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Last Updated: Saturday, 23 February 2008, 14:40 GMT
PFA boss rejects Collymore claims
Gordon Taylor
Taylor says the physical demands placed on players is too much
Professional Footballers Association boss Gordon Taylor has defended the help offered to current and former players with mental health problems.

The PFA chief executive was responding to criticism from ex-striker Stan Collymore following Paul Gascoigne's sectioning under the Mental Health Act.

Collymore claimed many troubled players were "getting absolutely no support".

But Taylor said: "There's a big support system for people like Paul, but it needs will from the person involved."

Meanwhile, the Tottenham Tribute Trust, the organisation established by the club to provide support for their former players, say they will be actively working to assist Gascoigne and his family.

Trust chairman Jonathan Adelman said: "It is everyone's wish to see Paul well and healthy again. He holds a special place in the history of the club.

Jonathan Stevenson

"We are liasing with Newcastle United to see what support is needed at this time.

"Our organisation was set up by the club for the express purpose of providing help at such times. It will be important to determine the best form that should take.

"I know I speak for all our supporters and everyone connected with the club in wishing Paul a speedy recovery."

But Collymore, who has suffered severe depression, claimed the widespread sympathy for Gascoigne's plight was purely down to his public persona.

The former Liverpool, Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest star told BBC Radio Five Live: "I struggled with massive bouts of depression to the borderline of being sectioned.

I have to speak up for all the people who have been involved with thousands of former players, helping them wherever we can

PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor

"There have been many, many times in the past four or five years when I really could have done with the help of my football union.

"Since finishing playing, I've not had one phone call from the PFA and there's been times when I've asked for help or it's been obvious I've needed it."

Taylor denied, however, that his organisation were failing to do enough to help current and former players who had fallen on hard times.

He said the PFA has given former England midfielder Gascoigne "considerable help, both medical and in terms of training programmes" and was "in regular contact" with him.

Taylor also refuted Collymore's claims over his own problems, saying: "He must have a short memory. I took the time when he walked out on Aston Villa and in other instances."

He added: "I have to speak up for all the people who have been involved with thousands of former players, helping them wherever we can.

"We are there for them and we were there for Stan Collymore, too."

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