Ex-Premier League footballer admits blowing £7 million on gambling hiabit

Former Premier League footballer Keith Gillespie has admitted spending over £7 million of his wages on gambling, reports mirror.co.uk.

The 38-year-old played for some of England's biggest clubs during his career, earning 86 caps for his native Northern Ireland in the process.

However, the big salaries collected during his years at Manchester United, Newcastle United, Blackburn Rovers and Leicester City only stretched as far as his last trip to the bookies. Gillespie was declared bankrupt in 2010 following a petition by HM Revenue and Customs Commissioners over a £137,000 tax bill.

Although he lost some of his earnings in bad investments, the bulk of it went straight on gambling. The ex-winger once blew £62,000 on football and horse racing in the space of two days back in October 1995, a period he calls Black Friday, and warns he won't be the only footballer to fall down the trap.

Through this advice, he hints that many more pro athletes will take hypnotherapy courses in order to treat their issues.

"You finish training an in the afternoon you go home and, if you're not married, you're probably going home to an empty house or a hotel room," he told dailymail.com.

Gillespie said he lost enough money going to a bookmaker's shop in order to put down large bets. Now, with internet accounts and telephone services, he says it's even easier to put down big stakes.

"There has been plenty of publicity about players with gambling problems but I guarantee you that there are a lot more out there who have not been named yet," he added.

Among some of the more high profile cases of gambling in football is that of Tottenham winger Andros Townsend, who was suspended earlier this year after breaching betting regulations.

Blackpool striker Michael Chopra also hit the headlines with his gambling addiction after revealing losses of around £2 million in 2011.