I don't buy into the whole national treasure thing. I thought Gazza should have been dropped from the team when it came out that he was a wife beater.
However, as someone who suffers from mental illness, I have a lot of sympathy for his battle with alcoholism and bi polar disorder. This latest binge seems to have come about after he was under stress from losing a friend. For me, food is an addiction. Fortunately that doesn't hurt anyone but myself. But when its combined with a bout of depression I really go off the rails with bingeing so I can understand why he's come off the wagon again. You can have a whole support system out there and people who rely on you too, but unless you have the self esteem to want to look after yourself and try to get better, it's never going to work in the long term. Gazza doesn't need to just dry out. He needs long term therapy to help with those demons. And yes he might relapse every few years or so when his bi polar affects him. There is always hope though. I think he needs a purpose in life and has lost that since his football career ended.
Yorkiegal, you have hit the nail on the head completely.
I was talking to my mum about this the other day and we were both in agreement that he is a very unwell man. Sadly when he was younger, his antics were encouraged. "Oh look he's one of the lads!" Rumours of him turing up for training with booze in a hipflask were treated as a laugh, not a symptom of someone in crisis.
With this in mind, I think football clubs have a duty of care to players. They are young men who are thrust into an extraordinary situation riddled with temptations and pressures. A man like Gazza, who is clearly a troubled person (see his outbursts- both agressive and emotional), should have had a bit more support; though I completely agree that people have to want to get better.