Paul Merson reveals he ‘blew the £160,000 out of his family’s home deposit’ on table tennis bets during lockdown…
- Paul Merson has spoken publicly in the past about losing around £7m while battling a gambling addiction for 35 years.
- He thought he was past the corner, but suffered a relapse during the first Covid-19 lockdown
- The 54-year-old was unable to fulfill his role as an analyst on Sky Sports due to not playing football.
- Merson says all his wages now go to his wife, who gives him ‘pocket money’.
- Last year, he made a documentary called Paul Merson: Football, Gambling and Me
Former England footballer Paul Merson has told how he suffered a relapse of his gambling addiction during the first Covid-19 lockdown and lost £160,000 – money set aside to help buy his family a home.
Merson, 54, has spoken publicly in the past about how he lost around £7m while battling problem gambling for 35 years.
The former Arsenal midfielder placed his first bet at the age of 16 and also struggled with alcohol and drug addiction during and after his football career.
However, he was thought to have crossed the curve, and last year, Merson appeared in a BBC documentary called “BBC”. Paul Merson: Football, Gambling and Mewhich examined the enormous impact that addiction had on his life.
However, Merson has now admitted that he returned to bookmakers during the pandemic because he was very concerned about the lack of work.
With no football matches played, Merson was unable to fulfill his role as a Sky Sports Analyst.
“I was on leave from Sky Sports and at first I enjoyed the closure,” he said. the sun. I was in the garden with my two young children and the sun was out. But then I got addicted to the flyers when Boris Johnson and the man in the red tie showed up.
Paul Merson tells how he suffered a relapse of his gambling addiction during lockdown
He was not able to fulfill his role as an analyst on Sky Sports because football was not being played
“My anxiety started and I thought, ‘They won’t have football on Saturday anymore’ I was thinking, ‘I won’t be able to earn anything.’ The mothers of my older children have homes and I want to give my younger children a future.
“Kate [Merson’s wife] I had £160,000 in savings and blew up a few bets. It was all online, but it wasn’t a bookmaker, it was a private bookmaker.
My last 8,000 bet was on a table tennis player. I had no special knowledge of table tennis but everything was closed at that point so there wasn’t much to bet on.
“I remember sitting in my front room and I had suicidal thoughts and my kids were playing and I was thinking, ‘Oh my God, I just did it all.
During his football career, Merson won the league title twice with Arsenal and made 21 caps for England
A father of eight, Merson witnessed the collapse of his first two marriages due to his addiction and believes his current wife Kate will leave him if he relapses again.
As a result, he revealed that all his wages now go to Kate and that he receives “pocket money” from her. Merson also attends Gamblers Anonymous sessions and has become an ambassador for the Recoverlution Addiction Support app.
During his career as a footballer, Merson won two league titles and an FA Cup while with Arsenal and earned 21 caps for England. He also played for Middlesbrough, Aston Villa, Portsmouth and Walsall.