Northern Irish footballer Keith Gillespie cannot be called a loser, in his youth he played for the legendary Manchester United, then for a number of strong professional clubs. But, after the end of his football career, he settled in the town of Bangor in a modest house, where nothing reminds that the owner earned more than 7 million pounds during his career. But he lost all his fortune.
Having joined Manchester, Keith became addicted to playing in bookmakers, especially since the head coach of the team Alex Fergusson himself was not averse to trying his luck in gambling. True, Gillespie does not blame the mentor for his problems, even assures that he started playing for high stakes later, when he moved to Newcastle. Suffice it to say that in October 1995, he enriched the bookmakers fabulously, losing his annual salary in a few days.
Once a former footballer decided to find out - how much money did he lose on bets? The counting took quite a long time: Gillespie raised the entire "archive" of his income, most of which went into the pocket of bookmakers, and said that he had lost at least 7 million 200 thousand pounds. True, he added that the real amount is probably more: he has not yet taken into account the prize money for the matches in the Northern Ireland national team.
Gillespie was declared bankrupt a few years ago. Only then did he fully realize his dependence on gambling: not a penny remained in his pocket. The footballer did not want to be treated in the clinic, but he assures that he got rid of gambling addiction. True, he admits that sometimes he makes bets on golf, but risks small amounts, sadly adding: "I don't have big ones anymore." Moreover, Gillespie is now married, he has three children, and the golden days, when he could waste tens of thousands of pounds, are in the distant past.
The footballer is not limited to bitter sighs, he decided to release his memoirs. The book "How not to be a millionaire football player" became the result of his confession. In it, he spoke in detail about his past love of gambling and the price he had to pay.
This is not to say that Gillespie's example is something unique: many professional athletes suffer from this addiction. For example, the world hockey star Jaromir Jagr is a big fan of betting. More often than not, it is unsuccessful. And if Jagr sometimes wins, the bookmakers have a holiday. After all, they are afraid that a hockey player with millions of incomes will get tired of losses and "tie up" with gambling.