Saturday 1 October 2016

'Save yourself' - Paul McGrath pleads with Paul Gascoigne to seek help after latest binge

Published 27/03/2016 | 10:12

Paul McGrath has urged Paul Gascoigne to seek help
Paul McGrath has urged Paul Gascoigne to seek help

Irish soccer legend Paul McGrath has urged Paul Gascoigne to “save himself” after shocking images emerged of the former England hero’s latest drinking binge.

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Photographs of a bedraggled, cut and bruised Gazza on the front page of an English tabloid on Saturday cast fresh fears for the future of the 48-year-old, with McGrath imploring the fallen idol to bounce back before it is too late. 

McGrath has had his own battle with the bottle down the years and he suspects Gascoigne may be pushing his body to the point of no return after his latest incident.

“When I saw those images of Paul, my heart went out to him and I just hope he can save himself before it is too late,” McGrath said.

"I saw a reporter talking about him on TV this morning in the past tense, like he wasn't here any more. Well, he is still here and he can bounce back if he finds it within himself to do it.

"My concern for Gazza is that he will get to a point where his body gives up and will take no more. I hope he is not there yet, but you can see it getting that way.

"My message to Paul would be get all the help you can pal because there are still an awful lot of people out here who love you and want you to get better."

The Sunday World columnist admits he can see similarities between Gascoigne's story and his own.

McGrath's award-winning autobiography 'Back From The Brink' has proven to be a source of inspiration for many battling with alcoholism.

"I have people ringing me now to talk through their problems all the time, people you wouldn't even imagine that would have these kind of issues in their lives," he added.

"Those who read the book associate it with the emotions I put into it."

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