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Last Updated: Saturday, 23 February 2008, 13:16 GMT
Keegan supports Gazza sectioning
Paul Gascoigne
Gascoigne made 57 appearances for England in a 10-year period
Newcastle manager Kevin Keegan says the sectioning of Paul Gascoigne under the Mental Health Act is a good thing for the ex-footballer and his family.

As a Newcastle apprentice in the 1980s, Gascoigne used to clean Keegan's boots and the current St James' Park boss is hopeful for the 40-year-old's future.

"Having talked with his father and sister, this is the best thing that could have happened for him," he said.

"I think it's a very positive thing in the life of Paul Gascoigne."

Born in Dunston, Tyne and Wear, Gascoigne came through the youth ranks at Newcastle before spending three years there as a professional from 1985-88.

And Toon boss Keegan was an integral part of the first team from 1982-84.

"He was my boot boy when I was a player here back in 1983-84 - and not a very good boot boy," he added.

"He lost one of my boots, and I was scoring quite a lot of goals that season, so I can remember giving him a bit of a run-over for that.

"Everybody out there who has seen he's been sectioned will have a look at it and be a bit shocked by it," he said.

Paul Parker
Gazza's still like a young boy - all he wants to do is play the game and his body doesn't allow it any more

Paul Parker, former England team-mate

"But there is now a chance for the people who care and can help him to get the opportunity to do so."

Former Tottenham captain Gary Mabbutt has called on the world of football to come to Gascoigne's aid.

"Football always talks about itself being the football family," Mabbutt told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"At the moment, one of that football family's most talented sons needs desperate help."

"Paul needs to get himself concentrated and focused on something else and hopefully within the game of football."

Since leaving Everton as a player in 2002, the former England midfielder has played for Burnley, Gansu Tianma in China and Boston United, while his stint ill-fated stint as Kettering manager lasted just 39-days.

His former England team-mate Paul Parker says Gascoigne has been given a number opportunities both inside and outside football, all of which have ended in failure.

"Gazza's had a few opportunities in football, he's had a few opportunities in the media but it hasn't worked out because that didn't give him what he wanted," Parker told 5 Live.

"He still wanted to be a professional footballer, he still wanted to be there with the lads in the morning, he wanted to be training, he wanted to be playing every Saturday afternoon.

"Gazza's still like a young boy - all he wants to do is play the game and his body doesn't allow it any more.

"Any man out there, even outside the football family, still loves Gazza.

"But people have looked at it and Gazza has done so many things that it has come to the point that when can they trust Paul Gascoigne to do the job and do himself justice at that moment in time?"

Gascoigne - affectionately nicknamed "Gazza" - has battled for some time with alcohol and health issues.

He was treated for pneumonia and last year underwent emergency surgery for a perforated stomach ulcer after being taken ill as he was celebrating his 40th birthday.

606: DEBATE
Jonathan Stevenson

Everton boss David Moyes, who managed Gascoigne towards the end of his two year on Merseyside, said: "I do hope that things start working out better for Gazza. He is a player I know well, he was here when I took over.

"He used to phone me and text me a lot, he was someone I spoke a lot to when he was here, and since.

"He is a good man, a good person and was always willing to help others. When I have been around him he has proved to be a real gent. We all here hope he gets the help he needs."

Sunderland manager Roy Keane, who played against the then Tottenham star for Nottingham Forest in the 1991 FA Cup final in which Gascoigne suffered a cruciate ligament injury, offered his and his club's best wishes to Gascoigne.

"We all send our best to Paul. It's obviously sad, but we pray from everyone from Sunderland that he pulls through okay because no-one likes to see that," said Keane.

"That is a problem, particularly with a lot of footballers when you stop playing, there is a massive gap in your life.

"We all pray that Paul finds a bit of peace and serenity because he deserves it."

Former England manager, Graham Taylor, feels Gascoigne was surrounded by the wrong people during his career.

"It's a sad story but I don't think it surprises anybody," he told 5 Live. "Paul has got demons but he's had them many, many years.

"For me Paul Gascoigne was the greatest player I managed at international level and as a person an absolutely superb fellow.

Graham Taylor
The clubs do everything for you and then when your time comes to leave the game you don't really know anything about the real world

Graham Taylor, former England manager

"He would give people the last penny in his pocket but I know round about him for many years there have been many people who have taken the last penny from his pocket."

Taylor believes footballers are looked after so much by their clubs that when their careers end they have little knowledge of the "real world".

"During your period as a footballer all you've got to do is turn up on time, the rest is all organised for you and that's not helpful," he added.

"The clubs do everything for you and then when your time comes to leave the game you don't really know anything about the real world.

"If you're really in the spotlight like Paul Gascoigne, and he also has personal problems, it's extremely difficult. This fellow still needs a tremendous amount of help."

Former Manchester United defender Steve Bruce - who played against Gascoigne throughout his career - believes the Newcastle-born star has the character to battle through his problems.

"He has come through before but he will need the support of everyone around him," said the Wigan manager.

"I know Paul quite well, I have had many a night out with him. Like everyone else, I am obviously saddened and shocked.

"We all hope where he is now, he is in the best hands and we hope he can come through this major obstacle."

Middlesbrough boss Gareth Southgate added: "It is a very sad situation, but I am sure he will come through."

Southgate hailed Gascoigne - who earned 57 caps for his country over 10 years - as "the most talented player he played with".

"He was loved by everybody because he put everybody else first," said Southgate.

"He would do anything for anybody and, hopefully, people will do the same for him now because he obviously needs that help."



SEE ALSO
Gazza's career in pictures
21 Feb 08 |  Football
Gazza timeline
21 Feb 08 |  Football
The tears and joy of Gazza
21 Feb 08 |  Football
Journalist drops Gazza complaint
09 Dec 05 |  Merseyside
Gazza freed after assault inquiry
06 Dec 05 |  Merseyside
Gascoigne receives offers of help
08 Dec 05 |  Football
Kettering sack manager Gascoigne
05 Dec 05 |  Non League


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