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By ESPN Staff
Feb 22, 2008

Keegan promises help for Gascoigne

Newcastle boss Kevin Keegan has promised his former boot boy Paul Gascoigne all the help the club can give him in his hour of need.

Keegan revealed he has spoken to the 40-year-old's family in the wake his detention under the Mental Health Act to offer any assistance he can to the former Magpies player.

He said: 'It's sad, but maybe what has happened now will be a turning point for him, and instead of looking on it as something that is really bad, this might be the best thing.

'I have talked with his Dad and one of his sisters and I know it looks negative, but I think it is a massive positive for Paul Gascoigne from all the information I have had.

'This is a good thing for him and although in the short term, it does not look that way, in the long term, I think it will prove to be really important in the life of Paul Gascoigne.'

Gascoigne was emerging from the ranks at St James' Park as Keegan was leading the fight for promotion back to the top flight in 1983-84.

The current manager revealed he had to carpet the then teenager for the quality of service he provided.

Keegan said: 'He was my boot boy when I was a player here back in 1983-84 - and not a very good boot boy.

'He lost one of my boots, and I was scoring quite a lot of goals that season, so I can remember giving him a bit of a run-over for that.

'He wanted to prove to his mates that he was my boot boy.

'We as a club will do everything we can to help. His family know that, we have talked with them, and we can help a lot.'

Meanwhile, Chris Hughton is set to be confirmed as a member of Newcastle's backroom team.

The 49-year-old lost his job as assistant boss at Tottenham in October when manager Martin Jol was forced out at White Hart Lane.

He is expected to replace Nigel Pearson on Kevin Keegan's coaching staff at St James' Park.

Pearson, now manager of Southampton, left Newcastle earlier this month, within weeks of Keegan's appointment.

Hughton spent more than 14 years coaching at Spurs, serving under 10 different managers. A former full-back, he began his playing career with the north London club, spending more than a decade there.

He also earned 53 caps for the Republic of Ireland between 1979 and 1993.