It was very sad to see Paul Gascoigne in the headlines for all the wrong reasons again this week.
Everyone remembers the Gazza who performed both on and off the pitch so well, particularly in the 1990s.
From the good times including his superb goal and celebration at Euro 96 after ‘that’ goal against Scotland, to the lower times including his divorce and the horrible tackle at Wembley for Tottenham against Arsenal in a cup final.
For me, Gascoigne is the most gifted footballer, certainly English, of a generation.
I had the pleasure of playing against him at St James’ Park for Barnsley against Newcastle United.
I was at the wrong end of the pitch to come near him but he ran the show and you could tell just how good he was.
It is such a shame that Gazza’s problems have creeped back and he needs support from those closest to him and the PFA.
I know the PFA have supported Gascoigne in the past and hopefully they will do it again.
It is sad to see that the people who were always there during Gascoigne’s glory days have sadly departed from his life and during his tough times are nowhere to be seen.
It is good that some of his remaining friends are helping him though. Chris Evans and Ronnie Irani are reportedly paying for his treatment and that is great to see.
Hopefully we’ll soon start to see Gazza on the mend and fighting fit.
A shocking story came as news broke of the death of the girlfriend of superstar paralympian Oscar Pistorius on Thursday.
There have been reports that police have been called to his house before after domestic problems, but it was still a huge shock.
Pistorius really did put the Paralympics on the map and there was so much attention on the London 2012 Games as a result.
It is therefore a massive shame that he is in the limelight for all the wrong reasons.
Obviously we can’t say Pistorius is guilty until that is proven in the courts in South Africa, but it is a terrible shame and is clearly very sad for the family of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
Finally it was very disappointing to see England’s womens cricketers crash out of the World Cup in India.
They beat New Zealand to give themselves every chance of making the final, only for the Australians to lose to the West Indies to knock England out.
It’s very hard to say 100 per cent, but Australia would definitely have preferred a final against the West Indies than England.
We’ll never know though will we?
Stories have circulated recently that some of the elite women in world cricket could play in the higher echelons of the men’s game.
I spoke to Charlotte Edwards a while ago when they played here at Scarborough and she was saying that women batters would find it easier to adapt than the bowlers.
The quicker bowlers in the women’s game probably bowl around 70mph, whereas the men are closer to 85-90mph.
The batters find it tougher getting the ball off the square due to the lack of pace on the ball, Edwards was telling me.
So why not let them play and see how they get on?
QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
“I witnessed possibly one the worst training sessions in terms of a professional footballer I’ve ever come across yesterday.”
Birmingham boss Lee Clark talking about his striker Nicola Zigic.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK:
Has to be England beating Ireland 12-6 on their patch at the weekend.
Captain Chris Robshaw could possibly have won the award on his own.
He epitomised everything an England captain in any sport should be and although it wasn’t pretty, England battled valiantly to the win.