Those Players on the Football Field Who Struggled with an Addiction to Gambling

Michelle Wilson

Gambling addiction can strike absolutely anyone at any time. The fact that so many highly-paid professional football players have fallen victim to gambling addiction demonstrates that there is no single profile of a problem gambler and that problem gamblers come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. The following is some additional information regarding professional football players who are known to have had significant gambling problems in the past. These players’ names have been withheld to protect their privacy. 

Merson, Paul 

Paul Merson recently came forward to discuss his struggles with gambling addiction and how difficult it is for him to keep those struggles under control. He also discussed the fact that he has recently come forward to discuss his struggles. Merson gambled away approximately £7 million throughout his career as a professional football player. He has even asserted that he once prevented himself from calling a bookie to place a bet by breaking his fingers in an attempt to do so. This was supposedly done to prevent him from placing the bet. He is currently participating in an addiction treatment program. 

Etherington, Matthew 

Matthew Etherington was a former professional footballer who played for both West Ham United and Stoke City. He is best known for his time with the latter team. In addition to his career as a player, Etherington was a voracious gambler who frequently staked extremely large sums of money. Due to the thousands of dollars that he lost each week gambling, he racked up a total debt of 1.5 million pounds throughout his gambling career. After receiving assistance during the second half of his playing career, he was able to triumph over the obstacles that stood in his way. 

Chopra, Michael 

Michael Chopra, a former striker for Cardiff City, struggled greatly with gambling addiction and, at one point, was placing bets worth up to £20,000 per day. Because of his addiction to online casinos and bookmakers, he estimates that he has blown through approximately two million pounds in losses as a result of his behavior. In later years, he was compelled to continue playing even though he was suffering from injuries to raise his income and work his way out of gambling debt. 

Gillespie, Keith 

In 2014, Keith Gillespie admitted in front of the public that he had lost approximately £7.2 million in gambling throughout his career as a professional player. At the age of 17, he made his debut with Manchester United’s first team and almost immediately established himself as a promising young player. Before deciding to retire, Gillespie had no money left to his name. At one point, he sustained a loss of $47,000 in a single day. 

Matteo, Dominic 

Dominic Matteo frequently brings up his gambling addiction while discussing his feelings of guilt regarding the inheritance that he lost for his daughter due to gambling. After experiencing significant financial setbacks as a direct result of betting on sporting events and playing casino games, the defender for Leeds United is now doing everything in his power to prevent others from making the same mistakes he did financially. 

Bentley, David 

The club benefited tremendously from the presence of talented winger David Bentley, who played for Blackburn Rovers while he was in the Premier League. Bentley was with the club during his time in the Premier League. On the other hand, when he first started in the industry, he earned a reputation for placing dozens upon dozens of bets daily. To win big and satiate his need for excitement, he would wager on races involving horses and greyhounds, as well as participate in poker games and spin the slots at online casinos. He asserts that giving up smoking was the most beneficial decision he ever made for the progression of his playing career. 

Gusjohnsen, Eidur 

Although Eidur Gudjohnsen has had success playing at the highest levels for Chelsea and Barcelona, he has also struggled greatly with gambling issues, which have brought him to some of the lowest points of his life. Despite this, he has achieved success at the highest levels of the sport. In 2009, he came clean about the fact that his gambling losses had caused him to rack up debts to the tune of approximately 6 million British pounds with his bank. 

In today’s world, individuals who are having problems as a direct result of their gambling habits can always find support and assistance from a variety of sources. If you are feeling the need to seek assistance and support from others, you should not be afraid to do so and should not hold back from doing so. It has the potential to be a defining moment in your life, just as it was for a good number of football players who were mentioned earlier.