Ex-hearts star tells of gambling addiction

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AN EX-HEARTS footballer has told how he gambled away £1m and was driven to the brink of suicide as a result of his betting addiction.

Kevin Twaddle, who was a boyhood Hearts fan and represented the Tynecastle club in 2002, admits to lying and cheating to fund his gambling habit in his autobiography, Life on the Line.

Twaddle, a forward who also represented St Johnstone and Motherwell, said: “I know I have gambled over £1m – that’s my earnings plus money I borrowed and squandered and stole. I must have stolen a couple of hundred grand. I was on over £150,000 a year but that’s just my wages – I had lump-sum signing-on fees as well as bonuses. I spent the lot. But I didn’t finally hit the bottom because I had no money, I got help because of what I had done to people.”

Twaddle also revealed his regrets over turning down a chance to sign for Hibs as a youngster because he was a “mad Hearts fan”.

The 40-year-old, who lives in the Capital and claims to have not gambled in seven years, says he now visits football clubs across Scotland to warn young players of the dangers they face.

He added: “Gambling is rife in Scottish football.”