Scott Davies

The Daily Telegraph - Sport - - Sport -

For­mer Read­ing mid­fielder

Iused to love win­ning money. Dur­ing the race, the buzz would just in­crease… in­crease … in­crease. It was sim­i­lar to scor­ing a goal.

My gam­bling even­tu­ally took over my foot­ball. I was rush­ing out of train­ing. I was bet­ting on horse rac­ing all round the world, at 4am

or 5am, and then back in for train­ing at 7am.

When I got paid, I’d go all guns blaz­ing and do all my money within days. I couldn’t af­ford to get to train­ing and I owed peo­ple money from play­ing poker on the coach. The card school on the bus was an easy place to make friends. And then, from there, it was a down­ward spi­ral. Then it turned out to be ev­ery day for the next nine years.

I didn’t want to show a sign of weak­ness and say: “Lis­ten, this is hurt­ing me now; I don’t want to do it any more.”

I wouldn’t give my fam­ily the time of day. I had a young nephew at the time. Be­fore he was born, I was promis­ing the world to my sis­ter that I’d take him out, I’d do this with him, do that. And I couldn’t have cared less.

Other peo­ple can’t un­der­stand the strength of gam­bling and the ad­dic­tion.

One player said to me, ‘At least it’s not drugs or al­co­hol’. And, for me, that cut me deep. Be­cause, I look at the stats of sui­cide in men un­der 50 and

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