks he's Gazza but because he's the top player doesn't mean he's a good dad or a good person to be with, does it, really?''
The Channel Four film crew tracked down the 41-year-old fallen footballer at a hotel in Portugal.
"I've got food disorder, got bipolar, mood swings, anxiety,'' he said, in extracts released Saturday. "I drank when I was sad. And yes, I must admit I thought of dying.''
The gifted player dazzled at the 1990 World Cup in the high point of a 57-game international career that was cut short by injuries and off-field troubles, including heavy drinking.
The former Tottenham and Lazio player's woes heightened this year with police arresting him on suspicion of causing criminal damage and twice detaining him for mental health problems
Series 1 | Surviving GazzaMore information about alcohol addiction For more about mental health go to our 4Health website Like thousands of other families in the UK, Sheryl and her children Mason, Bianca and Regan must cope with a loved one who has a life-threatening addiction. Documentary maker David Clews enters the Gascoignes' lives just as Paul is released after having spent six weeks sectioned under the mental health act. But only a few days later, Paul has left the country and the family have no idea where he is. The frustrating phone calls they make to track him down reveal the heartache, chaos and fear that addicts' families face every day. Sheryl is torn between letting go of a man who still dominates her life, and helping the troubled father of her children while they too grapple with conflicting and painful emotions as they struggle to understand the complexity of Paul's condition. Mason will do anything to help his father, but Regan has had enough. Sheryl seeks the help of an addiction specialist to try and bring some stability to her family.
Gianni Paladini to QPR Report: "I would like to thank you for all your time and efforts that you put into QPR. I think you are doing something useful and informative for the club and the supporters."
Sorry Paul Gascoigne is in need of salvation For football fans, the unravelling of Paul Gascoigne’s life has been a tragedy
Interviewer: You haven’t eaten again today.
Paul Gascoigne: I know. I should eat more.
Interviewer: So why don’t you, then?
Gascoigne (reaching for stomach): Because I feel fat.
Interviewer: You’re not fat.
Gascoigne (pointing at his lean chest): That’s fat. I feel fat. [Pause] I’ve got food disorder. I’ve got bi-polar. I’ve got mood swings. I’ve got anxiety. [Pause] Bored with life.
Interviewer: What do you normally do?
Gascoigne: [Pause] Sit here and get p***ed.
The above is what is known as a teaser, a 35-second trailer for Channel 4’s fly-on-the-wall documentary about Paul Gascoigne. It seems rather proud of the programme — which will be screened this evening immediately after that other freak show, Celebrity Big Brother — although the station’s website did not seem entirely sure yesterday whether it would be called “Surviving Gazza” or “Saving Gazza”. Strange, that.
A Channel 4 spokeswoman assures that the programme will, after all, be called Surviving Gazza. The agenda seems to have moved on from saving him. According to those who were once close to him — and this includes former team-mates, speaking privately, as well as those family members who lay bare their anguish and their hurt on this evening’s documentary — Gascoigne is already approaching or at the point where he is beyond salvation. The cruellest words of all those that will be broadcast this evening will come from his 12-year-old son, Regan, who tells the television cameras that “I don’t think there’s any point in helping him” and that “he’s probably going to die soon”.
The underlying message in all of this — “bored with life”, “he’s probably going to die soon”, the Surviving-or-Saving debate at Channel 4 — is that the modern-day tragedy of Paul Gascoigne has entered its final act. Those are not easy words to write, but, as he battles with his demons, with alcohol and mental illness, it seems that he succeeds only in pushing himself closer to oblivion.
There are those who will shed no tears for him — those who characterise him as nothing more than a washed-up drunk who p***ed away his career and earned even greater notoriety for beating his wife, Sheryl — but, for football supporters, who know him as arguably the most gifted player Britain has produced since George Best, the unravelling of Gascoigne’s life over the past decade and more has been a desperate tragedy.
A few months ago, on a Wednesday night in September, a rumour swept the country that Gascoigne had been found dead in a Newcastle hotel. It was not true, but, in that five-minute spell when newspaper desks were going into meltdown, the reaction among journalists was one of sadness rather than shock. He was sectioned twice last year under the Mental Health Act and, although he was subsequently released and has spent time in a rehabilitation clinic, the tales of drunken despair — not usually riotous, just desperately sad — keep coming.
Around the time of the death rumour, a friend sent me a link to a YouTube video in which a drunken Gascoigne, trying to impress fellow customers at a pub in his native North East, slips into fantasy, unaware that he is being filmed on a mobile phone. An excerpt: “I’m in the f***ing pub, watching EastEnders, and John Paul rings us up. Yeah, Pope John Paul rings me up. I know where he lives, in his house. I’ve f***ing been there, all around the Vatican. Billions of pounds kicking around. I tried to run away with a couple of billion.”
Quite apart from the idea of a man watching EastEnders in the pub and that Pope John Paul II died in April 2005, it was excruciating stuff. It has since been removed from the site on the ground of poor taste.
The latest documentary has rather higher aims, aspiring to offer an insight into the despair felt by thousands of families who struggle to deal with a loved one’s life-threatening addiction. But it also offers an unwanted glimpse into a tortured soul and into the troubled mind of a 41-year-old man who once had the world at his feet and is now a human wreck.
Is he beyond salvation? That depends on who you listen to. Last week, while expressing outrage at the leaked contents of the documentary, Gascoigne revealed that he was giving himself one more chance, checking into another rehabilitation clinic to try to get some semblance of a life back. Darkly, he added that it was his “last chance” and that “I know I can never drink again or it will kill me”. But he said something similar as an Everton player in 2001, a few months after he first checked into an Arizona clinic to begin a 28-day rehabilitation programme for alcoholism and depression. Seven and a half years later, he is at his lowest ebb, again, and the only question is how much lower he can possibly sink, how much more of it he can take before the demons win their final battle.