Gazza helps carry the coffin at his tragic nephew's Tyneside funeral

Former England footballer Paul Gascoigne has carried the coffin at the funeral of his nephew.

Wednesday, 11th May 2016, 1:48 pm
Updated Wednesday, 11th May 2016, 3:51 pm
Paul Gascoigne and his father John, left, at the funeral of his nephew Jay Kerrigan-Gascoigne, at St Nicholas with Christ Church in Dunston, Gateshead.

Jay Kerrigan-Gascoigne died last month aged just 22 following a long-running battle with mental health issues.

His funeral today at St Nicholas with Christ Church, Dunston, Gateshead, was attended by scores of friends and family.

Paul Gascoigne at the funeral of his nephew Jay Kerrigan-Gascoigne, at St Nicholas with Christ Church in Dunston, Gateshead.

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Paul Gascoigne, 48, hugged relatives outside the church and briefly smoked a cigarette while talking to mourners.

He then helped carry the coffin into the church for the service led by Rev David Atkinson.

Like his famous uncle, Jay suffered from obsessive compulsive disorder and received expert help during his childhood.

But, in an interview with the Daily Mirror on Tuesday, his mother, Anna-Maria, said the family had been begging for help from health experts after he became an adult.

Paul Gascoigne and his father John, right, at the funeral of his nephew Jay Kerrigan-Gascoigne, who died aged just 22 after long-running mental health issues.

And she paid tribute, saying: "Everybody that met our Jay knew he was the most polite, well-mannered, talented, beautiful, yet tortured soul."

The poet and songwriter, who loved to play the guitar, self-harmed and began to use prescription painkillers heavily.

His mental health deteriorated further in March, and his mother said he begged to be sectioned.

Jay was found dead at his girlfriend's home and his 50-year-old mother believed he had accidentally taken too many painkillers.

Paul Gascoigne helps carry the coffin at the funeral of his nephew Jay Kerrigan-Gascoigne at his funeral today.

A card on the floral tribute from Gascoigne said: "To my beautiful nephew Jay, I will miss you so much. It was an illness that no doctor will experience. Rest in Peace Jay, love Uncle Paul."

The former footballer, wearing a dark suit and sunglasses, comforted family members and embraced other mourners after the service.

Paul Gascoigne at the funeral of his nephew Jay Kerrigan-Gascoigne, at St Nicholas with Christ Church in Dunston, Gateshead.
Paul Gascoigne and his father John, right, at the funeral of his nephew Jay Kerrigan-Gascoigne, who died aged just 22 after long-running mental health issues.
Paul Gascoigne helps carry the coffin at the funeral of his nephew Jay Kerrigan-Gascoigne at his funeral today.