ENGLAND legend Paul Gascoigne has described “the pain” of knowing he might start drinking again even though he recognises it might kill him – and has turned his addictive personality to an addiction to sweets.
A new documentary about the former England footballer reveals he is now addicted to the sweet treats, and that he spends £1,000 a year on anti-wrinkle jabs to counteract the ravages of drinking.
Gascoigne, who played for teams including Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur, was followed by a film crew for three months for an ITV documentary after his return from a treatment clinic in the United States where he overheard doctors say he might die.
The 46-year-old told the filmmakers: “I just remember one bit after the third day of being in hospital when he said ‘I don’t think this guy is going to make it’ and I sort of put my head up a little bit and I was like, tubes in my arms and an oxygen tank injecting round my heart and lungs and that. I just come forward and I went ‘I don’t want to die I need to water the plants’ and that was it and then I woke up two weeks later.”
Gascoigne, who describes himself as “an addictive personality”, said: “With me now if I did have a drink and relapse, it’s like becoming tipsy and merry is okay for a couple of days but like the next mouthful I’m so down, I’m so depressed, I cry. I do all that because I know inside I’m hurting myself again. I know where I’m heading, a wooden box. Or I’m back in treatment or hospital. Or getting sectioned.”
ONLY mad dogs and English football teams go out in the midday sun – domestic football needs a shake-up if England are to compete at the Qatar World Cup, say researchers.
The 2022 season will have to be cut short, and England will need to travel to Qatar at least a month in advance, if they are to stand any chance of success at the World Cup, according to sports science experts at the University of Bedfordshire.
The results of testing in simulated conditions close to a Qatari summer show that England need to head out to the country as soon as possible, as well as adjust their playing style to a slower game.
Former FA employees and member of England’s Italia ’90 backroom staff, Professor John Brewer, who now heads the department, said: “Physical performance and decision-making will be impaired in hot conditions.
“The research we have done in our environmental chamber has involved simulating the demands of football matches in environments that come close to replicating conditions in Qatar.
“The results are unsurprising; but we’ve also found that players’ bodies could adapt to the extreme conditions if the squad arrives in Qatar early enough.
“In order for this to happen, the FA would need to look at the fixture calendar, in conjunction with the Premier League, to ensure players can finish the domestic season in very good time. England then need to meet up as a team and travel to Qatar at least four weeks in advance to acclimatise to the temperature and play some preparation games.”
He added: “The high-tempo game we see in the Premier League on a regular basis may not be the type of football that can be sustained for 90 minutes or extra-time and penalties in a World Cup.
“If you like to see a style of play that sees the ball being passed around at a lower-tempo, then I think that’s what we’ll see in Qatar.
“England will need to modify their tactics as countries used to playing at a low-tempo in hot conditions will hold an advantage.”
TWITTER addict and professional footballer Rio Ferdinand has managed to boost his stats on the latest FIFA game after moaning about his in-game profile online.
The Manchester United and England defender hit out after the developers tweeted his vitals over the social network – bemoaning his lack of pace.
He said: “I can’t believe you guys.Pace 60.ok I am not as quick as I once was but Im quicker than that!! 70 at least!”
In response, the game’s Twitter account souped up @rioferdy5’s stats, giving him 85 for pace and upping his stats in other areas too.
Now that’s klout!
ON THE RADAR – Zlatan Ibrahimovic CURRENT SIDE – Paris St Germain POSSIBLE PREM TEAMS – Chelsea, Manchester City THE LOWDOWN – News today is that Man Utd striker Wayne Rooney could be snaffled up for a cool £40m by PSG – leaving Sweden’s finest Zlatan Ibrahimovic free to move on.
The nomadic forward has long terrorised defences around Europe but never made it to the Premier League.
But should he be on the move, the rumour mill has ground out the names of Chelsea and Manchester City as potential suitors – although a move back to Italy and AC MIlan is also on the cards, say the papers.
WELCOME to my new transfer target feature, the appallingly-named Premiershipping Forecast.
Goaltastic will be casting its eye over some of the bigger names which could be plying their footballing trade on these shores come August.
Here’s our first… ON THE RADAR – Radamel Falcao CURRENT SIDE – Atletico Madrid POSSIBLE PREM TEAMS – Chelsea, Manchester City THE LOWDOWN – Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone has said he will not bear any grudge if star striker Radamel Falcao decides to seek a new challenge – which he looks likely to.
Falcao has scored 32 goals in 36 appearances in all competitions so far this season and has been linked with a summer move to French side Monaco, as well as – fingers crossed – Manchester City and Chelsea.
The 27-year-old clinical Colombian forward is under contract with Atletico until 2016 – but boss Simeone says said he would give Falcao his blessing if he decides to move.
AN ARTICLE published and then removed from Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley’s business site said his club are talking to Rooney’s agent.
Outgoing Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson revealed recently that Wayne Rooney has handed in a transfer request.
A move to Europe has been suggested as the England striker’s most likely move – but SportsDirect reported “the Magpies have already sounded out Rooney’s agent over a potential move, with United keen to offload the 27-year-old,” adding: “Rooney is seen as a perfect candidate to boost the Magpies’ chances of a top-four tilt next season – and is seen as a man who will be hero-worshipped at St James’ Park.”
The article has now been replaced with an apology.