Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Gazza: How to Make a Bad Situation Worse

If you know someone who's at the end of their tether and on the brink of suicide what would you do? In the case of Terry Venables and Paul Gascoigne, Venables has told his story to The Sun. He says...

"I have thought long and hard about doing this piece about a person I regard as my friend. I don't want to be a grass and I don't want to look like a hanger on, leeching off Gazza's notoriety... Whether this is the right way forward, I don't know. But I believe shocking Paul into the truth and into the gravity of his situation might help."

So a man who threatened to kill himself a few days ago is going to be helped by appearing on the front page of The Sun. What a shameless betrayal by a so-called friend. I have always thought Terry Venables was a thoroughly decent bloke. No longer.

I wonder how many pieces of silver he received for this article. Normally, if there is no payment, this is made clear at the end, or there's a sentence saying the fee had been donated to charity. Not in this case.

UPDATE: Several people in the comments have mentioned that Terry Venables has paid for Gazza's treatment at the Priory. Obviously that's a wonderful thing for him to have done and he deserves full praise for it. I still don't think this Sun piece helps.


Anonymous said...

Careful before you criticise Iain. Venables is also paying for all Gazza's rehab at the Priory, & has been for the last few years.

Johnny Norfolk said...

People should grow out of football by the time thay are 30 at the latest. This is another reason why. Its a horrible world of overpaid people who quite frankl;ey I would not give the time of day to.

Anonymous said...

It seems that Dr Lineker's assessment of Gazza vs West Germany back in 1990 was not only early but accurate.

Anonymous said...

Next time you're on Youtube, check out Eamon Dunphy's rant on RTE against Venables. Classic.

Venables always got good press because he apparently used to let journos have evenings out at his nightclub.

Anonymous said...

Sir Alex Ferguson was being interviewed on Sky yesterday suggesting that if Gazza had gone to Man Utd instead of Spurs then he wouldn't have had all the problems that have dogged him in his life since, and that the likes of Bryan Robson and Paul McGrath would have sorted him out. Yup, he'd NEVER have become an alcoholic keeping that kind of company...

Kevin F said...

Paul Gascoigne is an alcoholic. He will not stop drinking until he or his body can't take any more.

The sad reality of addiction is that his brain craves alcohol but his body is allergic to it. The fact that he is an ex-footballer is totally irrelevant.

I wouldn't be too hard on Terry Venables who is desperately trying to save his friend from himself. However, I know from my own experience of trying to live with and control an alcoholic's behaviour that it's totally futile. Perhaps Venables is close to that point too. Paul Gascoigne will not give up drink until it kills him or he finds that life with drink is intolerable - even worse than life without it.

Anonymous said...

"I have thought long and hard about doing this piece..."

Obviously not long or hard enough...

Anonymous said...

the best thing that could happen to Gazza would be every tabloid printing a large 'Wanted' poster with his name on it, to be displayed in every bar and off-licence in the UK, reading 'DO NOT SERVE THIS MAN'.

Anonymous said...

And now you're trying to make money out of the Gascoigne story as well.

Don't tell us you produce this blog for nothing.


Anonymous said...

I think the programme, 'Celebrity Re-Hab'(FIVER on Sky, sunday/thursday 9.00) will answer any and all questions on either a drunk, drug abuser or a suicidal person (all have suicidal thoughts).This is a compulsive programme to watch (no pun intended).

I haven't read the report but I believe in idea of Venables being a friend. He is not Gazza's enemy.

In the programme set in Pasedena, California, stars are comng off drink and drugs.

One guy (taxi+grease, main star)attempted to kill himself 27 times.

The Professor running the centre is saying that an abuser coming off all vices and then going 'cold turkey' has the sensation and instruction by his brain that someone is trying to kill him and the only help and cure is to abuse.
This why prescribed drugs are used to offset cold turkey ad the pain that goes with it.Opening a door handle caused extreme pain to Jeff Conway.

A potential suicide victim and I emphasise the word 'victim', will most likely cry wolf a few times and most certainly in public with an audience.

When that is no longer a viable avenue, the person will quietly suicide and go unnnoticed for hours or even days.

I am stunned to hear above that Terry is paying for gazza's re-hab.That is the first time I've heard that and I am speechless at this act for his friend.

Believe me, anything to stop a suicide is worthwhile, absolutely anything. It does not matter if your worst enemy stops the suicide and itdoesn't matter by what means are used.Take it from me, anything at all.

As with alchohol and drugs combined with a feeling of suicide, they are all linked and the only person who can stop this is the person themselves. They have to be willing to stop themselves from harming and it does not matter what you have to say about it. The bottom line is that individual.

Terry Venebales has a feeling of desperation because he knows it is closer than everyone think it is.

Personally, I'm watching the inevitable unfold and the only chance Paul Gascoigne has got is that he is sectioned.

100% great move.

Alex said...

Iain, I suggest you read the article in today's Telegraph before you criticise Venables. For all the column inches they have had from Gascoigne on the past, I don't see any mention of New International helping him now.

"It has emerged that, contrary to claims that he had been abandoned by his sport, his previous spells in the Priory rehabilitation clinic have been funded by people in football.

His former Spurs and England manager Mr Venables was one of several who paid for his recent stays at the centre.

The Football Association and the Professional Footballers’ Association, as well as his former clubs Tottenham and Newcastle, have also helped fund his treatment.

Mr Venables said: “I can’t let it run and run until we all end up at his funeral."'

Anonymous said...

"I have always thought Terry Venables was a thoroughly decent bloke."

He's a charmer but I am curious as why you think he's decent. Like Harry Redknapp he'd do almost anything for a few quid.

Anonymous said...

They're footballers (or were). What do you expect? Morals? Public decency? They are overpaid scum.

Anonymous said...

Iain, I think your words are too harsh. Intervention sometimes works - isn't it worth a try if it saves Gazza from self-destruction?

The parents of Amy Winehouse have the same problem. What can they do to save her from herself?

I think you should be careful about casting such harsh judgements in cases like this.

Barnsley Bill said...

El Tel the cheque book manager strikes again. The man who took Lineker out of England deserves no praise for anything. The Sun will have paid him for this story and whether or not he is paying for gazzas treatment or not is irrelevant. How will this story help that poor mad soul.
Sickening exploitation.

Anonymous said...

what a typically old style tory over-reaction to a complex situation.

you have no idea about the hell gazza's friends and family are going through.

venables is a decent bloke who has done so much for gazza already. you owe him a huge apology.

Mark Hanson said...

I don't often post in here but am very upset about the Gazza situation.

The whole media circus is becoming a freak show and I've long since got to the point where I feel Gazza just needs to be kept away from his usual environment and in intensive treatment for as long as possible.

This is no showbiz rehab escapade its a serious illness just as life threatening and as distressing as a brain tumour in slow motion and on the front of the Daily Star most days. Every collapse and every loss of dignity is 'papped'.

If its true that Terry V is paying for his rehab then I take my hat off but I have to say that he and a lot of the football circuit has way way way over indulged Gazza.

And yes, Venners is the king soccer spin doctor

Matthew Cain said...

You thought Venables was a "thoroughly decent bloke"? I would suggest Harry Harris' biography, for starters.

Anonymous said...

People in glass houses...

Anonymous said...

I think you owe Venables an apology.

Gary Mabbutt and Venables have been working together as two of the people organising Gazza's trips in and out of clinics/hospital and arranging specialists visits for him.

Mabbutt went on 5Live (I was listening but can't remember, it may have been on Mayo on Moday) and mentioned that they had only decided to talk to the public about Gazza at this point, since they felt they had to say how serious it was. Mabbutt said he had turned down numerous interviews since the first sectioning.

I think the timing of Venables' piece therefore might be an orchestrated decision to help Gazza in an intervention manner.

I wonder if you'll follow this opinion piece up in the light of other comments below?

Anonymous said...

Isn't Venables a regular writer for the Sun? If so I doubt that this article got extra money, it's just that this story (and V's column) have moved from the back pages to the front.

Anonymous said...

Mark Hanson makes a stunning, if not entirely meant, comment.

'Gazza should be taken out of his environment'.

First of all, Gazza,is his own environement, he just sometimes plays it out on the public stage.

Mexico, Tokyo or Sydney Austrailia, Paul Gascoigne takes his addiction with him wherever he goes, 24/7.

He is the problem, but the key factor is that he hasn't bottomed out.Being sectioned on Prime Time news throughout Europe is enough for most, but not for Paul, it appears.

He aknowledges the hurt he is causing his family he can't help them. His drug was not football, as some are caiming, it was International football and being the leading man on the biggest of all stages.

Drink, at least, has replaced that void and he is not yet ready to end his addiction on his own accord.

Paul Gascoigne is an alchoholic and maybe even a drug user. He could be a potential suicide in waiting.

It is much more than that though. He is an addict.

An addict. That is his vice and he has to abstain from being an addict.

Iain, I'd like you to walk away from the Conservative Party and from politics in its entirety. I'd ask you to walk away from any and all situations throughout your life where politics is mentioned. If you can't and a conversation of politics is raised, I'd like you to not join in and politely refuse to voice an opinion.Could you do it? Under Doctor's orders? For your family?For the closest person in your life?

Paul Gascoigne is being asked to do similar, but he can't make that simple commitment.

Simple commitment. Simple isn't it?

Anonymous said...

Johnny Norfolk, it's not a football story, it's a mental health story. You boorish idiot.

Johnny Norfolk said...

Andy c

What childish remark, as you would expect from a football 'supporter'.

It a horrible game played, run and supported in the main by horrible people.

There are a few exceptions, but not many.

Anonymous said...

What a subtle way to cash in on another man's misery, Iain.

Or is this just you determined to be part of every big story so you increase your chances of getting namechecked in the papers?

Anonymous said...

In 1998 Terry Venables (the "decent bloke") was banned from being a director of any company on the basis of: "bribery, lying, deception, manipulation of accounts and taking money that should have been given to creditors".

Ted said...

Gascoigne is lucky in his friends, who I think will have discussed their actions before going public with his psychiatrist. He could have ended up in an NHS Mental ward but instead is in the Priory, which is a great hospital for people suffering psychiatric problems (the addiction clinic is for voluntary admission not people sectioned under the Mental Health Act).

Anonymous said...

Johnny N,

Let me guess, rugby's your game?