The weekend's headlines about Paul Gascoigne should shock, surprise and horrify. Yet sadly they don't as many of us, football fans or not, have seen the Geordie's horrible descent in recent years.
What is clear is that the man responsible for so many of my childhood memories , even though he played for Spurs and not my beloved Arsenal, needs help and fast.
Gazza's decline is horrible to watch, a legend slowing ebbing away, but its clear not enough people understand mental illness, depression and addiction. The man likes a drink, he is surrounded by people who, in my opinion are not doing enough to keep him away from it. The man lived for football, something he cannot do anymore because of age.
The man is mentally ill, spiralling into depression because of the reasons outlined above. But nothing has been done to help him, no-one has wrapped him in their arms and gone 'come on, you have plenty to offer, let me help you'.
Therapy won't help Gazza, it's too structured. Football will, not management but maybe working with kids, kids on Tyneside perhaps? Coaching kids, getting a ball out and playing with them, allowing him to be just what he is, a big kid!
Too much has been made of Gazza, he is a fun-loving Geordie who lived for playing football. A lot of headlines were generated after Hoddle left him out of his France 98 World Cup squad. Did anyone ever think Gazza's reaction was one of a man being denied his last chance on the big stage?
Similar comparisons have been drawn with George Best, another flawed genius. Please, please don't let the Gazza story have the same ending...