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Gascoigne drinking problems
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TOPIC: Gascoigne drinking problems

posted 10-02-2013 14:00
I suppose the thing that really doesn't impress me was that gascoigne even from a distance was seriously fucked up, and the closer you got I'm sure the more obvious it was. Even taking into account what sean says, there was something really unpleasant about the football/lads/booze thing that was going on and evans and baker seemed to be like vultures, banging back the booze and god knows what else, egging gascoigne on while he did increasingly dangerous and reckless things like drive a double decker bus while off his face. I suppose that of the three of them gascoigne was the one with least control or even agency in his own life.
  • MsD
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posted 10-02-2013 14:08
Sean of the Shed wrote:
I don't know about Danny Baker, but at that time Chris Evans was probably as bad a case as Gascoigne. This was the time when he was on all day benders, turning up late for work, renegotiating his position a Radio 1 because he couldn't deal with his schedule before finally pushing too far and getting the boot. I was listening to Stan Collymore the other day, and they were talking about how addicts tend to migrate toward each other, as they are the only ones who can understand and cope with each other's excesses. if you're an alcoholic you are drawn to others who like to drink to oblivion, not those who are constantly tell you you have had enough and make you go home. It's how it went for me, anyway.
Evans is still an annoying cocksplash though.

All true. I do remember Evans bragging and actively encouraging Gazza to get plastered, and don't know how much his own illness/addiction excuses it. Not comfortable sitting in judgement, but from knowing addicts and people with various illnesses (narcissism, bipolarism ...), it's often hard to tell where the illness ends and the arsehole begins.

Cross posted with The Awesome Fiddler - yes, agree with that.
Last Edit: 10-02-2013 14:10:59 by MsD.
posted 10-02-2013 15:17
That Jimmy Greaves piece is really interesting, although it could have done without the enormous gratuitous photos of Gascoigne coming out the off licence with a blue bag of full of stella and another of him looking the worse for wear.

**Note to tabloid editors- everyone knows Gascoigne has a serious drink problem, you really don't need photographs that are bigger than twelve paragraphs of text- which brings me to my point.

The thing that struck me was Greaves line-

Luckily for me, my wife and I got back together again soon after and I could gradually get my life back into some sort of order.
I was enjoying playing non-league football for Barnet, with no pressure, and I had a job selling knitwear for a friend, again there was no stress and I could work at my own pace.


After reading that I realized that Gascoigne is more than likely going to be the first real casualty of the ‘reinvention of English football 1990-1992’. Greaves, the most celebrated striker in the English game during the ‘glory years’ of the 1960’s and 1970’s could comfortably disappear into obscurity if he wished- to deal with his demons and the drop out of the limelight clearly aided him in rebuilding his life successfully.

Gascoigne, all skills and tears at Italia 90 became the poster boy at the cusp of the whole new commodified world of football, flush with TV cash and suddenly trendy. No longer could a larger than life footballing personality be afforded obscurity when and where they needed it- rolling coverage needed personality and Gazza was a dream come true. However when the dark side took over, the TV cameras and presses did not stop rolling.

Unlike Greaves who would only ever be seen on Match Of The Day/The Big Match once a week on the footballing field, Gascoigne was hounded by the press pack relentlessly, a media insatiable in its demand for celebrity tittle tattle, scandal and shock in which the new football world was a happy and fertile hunting ground. There’s no doubt in my mind that the relentless need of the football media for story, banter, controversy and personality to sell the game has exacerbated Gascoigne’s already fragile personality and mental state (his ‘roving reporter’ role for ITV during the 2002 World Cup was a particular nadir) and Gascoigne has never been afforded the time, space and indeed obscurity to deal with his demons in the way celebrated players such as Jimmy Greaves had. Even George Best was granted obscurity in the fact that he lived out his hell raising days before the absolute and complete overweening demands of the media.

I know Gascoigne and Greaves are hugely different individuals with contrasting personalities but there’s no doubt the media demands and attention of post 1990 football has had a detrimental effect on Gascoigne.

I’ve always viewed Gascoigne as the moment old football met the new. The old story of the exceptionally gifted but personally flawed lad from the backstreets of a Northern town making it onto the national stage. What was new was the 24 hour, celebrity glitz, glare and riches of the new football which meant every personality flaw was blazed in neon, every mishap pored over and every fault voyeuristically splashed across every front page and TV headlines. All the time.

There’s a horrible inevitability about Gascoigne’s future (and I hope to God I’m wrong) but I cannot help but think he is going to be both the victim of his own demons and the clamour and requirements of a game he was at the forefront of when it was revolutionized.
posted 10-02-2013 15:34
Geoffrey de Ste. Croix wrote:
his ‘roving reporter’ role for ITV during the 2002 World Cup was a particular nadir


Oh god, that was awful. They had him splashing around in Trafalgar Square fountain at one point. And Des Lynam openly took the piss out of him on air another time when it was clear he was terrified under the studio lights.
posted 10-02-2013 16:11
At half-time of the France-Senegal game Des went straight to Gazza for his thoughts on the game so far. This was it. Gazza's first proper go at punditry.

He said something along the lines of "I've been really impressed with Senegal. To be honest, I'd never even heard of Senegal before this game."

"It's in Africa," replies Des. "It's been there for quite a long time".

Everyone laughed. Gazza looked crushed. He nervously slurred his way through a few more games but that was it. He was sent to rove and never pundit again.

Desmond Michael Lynam, J'accuse.
posted 10-02-2013 16:38
Geoffrey de Ste. Croix wrote:

The thing that struck me was Greaves line-

Luckily for me, my wife and I got back together again soon after and I could gradually get my life back into some sort of order.
I was enjoying playing non-league football for Barnet, with no pressure, and I had a job selling knitwear for a friend, again there was no stress and I could work at my own pace.


After reading that I realized that Gascoigne is more than likely going to be the first real casualty of the ‘reinvention of English football 1990-1992’. Greaves, the most celebrated striker in the English game during the ‘glory years’ of the 1960’s and 1970’s could comfortably disappear into obscurity if he wished- to deal with his demons and the drop out of the limelight clearly aided him in rebuilding his life successfully.


Very true. Perfectly shown by Gazza's short stint in charge of Kettering Town. Normally an ex pro starting his managerial career at a non-league club was a pretty run of the mill thing, but this was tabloid heaven, and probably not helped by the fact that Imraan Ladak was a publicity hungry prick who probably didn't actually give a fuck about Gascoigne's welfare and was only concerned with bringing the maximum attention to him and his club.
  • Paul S
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posted 10-02-2013 17:05
Part of the problem is that Gazza wants to be in the limelight. Look at the Greaves piece - he wants to be the life and soul of the party and is always happy to help and never likes to say no or disappoint. He wants to act up, be on television and be the centre of attention. To blame the press for his problems is to totally miss the point with alcoholism.

Look at Caroline Ahern - a superb actress who is an alcoholic who has has withdrawn from public life. Not every celebrity becomes an alcoholic and not every alcoholic is a celebrity. It's a disease and if you have it - you've got it no matter what your situation.

I'm sorry but Gascoigne is impossible to help unless he changes his entire life and stops wanting to be the centre of attention. In this he has to change - and unless he accepts that change, sobriety will never arrive.
posted 10-02-2013 17:13
I did a few After Dinner gigs with Big Jack a few years back, and as a Boro fan we had some quality chats. His view on Gazza was that he was pretty much scuppered from the off by the people who surrounded him, and it never really changed.
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posted 10-02-2013 17:31
greaves is probably right that gascoigne doesn't have the mental tools to survive. i wouldn't blame the media either: there are plenty of cases like gascoigne living in obscurity. the problem is in his head. i imagine that his fame and former wealth has affected his situation in both good ways and bad.
posted 10-02-2013 18:46
I don't know if it's the people around gazza are the problem. The poor man seems to have a number of serious mental health issues, completely separate from being a footballer that would and do cripple people all the time. it is what makes the whole carnival so fucking exploitative and disgusting. It's like the reality tv output of channel 4 distilled into the continued public dissection of one man.
posted 10-02-2013 19:06
Paul S wrote:
unless he changes his entire life and stops wanting to be the centre of attention.


You make it sound easy, but this is his problem. That "wanting to be the centre of attention" thing is a manifestation of his illness, he can't just choose not to be like that. And I'm not even sure if modern medicine really understands what someone like Gazza has. Terms like "alcoholism", "manic", "bipolar", etc. are thrown about, but our understanding of the human brain is very limited. But clearly he has a problem and it seems that he gets stressed out very easily and turns to alcohol/pills to calm himself. Being in the limelight during his life certainly hasn't helped.
Last Edit: 10-02-2013 19:07:59 by Antonio Pulisao.
posted 10-02-2013 19:07
Gazza has a disease. Free will isn't playing as much of a part here as some people like to think.

It's like telling a manic depressive to cheer up. Gazza needs huge amounts of professional help.
Last Edit: 10-02-2013 19:08:24 by Selected Ambient Works 85-92.
posted 10-02-2013 19:09
Exactly, you can't apply normal logic to the actions of the mentally ill.
  • MsD
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posted 10-02-2013 19:26
To be fair, I don't think Paul S was saying this was easy.

NA/AA put great emphasis on tackling the underlying problems and behaviours that lead to addiction, and self-esteem issues (narcissism stems from low self-esteem) are right up there.

It's incredibly hard, but addicts have to take one path or the other.
posted 11-02-2013 05:27
Quite so, Paul was not being pat about Gascoigne. And I think Paul has insights gained from personal experiences on the subject of mental health and alcohol abuse; I doubt that he would trade in flippancy on these subjects.
posted 11-02-2013 13:26
Fair enough, I may have misread the tone! Apologies if so. We refuse to use smiley faces on OTF, long may it continue :)
  • garcia
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posted 11-02-2013 15:42
The poor man seems to have a number of serious mental health issues, completely separate from being a footballer that would and do cripple people all the time. it is what makes the whole carnival so fucking exploitative and disgusting.


in the case of evans and baker, surely it is important that that was happening 16 or 17 years ago. gascoigne was young, still strong, nothing like the physical and mental wreck he is now. anybody who would go drinking with paul gascoigne now is a vulture, but back then he was a young guy having a good time with other young guys. if everyone was to adopt the principle of not drinking with people who might be alcoholics there would be a lot of lonely drinking going on.

even if you had realised then that he had the makings of a serious drink problem - and i think all the signs were there - maybe you would optimistically assume that he'll... well, not grow out of it exactly, but that he will pull back from the edge before it ruins him. the way evans himself eventually did. but poor gascoigne just doesn't have the wherewithal. he can't cope with quietness and he has no peace of mind.
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posted 11-02-2013 20:53
Quite so, Paul was not being pat about Gascoigne. And I think Paul has insights gained from personal experiences on the subject of mental health and alcohol abuse; I doubt that he would trade in flippancy on these subjects.


You're quite right G-man I do. I have used alcohol unwisely in the past to cope with problems whilst not realising they make it worse. And I do have insights into mental health both myself and through other people and it takes time to realise what you are and why. It's a difficult journey - but quite a fruitful one as well. It depends how you approach it.
  • Paul S
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posted 08-03-2013 11:14
Apparently he's heading back to the UK after checking out of his rehab clinic in the U.S.

Gascoigne flying home

You can't rehabilitate someone in just a month - it takes years, sometimes longer. I think all this has done is to delay the inevitable.
posted 08-03-2013 11:23
Be sure to keep us up to date, Paul.
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