Hey everyone As a football girl I often start my Saturday’s by watching football focus. This week the focus team told the story of former Northern Ireland international Keith Gillespie and has battle to beat his gambling addiction. In the interview Keith spoke very candidly about his addiction which he said started whilst a young player who had money to dispose of for the first time.
Now this was a young guy who had the world at his feet but who when compared to former Manchester United and Northern Ireland superstar George Best he just couldn’t cope with the pressure brought by his new found fame and started on a journey to gambling which would eventually end with bankruptcy. This he said peaked during his years at Newcastle when he admitted to losing £97,000 in the space of four days.
Fortunately the boy who played in the same Manchester United youth team as household names such as Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, and David Beckham before going on to play for a host of top name English clubs such as Blackburn and Newcastle, as well as well as representing his country is now getting his life back on track but this man spoke with honesty and sincerity about his addiction and gave a stark warning to young stars about the warnings of going down this and playing a game where nobody wins.
As someone who at one time had my own gambling issues though thankfully it never got to the addiction level, I wish him well for his future. I realise since transition I now have much better things to spend my money on. I have to say I would sooner buy a new wardrobe and keep myself on trend with the latest season’s styles than part with my cash to William Hill or any other bookmaker for that matter. Well at least I’m buying a new skirt or dress I am getting something tangible for my money and not a temporary adrenalin buzz.
Having watched this revealing interview I hope however that aspiring young footballers will remember the day they watched the boy the who had the world at his feet talk with refreshingly of the problems of playing the fame game.
Love And Best Wishes