Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager Terry Butcher has his fingers crossed that good mate Paul Gascoigne is able to beat his alcohol and drug addiction.
The 45-year old former Tottenham and Newcastle United star appeared dishevelled and out of touch at a recent sportsman’s Q&A dinner in Northampton which prompted him to be willingly admitted to a treatment centre in the USA.
Butcher admits it has been hard to see his old England teammate the way he is and wants to do whatever he can to assist the great ‘Gazza’.
“It’s horrific. The video footage seemed like a cry for help to me when he was on that stage. He’s been such a generous guy in the past that you’d expect and hope people would repay that by helping him out now,” he said.
“He’s given so much to his family, they’re the ones now who have to help him out. I watched the video – it was awful. I didn’t watch all of it. When he was slumped against the wall it was heartbreaking.
“I don’t know how much of him slumping was through drink or his body starting to fail him. That’s when you need help. Look at the pictures of him now. He’s thin. His legs are thin on that video and his arms are thin in the pictures in the paper.
“He looks terrible and in the end with the homeless people that’s what happens – their bodies break down and that’s how it goes from bad to worse. It’s tragic to see it.
“Gazza doesn’t deserve it. I’d love to bring him in now and just say, ‘Come and stay with us’ but the problem is you can do so much for a period of time and then he’s got to go away on his own.
“I’m lucky I’ve got a loving wife and great family. Gazza’s got a good family but he’s not had the partner I’ve had and that hasn’t helped him.
“I last spoke to him years ago. We’re not as close as we were before but I speak to Chris Waddle about him. Chris wants to do this and that but Gazza wants to do his own thing so it’s very difficult.”