Paul Gascoigne today paid an emotional tribute to fans, pals and professionals who have rallied round to support him in his latest battle with booze.
As the former England legend went into rehab in the US, he thanked cricketer Ronnie Irani, DJ Chris Evans and ex-team-mate Gary Lineker for funding his £6,000 a week therapy in a bid to vanquish his demons.
Bosses at the Providence Project in Bournemouth wher Gazza as been treated, tweeted: “Thank you for all your support in helping Paul Gascoigne.
"He is truly grateful. Big thank you to Ronnie Irani for helping it happen.”
The centre said former Spurs, Newcastle and Rangers star Gascoigne, 45, had been sober 18 months but fell off the wagon.
It added: “He recently relapsed and unfortunately both his physical and mental health deteriorated very quickly.
“We agreed that it would be best to enter a rehab programme abroad.
“Paul has also received great support from his friends. When battling any addiction, never stop trying.
"It might be the toughest fight of your life, but it’s worth it. And you’re worth it.”
Irani, 41, told how friends leapt into action after they received an SOS text from Radio 2 broadcaster Evans when Gazza was spotted buying booze near his Bournemouth home at 11am.
They spoke to Providence director Paul Spanjar and within hours he was whisked off to Arizona for treatment.
TalkSPORT host Irani said of the financial help: “It is a small gesture from a group of guys but it could be a massive thing for Paul Gascoigne.
“When the text came from Chris, and Paul said Gazza had asked for help, we all felt it was the least we could do.
“Paul is such a great man when he is not having a drink. We all just pray to God he can get back to where he was.”
Irani later tweeted: “The people @The_Provy are truly amazing and have guided Gazza these few years. He trusts and loves them so much. #Gazza #hope.”
New concerns over Gazza’s health emerged last weekend after he appeared at an event barely able to hold the microphone and slurring his words.
Piers Morgan was apparently involved as well and I wondered why the source hadn't mentioned him, but then realised it was the Mirror. (?)
Mods - I tested it and the formatting seems ok?