Football: Ex-Man United goalkeeper calls for help for troubled Gascoigne

LONDON (AFP) - Former Manchester United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel has urged the Professional Footballers' Association to help troubled former England midfielder Paul Gascoigne overcome his personal problems.

Gascoigne, 45, has been battling alcoholism and drug abuse for the past decade.

"This is not fun watching. Gazza needs help. Come on PFA & (PFA chief executive) Gordon Taylor, time to step up," Schmeichel wrote on Twitter after Gascoigne's agent Terry Baker told BBC radio on Saturday that the former Newcastle United, Tottenham, Lazio and Rangers star urgently needs help.

After photos appeared in the tabloid media showing Gascoigne looking the worse for wear at a charity appearance, Schmeichel added: "We are all responsible for how we live our lives. But that doesn't mean we can't step in and help, and I think the footballing community, as the family we at times claim to be, must do more to help Gazza and others like him.

"Instead of getting great deals on cars & other luxury goods for members, PFA should commit more time and funds to help the like of Gazza.

"So what if he's had help before and has messed it up, does that mean that we just give up on him? He needs help, they should be there to provide that for him, regardless."

Baker said Gascoigne, seen looking bloated and dishevelled in Britain's Sunday Mirror newspaper, must get help.

"I heard from Paul this evening (Saturday) and my best assessment would be - and I've told him this - he immediately needs to get some help," said Baker.

He added Gascoigne had seemed "fairly incoherent" when they spoke.

"Maybe no one can save him," added Baker. "His life's always in danger because he is an alcoholic, as he says."