My dad died with multiple complications but one of them was long term alcohol use. He thought that because he stuck to beer, not spirits, and drank socially rather than home alone he was 'doing what everyone does'. He was never a nasty or violent man. He was a good man. He overcame many personal difficulties and never lost a day's work due to a hangover. However, he was in denial about the impact of his alcohol use until it was too late. Having said that, he made it to 70 and had no serious discernible liver damage. I dare anyone to tell me that he was a waste of space because he drank. I'm not saying it didn't affect our family life. It did but it didn't make him a bad person.
In many ways, I feel sorry for Gazza because the chances of him making it to 70 are pretty slim. Even less so the chances of him being happy and well at 70. It's always sad to see an icon unravel. My sympathy wanes somewhat with regard to his episodes of domestic violence and his disregard for his own kids (Regan, especially, as he was the youngest and has quite a bit of justifiable anger towards him). As I said above, no amount of alcohol ever made my dad violent or nastily abusive and I always felt I was loved very much, despite my dad's failings with drinking. It must be awful for the loved ones who have to endure the extreme end and I feel it for some of the people writing in this thread.