Tag Archives: alcohol

Paul Gascoigne out of rehab and coming home to England

Gazza's coming home! Former England star out of rehab and on his way back from Arizona

By
David Kent

PUBLISHED:

02:05 GMT, 8 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

04:17 GMT, 8 March 2013

Paul Gascoigne will return to England after spending time in rehab in Arizona to deal with his severe alcohol problem.

The 45-year-old, whose celebrity friends came together to fund his 6,000-a-week treatment in the US, had a public meltdown at a charity event in Northampton in January but he has vowed to quit booze.

A source close to Gazza told The Sun: ‘We’re just delighted that Paul’s back on track and coming home, where he can get back into his routine of doing the things he enjoys – without the booze getting in the way ever again.'

Emotional: Paul Gascoigne suffered a public meltdown in Northampton

Emotional: Paul Gascoigne suffered a public meltdown in Northampton

The source added: 'He’s been in good hands out there
and he’s worked really hard over the past month to get where he is. We
were as shocked as anyone to see how bad things had got for Paul, and so
we’re just grateful that so many people stood by him like they did.

'We couldn’t have have got him back to good health again without their help.'

After his appearance in Northampton, video footage also emerged of the former Tottenham midfielder at the depths of his alcoholism and mental torment.

Rehab: Gascoigne has since been flown to America for treatment

Rehab: Gascoigne has since been flown to America for treatment

He was drinking two litres of
gin and 15 cans of Stella Artois a day before he was rushed to rehab, a former friend claimed.

One
time housemate Shane Abbott, 36, has also said he was taking up to 30 antidepressant Valium pills a day and
injecting cocaine.

He was rushed
to intensive care from the Cottonwood Clinic in Phoenix, Arizona when doctors feared he
could have suffered a major organ failure after having a seizure due to
alcohol withdrawal.

Heyday: Gascoigne was one of the best players of his generation

Heyday: Gascoigne was one of the best players of his generation

Celebrities
such as Chris Evans, Alan Shearer, Alan Sugar and Ronnie Irani have
lent support to a Twitter campaign to raise the 100,000 needed to cover his treatment.

English players Frank Lampard, John
Terry, Wayne Rooney and Jack Wilshere had contributed funds, while FA
Charity the England Footballers Foundation also contributed 40,000 from
the national team.

Gascoigne is expected to be alone for two months during his rehabilitation.

Angus Porter, Professional Cricketers" Association chief, reveals Tom Maynard was not tested for drugs before death

PCA chief Porter reveals Maynard wasn't tested for drugs last season before death

By
Mike Dawes

PUBLISHED:

16:57 GMT, 3 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

16:57 GMT, 3 March 2013

Professional Cricketers' Association chief Angus Porter has revealed Tom Maynard was not drug tested last season before his death in June.

Maynard was killed in the early hours of June 18 after he was electrocuted and hit by a tube train near Wimbledon Park station.

Maynard had been trying to evade police after abandoning his car, and a Westminster Coroners' Court was told last week that he was four-times the legal alcohol limit to drive and that he had also taken cocaine and ecstasy on the night of the accident.

Tragic death: Tom Maynard was not tested for drugs last season

Tragic death: Tom Maynard was not tested for drugs last season

A post-mortem report also revealed the 23-year-old Surrey batsman, who was regarded as a potential England international, had used cocaine for at least three-and-a-half months.

In the wake of the findings the PCA have begun talks with the England and Wales Cricket Board to increase the levels of drug-testing – which would also include out-of-competition samples.

While Porter said Maynard's recreational drug use would have been detected under the current policy – which focuses on performance-enhancing drugs – he confirmed the batsman had not been tested last season.

'We have a drug-testing regime in cricket like those in all professional sports which is primarily focused on detecting performance-enhancing drugs for very obvious reasons,' Porter told BBC Radio Five Live.

Tribute: Maynard is remembered in the pavilion at The Oval

Tribute: Maynard is remembered in the pavilion at The Oval

He added: 'The pattern of drug use in Tom's case suggests he would have been picked up by our existing drugs programme.

'Although the use of recreational drugs outside of competition is not a breach of the anti-doping code, use in competition is a breach.

'So he would have tested for recreational drugs had he been tested in competition. Unfortunately given that is a random process he wasn't tested last year.'

Porter confirmed talks with the ECB to initiate out-of-competition testing were ongoing and that 'hair sampling' was likely to now be used to catch recreational drug users.

Shocking: A post-mortem report revealed that Maynard had been using cocaine for at least three months

Shocking: A post-mortem report revealed that Maynard had been using cocaine for at least three months

'We're in advanced discussions with the England and Wales Cricket Board about implementing a testing programme for drugs out of competition and almost certainly using hair sampling,' he said.

'As the coroner identified that gives you a longer history and a more certain test.

'We need to be clear we are talking about testing, not to catch cheats, but testing to find people who have a drugs problem.

'Therefore, it will be linked with a confidential programme of help, support, advice and if necessary treatment to get them back on the right path.'

Porter also promised to 'redouble' efforts to educate players on the issues associated with drug taking.

At the inquest: Maynard's former Surrey team-mates Jade Dernbach and Rory Hamilton-Brown (below)

At the inquest: Maynard's former Surrey team-mates Jade Dernbach and Rory Hamilton-Brown (below)

Friend: Rory Hamilton-Brown goes into the inquest

'We work very hard to make sure that all players understand both the challenges they face as professionals and also understand the risks that go with those and the issues associated with being in the public eye,' he said.

'We'll be redoubling our efforts in that respect to make sure they are educated and have access to help when they need it.

'If we are going to turn this in to a positive in any way it's that the things we are wrestling with are ones that are challenges for society at large. If we can draw attention to those challenges then that will be a good thing.'

Ricky Hatton feels pain of defeat

Tears follow tragic mistake that turned into an ordeal for brave Hatton

|

UPDATED:

01:01 GMT, 25 November 2012

Reality dawned deep into the ninth round. A left hook to the body stripped away the layers of self-delusion.

It ended the fight and it ended the unwisely extended career of Ricky Hatton.

He finished on his knees, gulping for breath, betraying the pain.

Sad end: Ricky Hatton after being counted out

Sad end: Ricky Hatton after being counted out

The tears began to flow, and Saturday night Manchester wept with him. His face was swollen, a purple bruise consuming his right eye.

He looked a broken fighter, a brutally broken man.

Vyacheslav Senchenko, at 35 a year older than Hatton, a smooth technician yet not a notoriously heavy puncher.

Body blow: Vyacheslav Senchenko knocks Ricky Hatton out with a body shot

Body blow: Vyacheslav Senchenko knocks Ricky Hatton out with a body shot

He is not a man equipped to take out a former world champion with a single body shot.

Yet you sensed that he had simply inflicted retribution for the life that Hatton had led during his three-and-a-half years of retirement.

Cocaine, depression, alcohol abuse, wanton excess; the list is notoriously long. And they all came rushing to the surface when Senchenko threw that shot.

Hatton had given his all in the only way he knows. His timing was helplessly astray, his ability to sustain pressure was sadly reduced.

But he came forward incessantly, despite being a caricature of the fighter he used to be.

Rough and tumble: The fighters fall to the canvas

Rough and tumble: The fighters fall to the canvas

Fighters are the most self-deluding of sportsmen, yet in the abject moments of defeat, Hatton seemed to glimpse the inevitable.

'I keep picking me a*** up off the floor,' he said. 'I don't know how many times I can do it. I'm not a failure, me. I'm not a failure. I'm so sorry, so sorry.'

But the words were spoken from a face which was taking on gargoyle proportions.

Even a light-punching welterweight can inflict depressing damage, and Senchenko had revealed a craftsman's style.

Bruised and battered: Ricky Hatton after the fight

Bruised and battered: Ricky Hatton after the fight

Hatton had gone through his routine in the manner of an old music-hall artist; knowing the lines, reacting to the cues.

From the grotesque choreography of the ring walk to the all-action, fast-punching, not-a-backward-step style, he had demanded the applause of 20,000 Mancunians, many of them quite sober.

But all the time you remembered that this was the man who had swollen his body to 15 and a half stones, and had then been required to lose half of his body weight to re-enter the ring.

Of course, he had little to offer in terms of endurance and punch tolerance. And yet, the ending still held the power to shock, as his legs betrayed him and his lungs refused to suck in the air.

The end: But will Ricky Hatton consider trying to fight on

The end: But will Ricky Hatton consider trying to fight on

The flatterers were already whispering as he left the ring.

Senchenko was a tough choice for the first fight back. Perhaps an easier opponent next time, working slowly to another title shot

But it was nonsense, dangerous nonsense. The comeback was a tragic mistake, the fight a terrible ordeal.

The career is over. And Ricky Hatton knows it, better than anyone.

Paul Gascoigne to miss Lazio v Tottenham

Gazza to miss Lazio v Spurs clash despite invite to return to his old stamping ground

|

UPDATED:

14:58 GMT, 19 November 2012

Paul Gascoigne looks unlikely to attend Thursday's Europa League clash between two of his former clubs, Lazio and Tottenham.

Gascoigne became a cult hero at Spurs after four successful years at White Hart Lane and he then went on to achieve similar status at Lazio after moving to the Italian capital in 1992.

Legend: Gascoigne at Lazio (above) and at Tottenham (below)

Legend: Gascoigne at Lazio (above) and at Tottenham (below)

Legend: Gascoigne at Lazio (above) and at Tottenham (below)

The affection with which he is remembered by the Italian club prompted the club's general manager Maurizio Manzini to immediately invite the 45-year-old to this Thursday's encounter between the two sides when they were drawn together in Group J in August.

But Gascoigne looks set to miss the game as he has already been booked to speak at an event at the Concorde Club in Eastleigh, Southampton, the day after the match.

Rare sighting: Gascoigne appears on TV back in May of this year

Rare sighting: Gascoigne appears on TV back in May of this year

A spokesperson for Gascoigne's management company A1 said: 'As far as we know he is not going (to the match).

'He is working for us on the 23rd at a public speaking function in Southampton so we don't think he will go (to Rome).'

Gascoigne declined an invite to September's reverse fixture at White Hart Lane due to 'personal reasons'.

Remember this Gascoigne volleys home as England beat Scotland at Euro 96

Remember this Gascoigne volleys home as England beat Scotland at Euro 96

Remember this Gascoigne volleys home as England beat Scotland at Euro 96

Gascoigne, who played 57 times for his country, was regarded as the most skilful English player of his generation.

The former Newcastle and Rangers star has struggled to deal with alcohol problems since retirement but his agent said this summer that he had embarked on a health drive.

Danny Care: I don"t think I"ll face citing

After Fiji faux pas, Care says: I don't think I'll face citing

|

UPDATED:

22:13 GMT, 10 November 2012

Danny Care said he does not fear being banned for next week's clash with Australia after getting a yellow card on his return to Twickenham.

The England scrum-half, playing his first international at rugby HQ since he was dropped for last season's Six Nations following a string of alcohol-related disciplinary offences, was sent to the sinbin by referee Glen Jackson for a 'tip tackle' on Fiji lock Leone Nakarawa.

In the bin: referee Jackson punishes Care's 'tip tackle'

In the bin: referee Jackson punishes Care's 'tip tackle'

'I don't think there will be a citing and I don't think there should be,' said Care.

'It wasn't that bad. I was unsure
what I'd done wrong. The touch judge said after the game that if any
player's legs are lifted above his head at any time then it is a yellow
or a red card.

'But I thought it was a bit harsh.'

FA can sack England captain in new code of conduct

New code of conduct gives FA right to sack captain in wake of Terry racism row

|

UPDATED:

21:58 GMT, 16 October 2012

The FA's new code of conduct for players includes the power to strip the England captain of the armband.

And all England stars have been warned that the FA reserve the right to ban them indefinitely from international football without the right of appeal.

Last week the national team’s players were presented with the 16-page A5 booklet that includes 33 dos and don’ts concerning ‘respect’, ‘professionalism’ and ‘communication’ for all representatives of the 24 national teams under the FA’s command.

New rules: England boss Roy Hodgson (right) and captain Steven Gerrard (left)

New rules: England boss Roy Hodgson (right) and captain Steven Gerrard (left)

These include:

Alcohol and drugs bans.A total ban on discussing team selection issues outside ‘the group’.No betting on football matches.No room service and a commitment to show respect to hotel staff.A limit on the use of computer games.A request not to wear headphones in media areas to avoid interviews.

After the John Terry captaincy fiasco there is a focus on the importance of the armband, with the Club England board stating that they have the power — over and above the national team manager — to strip a player of the role if they feel he or she is in serious breach of the new code.

Fabio Capello’s tenure as manager ended when he publicly opposed the FA’s decision to take the captaincy off Terry when the Chelsea skipper’s racism trial was delayed until after Euro 2012.

The new code of conduct even makes it clear that Terry could be banned retrospectively from international football, even though he chose to retire last month.

Current captain Steven Gerrard said the code amounted to a ‘common sense’ approach to dealing with disciplinary issues in the future.

Out: The FA stripped John Terry of the England armband over the racism row

Gone: The FA stripped John Terry of the England armband over the racism row

Key messages are delivered on the inside front and back covers of the booklet.

In large white type against a red background the inside front cover states: ‘Players representing England are ambassadors for their country and role models for younger players. The highest standards of conduct and behaviour are therefore expected at all times, including when players are not on international duty.’ On the inside back cover it says: ‘The position of England captain is a privileged position, which carries with it additional expectations and responsibilities.’

The document, entitled ‘Club England Player Code of Conduct’, has three sections: A) Standards of conduct required at all times, B) Club England values while on international duty and C) Procedures in the event of alleged breach of the code.

On the captaincy it says: ‘The captain of each team is under increased scrutiny and is expected to be a role model to the rest of the squad and in his or her compliance with the code. The captaincy may be removed from a player by the Club England management board in the event that his or her conduct does not meet the standards required for the role. The head coach retains the right to change the captaincy irrespective of any breach of the code.’

There is a major focus on the use of social network sites like Twitter and Facebook, and a ban on ‘all forms of discrimination’.

I quit: Fabio Capello, now Russia manager, left England over FA interference

I quit: Fabio Capello, now Russia manager, left England over FA interference

There is also an insistence that there is ‘no disclosure of confidential information about any aspect of playing for England’.

While on international duty, players are told to ‘respect hotel staff at all times’. They must also avoid betting ‘on any football matches’ and requests that players ‘only use a sensible amount of time playing video or computer games’.

It adds: ‘Mobile phones in the meal-room, dressing-room and on the team bus is at the discretion of the Head Coach.’ The document calls for players to share the responsibility of media commitments, while there has also been a verbal request not to wear headphones in media areas as a ploy to avoid interviews.

If there is a breach, an investigation will be carried out by Club England. ‘All players must comply with investigation,’ it states. If a breach is found, there is the ‘option of sanctions’.

‘4.1: issuing an oral or written warning to the player

‘4.2: determining that the player shall not be eligible for selection for a specific number of matches or specific period.

‘4.3: determining that the player shall not be eligible for an indefinite period.’

It adds: ‘Any decision of the Club England Board is final. There is no right of appeal.’

Ian Thorpe suffered crippling depression through career

Swimming legend Thorpe afflicted by 'crippling depression' through career

|

UPDATED:

08:37 GMT, 13 October 2012

Australian swimming great Ian Thorpe has opened up about living with 'crippling depression' throughout his career.

In excerpts from an upcoming biography, the five-time Olympic champion has revealed the illness was so bad at times he thought of suicide.

The 30-year-old said there were times in his life that made him 'shudder' at what he might have done as he planned potential places to end his life, although he was quick to add he is still uncertain whether he could have gone through with it.

Admission: Ian Thorpe says he has suffered from depression

Admission: Ian Thorpe says he has suffered from depression

And Thorpe – one of Australia's most recognised sports people – also revealed that at some of the worst times he turned to alcohol in a bid to quell the thoughts running about his head.

'It was the only way I could get to sleep,' revealed Thorpe in an extract from his upcoming book This Is Me: The Autobiography.

'It didn't happen every night, but there were numerous occasions, particularly between 2002 and 2004 as I trained to defend my Olympic titles in Athens, that I abused myself this way – always alone and in a mist of disgrace.'

Thorpe said he was able to hide the effects of alcohol from team-mates and coaches and continued to enjoy one of the best periods of his career, despite his private battle with depression.

Disguise: Thorpe felt he could hide the truth from his colleagues

Disguise: Thorpe felt he could hide the truth from his colleagues

The swimmer said he also felt the need to stay silent about his depression, thinking it was a 'character flaw'.

As a result he has never spoken about it to his parents.

'Not even my family is aware that I've spent a lot of my life battling what I can only describe as a crippling depression,' he wrote.

'Now I realise it's time to be open.

'I need to talk to them about it…I know how Mum will react; she'll cry and ask me why I didn't tell her and then she'll tell me how proud she is that I've finally talked about it.

'Dad is different. I'm not sure how he'll react. I know it'll take time for him to come to terms with it and how it fits in with his religious beliefs.

'I hope it does because family means a lot to me.'

Ricky Hatton faces Vyacheslav Senchenko in Manchester on November 24

Hatton to make comeback against ex-world champion Senchenko in Manchester

|

UPDATED:

11:01 GMT, 28 September 2012

Ricky Hatton has confirmed that his comeback fight on November 24 will be against Ukrainian Vyacheslav Senchenko.

Hatton, who is coming out of retirement following a three-and-a-half-year exile from the ring, announced that 35-year-old Senchenko would be his first opponent in a welterweight clash at the Manchester Arena.

Largely unknown on British shores, Senchenko is a former world welterweight champion, losing the belt in his last bout – his first career loss – to American Paulie Malignaggi.

Back in action: Ricky Hatton will fight Vyacheslav Senchenko in Manchester in November

Back in action: Ricky Hatton will fight Vyacheslav Senchenko in Manchester in November

That was his first defeat in his 33rd fight, losing to a man Hatton himself beat in his penultimate match-up before retirement. His next outing was his well-publicised hammering by Manny Pacquiao, a setback which sent him on a downward spiral that saw him encounter problems with alcohol and drugs.

After a lengthy absence from the ring he confirmed his retirement last year, only to announce two weeks ago that he was returning to the ring.

This will be Senchenko's first fight in England and he fights outside Ukraine for just the fourth time in his career.

Comeback: Hatton's first fight since announcing his return is set to be a sell-out

Comeback: Hatton's first fight since announcing his return is set to be a sell-out

Should Hatton come through against the the Ukrainian, a rematch with Malignaggi could be on the cards.

Hatton said: 'I can’t wait to get in the ring now and I’m sure that Vyacheslav Senchenko will give me a good fight. It’s one that I am confident I can win though.

'Senchenko lost the last time he fought to Paulie Malignaggi but he has got a good pedigree. I’m in great shape, I’m feeling good and I know I can put on a performance for all those watching.

'I’m a boxer who loves boxing and loves to box. I’m driven by a hunger to box and look forward to getting back in the ring on the 24th.'

Last time out: Manny Pacquiao looked to have ended Hatton's career when he knocked him out in 2009

Last time out: Manny Pacquiao looked to have ended Hatton's career when he knocked him out in 2009

The undercard will feature several of Hatton's stable of fighters including Scott Quigg who faces Rendell Munroe for the WBA Interim World Title at super bantamweight. The pair met in June but a clash of heads ended the contest in the third round with Munroe badly cut.

Sergey Rabchenko will fight Cedric Vitu for the EBU light middleweight title while Gary Buckland will face Stephen Foster Jr for the British super featherweight title.

Martin Murray, Adam Etches, James Dickens, Scott Jenkins and Ryan Burnett will all be in action, with their opponents to be named at a later date.

Lazio manager Vladimir Petkovic hopes Paul Gascoigne will make Tottenham game in Rome

Come to Rome: Lazio boss Petkovic wants Gazza to attend Spurs game at the Stadio Olimpico

|

UPDATED:

08:10 GMT, 20 September 2012

Lazio manager Vladimir Petkovic is sad to hear Paul Gascoigne cannot attend Thursday's game against Tottenham and hopes the troubled star will be able to make the reverse fixture between his two former employers in November.

Gascoigne joined Lazio from Tottenham 20 years ago and became a cult hero in the blue and white half of the Italian capital when he scored on his debut against the club's biggest rivals Roma.

Gascoigne went on to spend three years at the Stadio Olimpico before returning to Britain, where he helped Rangers win successive Scottish championships, but thereafter his life spiralled out of control.

Star name: Paul Gascoigne was a favorite with the fans during his time at Lazio

Star name: Paul Gascoigne was a favorite with the fans during his time at Lazio

Debut delight: Gazza scored against rivals Roma on his Lazio debut

Debut delight: Gazza scored against rivals Roma on his Lazio debut

The 45-year-old has battled alcohol problems, admitted beating his former wife and was sectioned under the Mental Health Act since his career ended.

He declined an offer to attend the Europa League game between his two most famous employers due to 'personal reasons', but Petkovic hopes he will be in the stands at the Stadio Olimpico when the two sides meet on November 22.

'I followed Gascoigne when he was at Lazio and I know he was an idol to the fans so I am very sorry that he won't be there and that he is having these problems at the moment,' Petkovic told a press conference at White Hart Lane.

Come to Rome: Lazio manager Vladimir Petkovic hopes Gascoigne attends the return fixture in November

Come to Rome: Lazio manager Vladimir Petkovic hopes Gascoigne attends the return fixture in November

'I certainly hope that with the inner strength that he undoubtedly has, he will be able to recover and that he will be in Rome for the second leg.'

Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas, unlike his predecessor Harry Redknapp, has vowed to treat the Europa League with the utmost respect, meaning he will field a near full-strength side.

And Petkovic, whose side have won all three of their Serie A games so far this term, intends to do the same.

Lane star: Gascoigne was a hero at Tottenham before he moved to Rome

Lane star: Gascoigne was a hero at Tottenham before he moved to Rome

He said: 'Rotation will come further down the line. At the moment the players aren't tired so I think it's important to keep them playing to continue this series of good performances.

'For now the players who are playing well will continue.'

Villas-Boas and Petkovic both took over as manager of their respective clubs this summer.

The Portuguese was under pressure before last weekend after failing to win any of his first three matches, but Petkovic insists his opposite number has had quite an easy life at his new club compared to him.

Many in Italy were surprised when the Lazio board sacked Edoardo Reja, who missed out on Champions League qualification by two points, and replaced him with Petkovic, who was managing little-known Swiss side FC Sion at the time.

His reign got off to a terrible start, with Lazio losing pre-season fixtures against Getafe, Siena, Torino and Galatasaray, while rioting marred a friendly with Salernitana.

'Villas-Boas was under pressure for the first few games of the season but some of us were under pressure before the season even started,” said Petkovic, who was reportedly set for the sack if he lost his first Serie A game against Atalanta.

And the Bosnian has some advice for Villas-Boas should his season stutter once again.

'As a manager you have to set an example to your players and you need to make sure that you never give up so the players never give up and you never allow the pressure to get to you,' the 49-year-old added.

English cricket launches "Mind Matters" with Marcus Trescothick

Trescothick leads PCA drive to help cricket stars spot signs of depression

|

UPDATED:

11:50 GMT, 17 September 2012

Former England batsman Marcus Trescothick is at the forefront of a new drive to offer guidance to cricketers past and present on how to identify the warning signs of depression and addictive behaviour.

The Professional Cricketers' Association have launched a series of six online 'Mind Matters' tutorials, covering subjects including alcohol and drug abuse, gambling, plus anxiety and suicide, and offering advice to members on how and where to seek help.

The tutorials are mainly presented by Trescothick, who has suffered from depression and anxiety throughout his career.

Reaching out: Marcus Trescothick is at the forefront of the Mind Matters campaign

Reaching out: Marcus Trescothick is at the forefront of the Mind Matters campaign

Michael Yardy, who flew home from England's 2011 World Cup campaign due to depression, and Warwickshire wicketkeeper Tim Ambrose, another player to suffer depression, also present a section on the topic.

Former England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff and ex-Essex and Northamptonshire bowler Darren Cousins, who attempted suicide in March 2011 following his retirement, have also made contributions to the initiative.

PCA assistant chief executive Jason Ratcliffe said: 'Cricket has one of the highest suicide rates in sport. We ran an addictive behaviour initiative at each county for current professionals four years ago, so the Mind Matters tutorials are a refresher of that content with the key addition of new sections covering anxiety, depression and self-harm.

'Importantly we want all of our members and their families to know how to access help if the need should arise.'

Trescothick added: 'Thankfully mental
well-being is increasingly taken more seriously and along with that
comes a decreasing stigma for sufferers.

Facing up: Tim Ambrose revealed his own personal battles in a recent interview

Facing up: Tim Ambrose revealed his own personal battles in a recent interview

'Cricket is quite a unique sport to play, and as people we are a normal cross section of the population and as susceptible as anyone to encounter problems of any nature.'

The PCA already employs six regional personal development managers, who help players to plan and prepare for their futures.

All current players received personal development plans during the summer with the hope of better preparing players for when their careers come to an end.

LLP Consulting, a company specialising in mental well-being and performance, offers full clinical and psychological support to all PCA members in conjunction with the PCA's confidential helpline and the PCA Benevolent Fund.