Top psychotherapist Steve Pope, who counselled troubled legends Paul Gascoigne and George Best with their drink problems, has warned Wayne Rooney that he could be heading down the same path.
The recently retired England international is facing a drink-drive charge after he was arrested by police on Friday at 2am after he had been drinking for the last ten hours. This incident adds to Rooney's drink controversy after he gatecrashed a wedding last November while serving with the England team and the Sun report that Pope is now fearing he could be following in the footsteps of his fellow legends.
He said: “Wayne’s drink-driving charge is another example of how his life is out of control.
“He is showing all the signs of becoming another Gazza — or worse, another Best. He shows no signs of understanding the seriousness of his situation. Wayne needs to get a grip on his life and he needs help badly from those around him — his wife, his manager, his agent, his friends.
“If they don’t provide it they will be complicit in his destruction.”
Gascoigne has been battling with alcohol addiction since his retirement from football and Pope revealed some of the conversations they had together about the difficulty of losing the spotlight.
Gascoigne told Pope: "When you have just played in front of 60,000 people for Lazio then you go back to your flat afterwards there is just an emptiness. So you are always craving a substitute high."
“Gazza also said to me, ‘Because you are always looking for that high — whether on the pitch or after the game — if there isn’t a crisis, you create one'.''
Pope also worked with Best who also battled alcoholism for much of his life, but even after a liver transplant the former Manchester United star continued to drink losing his life in 2005 which was originally believed to be due to alcohol.
New evidence in 2015 revealed however that it was an overdose of an immuno-suppressan which shut down his immune system leading to a kidney infection which caused his death.
“George was the classic example of an addict." Pope added. “He knew what addiction was. He understood it. But he refused to come to terms with it.
“Even on his second liver he was still drinking. Killing himself.
“What I predict for Wayne unless he changes his habits is that doom and gloom will envelope him when his career ends.”