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Gambling Addictions in Famous Footballers Over the Years



Gambling Addictions in Famous Footballers Over the Years

With fame, money and free time in hand, it becomes easy to develop hobbies, and gambling is one of them. Many footballers have fallen into the gambling trap in the past; however, many have come out the other side. Irrespective of whether a footballer is popular and has a lot of money or charm, gambling addiction has always devasted its influence upon people. In fact, the ones who have managed to overcome their addiction or made it a subject of awareness, influence others to avoid gambling at all due to its addictive nature. Thus, gambling and responsible playing should always go hand in hand. Read below some prominent footballer’s names who got addicted to gambling.

Keith Gillespie

Keith Gillespie is one of the popular footballers who admitted waging more than 100,000 pounds a day during his gambling obsession. He is the former Manchester United, Newcastle United and Blackburn Rovers winger who had fallen into the gambling trap. During his playing career, Gillespie made millions of pounds but lost most of them because of his gambling addiction. It is estimated that he lost around 7.2 million Pounds and was declared bankrupt in 2010. In 2017, he launched the One Two agency along with a former Irish League player named Brian Adair. He now craves to make a new future as a football agent.

Michael Chopra

Michael Chopra is the ex-Cardiff City forward who had a brilliant career because of various divisions in English Football. However, he often struggled away from the game and admitted losing 2 million pounds due to gambling. The striker also said that he joined Sunderland to pay off his debts which started when he was a teenager at Newcastle. There, he placed bets amounting to 30,000 pounds alongside other players that played the match with him. Apart from debts, Chopra faced severe charges for gambling by the British Horseracing Authority. He, though, spent time at the Sporting Chance clinic, a charity unit founded by Tony Adams dedicated to providing a recovery facility for athletes. Chopra spent the last years of his career in Scotland and India before retiring in 2016.

Eidur Gudjohnsen

Eidur Gudjohnsen, a former Chelsea striker always enjoyed his football career filled with victories and trophies which lasted around two decades. But he got attracted to gambling like many others and lost more than half a million pounds in a few months. The games where he lost his hard-earned money are blackjack and roulette. He played them after he got injured during a football match. The player spent time in Greece, China, and Belgium at the end of his playing career. He has subsequently made the transition to instructing, initially serving as an assistant coach for Iceland’s under-21 team before taking over as manager of Icelandic football club FH.

Matthew Etherington

Yet another aced footballer and a gambling addict, Etherington got his fame in the game but spent many years at the Sporting Chance clinic to get rid of his addiction. He was the West Ham winger who struggled with an addiction to horse racing betting and poker during his professional career as a footballer. Once, Hammer provided him with a loan of 300,000 pounds when he accumulated more than 800,000 pounds in gambling debt. After spending time with the clinic, he worked for UEFA coaching badges and retired from the game in 2014 because of a back injury.

Wayne Rooney

Over the course of his stellar career, England’s all-time leading scorer of goals has undoubtedly made headlines for his on-field antics. However, one such issue was gambling. While playing for Manchester United, Rooney reportedly lost £500,000 in a casino in Manchester when his recklessness drove him to the gambling scene. The legendary Red Devils player joined Championship team Derby County at the start of the year, making his high-profile return to England. Rooney is a fixture for Philip Cocu’s team, but the decision to sign him was clouded in dispute because 32Red, the club’s main sponsor, is a betting company.

Kyle Lafferty

Lafferty is the former Rangers and Burnley striker who admits his gambling addiction. He was involved in online gambling on many occasions, especially when he felt bored during the period between training and matches. However, he once betted on a football match and was charged a penalty of 23,000 pounds by Northern Ireland International. Lafferty then went to Sunderland, Hearts and Norwegian side Sarpsborg, but later joined Serie B side Reggina.

Joey Barton

The former midfielder Barton was ultimately fined in 2016 for breaking the gambling laws after 10 years of betting on football games. According to reports, the former player of Manchester City and Newcastle put 1,260 wagers during that time. He received an 18-month suspension as a result. During his time at Rangers, he had already received a one-match suspension for violating Scottish Football Association betting regulations. Barton is another player who transitioned into coaching after retiring, taking over as manager of League One team Fleetwood Town.

Paul Merson

To improve on the field, Merson struggled with drug and alcohol addictions throughout his football career. However, his lengthy run-in with games got him addicted to gambling due to which he lost thousands of pounds on regular basis. His overall debt increased to more than 7 million pounds which made him sell his house. The former forward is now known for his excellent work in Sky Sports. He has played for many non-league clubs in England and Wales post stints at Highbury.

David Bentley

Unlike another footballer who had a gambling addiction, Bentley gambled more on greyhounds, online poker and horse racing. He used to place hundreds of bets in a day and admitted that he gambled since he was as young as 14 when he played in the Arsenal academy. At present, he is in several businesses across Europe, especially in the entertainment sector and flooring company.

Andros Townsend

Townsend is another famous footballer who is addicted to gambling which became out of control during a loan spell at Birmingham City. He was put on a ban for four months and was dropped out of England’s under 21 teams for the 2013 European Championship. This affected both his career in his home country and his parent’s club Spurs. Townsend has become a crucial member of Roy Hodgson’s squad in past years, and his performances on the wings have helped the Eagles secure a string of mid-table top-flight finishes.

Dietmar Hamann

Hamann, the former German mid-fielder, got addicted to gambling during different times in his footballer career. He played the most during his marriage breakdown and he stayed away from his children. He revealed that one night he lost 200,000 pounds. He retired as an Anfield hero and ventured into a coaching centre with MK Dons, Leicester and Stockport County. He played as an amateur footballer at an age of 41 but emphasises more being a columnist for several publications.

Dominic Matteo

Matteo is the one who represented great football teams like Liverpool and Leeds. He represented Scotland at an international level but had gambling issues which incurred him lots of debt amounting to more than 1 million pounds. Because of the rising debts, he had to file for bankruptcy. Like many other famous footballers with gambling addictions, Matteo too spoke about it publicly and how gambling affects our life.

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Who Are the Diggs Brothers? All You Need to Know




Diggs Brothers 1

In 2021, the Diggs siblings are dominating the NFL. It’s difficult to avoid comparing who is better when brothers compete in the NFL together. 

Darez Diggs

The young player was born in Washington, DC, in the United States on December 18, 1995. Darez Diggs is currently 26 years old, however, in 2022 he will be 27. He was born with the Sagittarius sun sign. Darez had his early education in the United States at the Friendship Academy. He later joined the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) for further studies. He attended Our Lady of Good Counsel High School to finish his education. Later on, he earned his University of Maryland diploma. He played football on his college team during his undergraduate years. Darez is a current Dallas Cowboys player.


Diggs has regularly done well throughout his career. Darez Diggs started in sports as a football player in the US. He had a tremendous ambition to play football, therefore he started practicing at an early age. Throughout his collegiate years, he participated in several games. He is the youngest player in the world and is known for his zeal and persistence. He also played cornerback for the University of Alabama Blazers throughout his football career. Daraz played wideout for the Morgan State Bears and the UAB Blazers at various points in his athletic career. According to, the product of Washington, D.C., is the 123rd greatest recruit overall, the 12th top cornerback, and the 5th most valued talent in his native state for the 2016 class.

Personal life

Despite what the media has claimed, Diggs continues to live alone and is not in a relationship. He is more concerned with his profession and family than dating.

Stefon Diggs 

On November 29, 1993, Stefon Diggs was brought into the world in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Aron Diggs & Steffanie Diggs was his parents. Trevon Diggs & Darez Diggs are his two brothers, while Porche Green is his sister. Since he was little, Stefon has enjoyed playing outdoor activities, particularly football. His father encouraged him to pursue his goal, but when he was 14 years old, his father died of a stroke just 39 years from a heart attack. Stefon took on financial responsibility for his family after this shocking event.


The most well-known player, Stefon Mar’sean Diggs, began his professional career in 2012. He played before during his time in high school and college. Diggs represented the University of Maryland’s Maryland Terrapins football team from 2012 to 2014 at College Park, Maryland. His coach was Randy Edsall.

Diggs played in just seven games in 2013, following a season-ending injury at Wake Forest. Despite the injury, he was chosen by the coaches and media because he was an honorable All-ACC. With a strong performance against FIU to open his sophomore season, he amassed 98 receiving yards, one score, plus 70 return yards with 3 kickoffs.

Personal life 

He has a relationship with South Korean-born actress Tae Heckard, with whom he has a kid. He presently has a loving family of his own.

Trevon Diggs 

Trevon Diggs, a cornerback with the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League, was born on September 20, 1998. (NFL). After completing college football in Alabama, the Cowboys selected him in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft.


Diggs attended the Thomas Sprigg Wootton Higher Secondary School in Rockville, Maryland. He decided to move to Avalon School of Wheaton, Maryland following his sophomore year to fulfill his dream of football. At the receiver position, he was chosen twice to the All-Washington, D.C. Metro team. He has decided to play football for the University of Alabama. He holds an undergraduate degree.


As a true freshman in 2016 at Alabama, Diggs had been a defensive back, wide receiver, and return specialist. He ended the season with 5 defensive stops, 11 receptions for 88 yards & a touchdown, and 296 receiving return yards overall. Before injuring his foot and missing the rest of the season, he took part in the first 6 games of the season. At the end of the season, he recorded 20 tackles and a pick. 

Diggs fully recovered from his injury in 2019. Also, as a senior in 2019, he played in all 12 of his games and recorded 37 tackles, 3 interceptions (ranked for 2nd  on the squad), 8 passes defended (linked for first on the team), and two forced fumbles and a 100-yard touchdowns return.

Personal Life

He is currently single, and there are no recent reports of dating or having affairs.

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