Gambling addiction led to a life of crime for former footballer

A life of crime and drugs was the result of crushed dreams and a gambling addiction for ex-Newcastle United footballer Andy Ferrell, reports chroniclelive.co.uk.

Tipped for success, Ferrell earned big money in his 20s but eventually got released by the club, thrusting his life into a 'downward spiral', according to friends of the player.

Now, the 29-year-old begins a four-year jail sentence after being one of ten men sentenced to a total of 44 years and five months at Newcastle Crown Court after admitting key roles in a cocaine and amphetamines drug ring, reports sky.com.

Ferrell's friend, who wishes to remain unnamed by the media, said Ferrell developed a 'crippling gambling habit' while signed to lower league team Watford.

"He just got massively into gambling," explained Ferrell's friend. "I think it's a very common problem with footballers. They are earning all this money, but they can't go out and drink every night so they go out and gamble."

Following his spell at Watford and several other smaller clubs, Ferrell's wages dropped and he began racking up huge debts due to gambling. As a result, he turned to drug supply to make money.

Gambling addiction is a serious affliction but there are a number of avenues people can take to help kick the habit. Hypnotherapy courses, for instance, can help uncover any root causes for addiction as well as other underlying reasons.

His friend concluded by stating he is confident that Ferrell will be able to 'make something of his life and his skills' when released from prison.