Chip in For Gaza: The cynical Sun hijacks England and Paul Gascoigne
HAVING turned Paul Gascoinge’s health into a pun-heavy campaign – “Chip in For Gazza” – the self-promoting Sun leads with more news of its “HELP FOR HERO“. For the fifth day in week, Gazza is on the Sun’s front page:
“England’s £40k For Gazza”
ENGLAND stars and FA chiefs last night answered The Sun’s call to arms by giving £40,000 to help save stricken Paul Gascoigne’s life.
Is that a lot to give?
We appealed yesterday to Three Lions aces as alcoholic Gazza, 45, faced huge US hospital and rehab bills. They quickly rallied in support of the legend, who famously wept during England’s 1990 World Cup semi.
Club England managing director Adrian Bevington said: “We’ll do whatever it takes to help.”
Whatever it takes? Do all ex-players stricken by alcoholism get such support? No.
The Football Association and Three Lions stars, rallied by skipper Steven Gerrard, stumped up just hours after The Sun issued an appeal urging players to chip in.
It was the Sun wot dunnit. Only, without the Sun’s involvement, Paul Gascoigne was being helped by Chris Evans, Gary Lineker, Piers Morgan and the grandstanding Ronnie Irani. He was also being helped by medically trained doctors and nurses.
Their contribution — donated via the national team’s official charity — stood at £40,000 last night. That was in addition to £5,000 thrown into the pot by wonderkid Jack Wilshere and further donations from aces John Terry, Frank Lampard and Wayne Rooney.
So. They are not giving specifically to Gascoinge. We recall the words of Rio Ferdinand when asked about getting paid when playing for England:
“I think it should be a privilege, but in the England team, we give all of our money to charity. And we don’t get paid what we get paid playing for our clubs – let me just remind you of that. It’s not a large amount, and the money we get through our match fees now go into good causes that we disperse among loads of different charities. So it’s a step in the right direction I think.”
The England Footballers Foundation was established in 2007 when the players decided to donate all of their England match fees and time to good causes. This was the start of a lasting legacy for future England squads to come.
So, the England players’ largesse is nothing new. Mr Bevington is, however, willing to chip in to the Sun:
“The FA and England football team will do whatever it takes to help Paul Gascoigne’s recovery. On behalf of the FA and the current England squad, we pledge our support. We are putting £40,000 into the fund to continue his treatment and help him moving forward. He’s a hugely important person in English football and loved by all the players. Rest assured the England team and FA will collectively play our part in helping Paul through this difficult time. He’s one of our greatest ever players and a hero to the squad.”
And you thought Help 4 Heroes was about soldiers returning from battle. It’s also about an ex-Newcastle United, Spurs, Lazio, Everton, Middlesborough and Glasgow Rangers footballer.
Amid all the syrup for Gazza, a few words from QPR’s Joey Barton:
And all those that publicly donated can say, ‘Hey, I tried to help…’ No you didn’t, you used a dying mans struggle to leverage your image!
He makes a good point, albeit with a heavy hand. But the money can’t hurt. But does having your health and ‘death’ talked about in the national press help?