Football

Gascoigne hails 'lifesaver' Sir Bobby

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Former England midfielder Paul Gascoigne has credited the late Sir Bobby Robson with saving his life.

Gascoigne told The Sun that Sir Bobby had helped him in his battle against alcoholism, drug addiction and mental illness, and said he regarded his former England manager as a "second dad".

"If it wasn't for Sir Bobby, I wouldn't be here now. My family and my football family, people like Bobby, have saved me," he said.

Sir Bobby, who also led clubs including Newcastle, Ipswich and Barcelona, died at his home in County Durham last month, at the age of 76, after a long fight against cancer.

Gascoigne saw his mentor for the last time just five days before his death, at a football match to raise money for his cancer charity, the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.

The match was intended as a re-run of the World Cup semi-final in 1990 when West Germany beat Sir Bobby's England team on penalties.

Gascoigne famously burst into tears in that match when he earned a yellow card that would have ruled him out of the final.

The 42-year-old ex-midfielder recalled a "low point" last year when he was in a "real pit of despair" and Sir Bobby had rushed to his side.

"He was always there for me, whatever sort of trouble I was in," he said.

"I called out for help and he didn't hesitate for one minute. He came along to see me at the hotel. He didn't lecture me or tell me I had to pull myself together, we just talked football. It must have done the trick because I went straight from there to rehab and pulled myself around."

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Topics:
Ipswich Town
Football
Championship
Paul Gascoigne

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