Paul Gascoigne has been receiving treatment in intensive care in the US after being taken ill at a rehabilitation clinic in Arizona, although Gary Mabbutt, his friend and former Tottenham Hotspur team-mate, has allayed fears his life is in danger.
Gascoigne, 45, booked into the clinic to help his battle against alcohol addiction but he suffered a bad reaction to a detox treatment and was admitted to hospital for observation. Mabbutt, who is in contact with Gascoigne's medical team, said the former England footballer was recovering and there were plans for him to return to the clinic.
"Unfortunately over the last few weeks Paul has had a relapse, which culminated finally, last Monday, in Paul asking for help," Mabbutt said. "By Monday afternoon he was on a plane out to Arizona to a clinic specialising in dealing with Paul's specific problems.
"The first thing he underwent was a detox. Unfortunately, Paul had a very bad reaction to the detox and the clinic decided that as a precaution it was best to transfer him to hospital.
"He was transferred to intensive care where they could monitor him 24-7. But I spoke to Paul's medical team in the UK this morning, they had spoken to Paul and he's recovering and hopefully soon he will be back into the clinic to continue his rehab. Over the years he has had a lot of support from the football family, but of course it could be a long road to recovery. Now Paul's asked for the help, we can focus on getting through this."
Gary Lineker, Gascoigne's former England and Spurs team-mate, tweeted on Sunday morning: "Gazza is struggling, Let's hope he can hang on in there. Others have generously offered help. #GetwellGazza."
TalkSPORT presenter and former England cricketer Ronnie Irani and Radio 2 presenter Chris Evans, a long-term friend of Gascoigne, organised his flight to the centre in Phoenix. That move was prompted by Gascoigne breaking down in tears in front of a room full of fans at a charity appearance in Northampton.
Irani said: "I had a chat with Chris Evans and he just asked how we could help him. We knew we just had to get him on this flight, out to the [treatment centre] in Phoenix, we just had to get him on the plane. I called British Airways and explained the situation, that we had to get him out to Phoenix to get him some help. He needs it, and if not, who knows what's going to happen?"