Ex-pro footballer: ‘Gambling left me close to suicide’

A former professional footballer has revealed he was close to suicide after his gambling addiction spiralled out of control.

Scott Davies said at one stage he was sleeping in his car because he would rather gamble than pay for petrol to get home.

He now helps educate footballers about the dangers of gambling.


Davies, who began his career at Reading, started gambling at the age of 16.

His habit developed from playing poker with teammates to blowing a £30,000 signing-on fee.

While playing in the Championship, Davies admitted that he was consumed by gambling, which slowed his burgeoning career.


He said: “I was always the last into training and the first out because I had a date every day and that was with the bookmakers; it was all I thought about.”

“There were times when I used to sleep in my car after training because I couldn’t afford to get home.”

He added: “Once after a game I slept at a service station and woke up in the freezing cold thinking: ‘What has my life become?’”

Davies, who now plays for Slough Town, works with professional footballers who struggle with gambling.


A top cricketer has also opened up about his struggles, describing how gambling led him to lie to friends and family.

Hampshire bowler Chris Wood recalls playing in front of 10,000 people, but all he cared about was getting off the pitch to check his bets.

“I asked myself what was the point of being part of my family? Do I have a place here? It wasn’t suicidal as such, but it wasn’t far from it.”

After receiving assistance from Sporting Chance, a charity set up to help athletes recover from addiction, Wood was able to recover his career and mend broken relationships.

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