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Paul Gascoigne back in rehab

ESPN staff
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Paul Gascoigne was the darling of English fans at Italia '90 © Getty Images
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Former Tottenham and England midfielder Paul Gascoigne has been admitted to a treatment centre in the United States as he continues his long-running battle with alcoholism.

Gascoigne was widely considered one of the finest players of his generation, with his virtuoso displays helping England reach the semi-finals of the 1990 World Cup and 1996 European Championship and his club career taking in successful spells at hometown side Newcastle, Spurs, Lazio and Rangers.

But throughout his career, Gazza - as he is affectionately known by fans and the media - was plagued by off-field problems including alcoholism and drug addiction, with those issues spiralling out of control after he retired from playing in 2004.

Gascoigne has been in and out of rehab centres for many years and a day after his agent Terry Baker spoke publicly about his concerns for his client's welfare, the 45-year-old has checked in to a centre in a renewed bid to battle his demons.

In a statement, Gascoigne's management company GamePlan Solutions said: "Alcoholic Paul Gascoigne has been experiencing a tough time of late. He has been asking for help and has willingly been admitted to a treatment centre in America.

"He has complex issues that are currently being dealt with by professionals. Paul has been extremely touched and overwhelmed by the generous offers of help and support over the past few days. He is motivated to fully understand and control his addiction problem under guidance.''

Gascoigne, who was twice sectioned under the Mental Health Act in 2008, broke down crying at a charity event in Northampton last week, leading to new concerns about his current state of mind.

On Sunday, the Professional Footballers' Association released a statement, which read: "The PFA continues to be concerned about Paul Gascoigne's welfare. he Union has provided assistance financially and medically, supporting the provision of rehabilitation and treatments received both in the UK and abroad. The PFA recently arranged a detoxification for Paul through the Sporting Chance Clinic.

Regrettably Paul checked himself out and chose not to complete the programme. We would like to stress that the support of the PFA and the Tony Adams Sporting Chance Clinic remain available both to Paul and any other members in a similar need or circumstance."

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