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Paul Gascoigne travels to U.S. treatment center

Ex-Rangers' player Paul Gascoigne reacts to the supporters' reception for him at half time during their Scottish Premier League soccer match
Ex-Rangers' player Paul Gascoigne reacts to the supporters' reception for him at half time during their Scottish Premier League soccer match

LONDON (Reuters) - Former England midfielder Paul Gascoigne, who has lapsed in his battle with alcoholism, will receive treatment in the United States after "willingly" travelling there, his management company said on Monday.

"Paul has been extremely touched and overwhelmed by the generous offers of help and support over the past few days," GamePlan Solutions said in a statement, adding that Gascoigne was an alcoholic with "complex issues."

"He is motivated to fully understand and control his addiction problem under guidance."

No details about the location of the clinic were given.

Players' union chief Gordon Taylor said earlier on Monday that Gascoigne needed 24-hour attention.

The 45-year-old's agent Terry Baker said at the weekend that Gascoigne needed "immediate help" and called on the English Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) to intervene.

"He sounds as if he needs almost a 24-hour watching brief at the moment," PFA boss Taylor told BBC Radio 5 live.

"It seems as if he needs somebody with him all the time just to make sure that he's looked after and is not going to do anything silly."

Taylor said he had spoken to Gascoigne after the PFA paid for the former Tottenham Hotspur, Lazio and Rangers player to attend a detox program at a well-known clinic for sportsmen suffering from addictions.

"I've spoken to Paul over the weekend and he's said it's just a blip. But it really is down to him. We just don't want this to be another George Best tragedy," he said.

"He does need a big support system and he's got it from lots of friends. But there is a frustration that when things look to be improving, it all goes off wire."

Taylor refuted suggestions by former Manchester United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel on Twitter that the PFA had not done enough to help Gascoigne.

"There isn't a player we've done more for over my time at the PFA," he said.

"In fact, we've been criticized for doing as much as we have, because he has not made the improvements that some of our other members have."

Former Manchester United great Best died after a long struggle with alcoholism in 2005.

(Reporting by Martyn Herman and Tom Pilcher, editing by Mark Meadows and Ed Osmond)

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