People hiding gambling addiction have been urged to speak out to get help by the BBC’s Football Focus programme.
The show highlighted two heart-breaking stories: one of an addict who committed suicide and another who fought to escape its clutches.
It followed criticism last week that some FA Cup games were only available to watch for those who paid into a betting account or placed a bet.
‘Out of control’
Football Focus, presented by Dan Walker on BBC One on Saturday lunchtimes, told the story of Lewis Keogh who died in 2013.
His best friend and family shared how they were crushed by his death, but turned their sadness into efforts to tackle gambling addiction.
Football fan Tony Timms also spoke to the programme, saying how he had become addicted at a young age by betting on the way to football matches.
He only realised he needed to stop when it became “out of control”.
Former player Alex Scott said people must “go and talk to someone” if they become entangled with betting.
Dan Walker highlighted that 61 per cent of teams in the top two English divisions are sponsored by gambling firms.
Last week, betting companies backed down over a deal for the rights to show FA Cup football.
The Prime Minister, Culture Secretary and Health Secretary had all challenged the Football Association over the situation.
The FA ended its association with Ladbrokes in June 2017 over concerns about the relationship between football and gambling, but an earlier deal with a sports rights company allowed some gambling firms to broadcast the games live.
The FA has said it will not renew the deal in 2024.