'Gazza' viewers outraged at Piers Morgan and Rebekah Brooks in story of footballer's downfall

Paul Gascoigne featured in documentary Gazza. (BBC)
Paul Gascoigne featured in documentary Gazza. (BBC)

Paul Gascoigne fans have voiced their outrage at the tabloid press including Piers Morgan and Rebekah Brooks for their part in his downfall after watching documentary Gazza last night.

The second part of the BBC Two programme about the former footballer's career and mental health struggles aired on Wednesday, giving a damning look at the tactics used by some reporters and editors during Gascoigne's toughest years.

Read more: Piers Morgan snubbed offer to feature in Gazza documentary

Newcastle, Spurs and England player Gascoigne had a hugely successful sporting career, but his problems with addiction and mental health, as well as his violence towards ex-wife Sheryl, were covered extensively in the press.

After the first part of the documentary aired, Morgan, who was editor of The Daily Mirror during some of the period of Gascoigne's life the programme covered, tweeted: "Just watched the Gazza doc. What a lazy, cliché-ridden, inaccurate load of tabloid-bashing bullsh*t. I’ve been friends with Paul for 30yrs & paid for some of his rehab. He’s a great guy but complex, addictive & demon-bedevilled. His problems went a lot deeper than the papers."

However, many viewers didn't agree as they slammed Morgan and Brooks, who had been editor of News of the World at the time, for their part in pursuing stories about him.

One person tweeted: "Truly upsetting watching that #gazza documentary last night, already had issues in his life but the media baited him to fail even more with his anxiety and addictions to just sell papers."

Read more: Piers Morgan jokingly storms off Lorraine

Someone else commented: "@piersmorgan paying for some of his rehab doesn’t clear your soul or conscience for what you & your tabloid colleagues did to him. ‘Friends’ support not destroy!"

The documentary showed the tactics used by journalists including Rebekah Brooks. (BBC)
The documentary showed the tactics used by journalists including Rebekah Brooks. (BBC) (Ralph Edwards Productions & TIYL Productions,Ralph Edwards Productions & TIYL Productions)

Another viewer added: "That was a tough watch #gazza Skillfull doc, exposing the scumminess of the British press.Piers Morgan & Rebecca Wade shown up to king & Queen maggots."

Someone else agreed: "#gazza editors & reporters you should hang your heads in shame for what you did to Paul Gascoigne & his family."

Gascoigne did not actually appear in the documentary, which featured archive footage of interviews with him.

Paul Gascoigne at one of his England appearances. (BBC)
Paul Gascoigne at one of his England appearances. (BBC) (The Football Association,The Football Association)

One viewer tweeted: "Not condoning his behaviour but most of these ‘journalists’ are probably still in and around the industry. This Gazza documentary shows how they all baited a mentally ill man through the entirety of his career. Not sure how they can sleep at night…"

Someone else wrote: "There are no excuses in #Gazza’s violence towards his wife. They both clearly needed help. But, Rebekah Wade & Piers Morgan’s lack of empathy & ruthless opportunism in sensationalising the issues in the Gascoigne’s marriage just to sell newspapers was simply immoral & disgusting."

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