Footballer reveals how gambling ruined his career

Another former professional football player has opened up about how his career was derailed by a gambling addiction that saw him rack up losses of more than £200,000.

Scott Davies was a promising youngster at Reading FC, but began gambling in his late teens.

When he got a professional contract and began earning a six figure sum, that only meant more money to lose.

‘Rock bottom’

While playing for Reading, his lack of focus in training and desire to leave the ground quickly in order to get to the bookmakers was noticed.

He was dropped from the team when caught lying by the manager, but continued to remain in betting shops until closing time, even ordering takeaways to be delivered there.

Davies lost hefty sums of money, leaving his parents to bail him out repeatedly.

He said: “I was right at rock bottom and didn’t know how to get out of it. As a parent that must be heart-breaking.

“My mum and dad wanted to be the ones to help me, but they were talking to a brick wall. It went in one ear and out the other. I didn’t want to stop.”

Wake-up call

Davies became suicidal as his career fell apart. He left Reading and dropped into non-league football, losing his substantial income, and so struggled to pay his bills.

In June 2015, his mother saw him in a bookmakers again and broke down crying in the street, begging him to get help.

It was the wake-up call he needed, and he went through rehabilitation at the Sporting Chance Clinic.

Now 29, Davies plays part-time for non-league Chelmsford City. He hasn’t placed a bet in nearly three years, and spends much of his time travelling the country warning other footballers of the dangers of gambling.

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