Ipswich striker Michael Chopra has revealed he has gambled away up to £2 million – and he played with injury to cover a debt.
The former Newcastle, Cardiff and Sunderland player recently checked into the Sporting Chance Clinic to address his addiction.
Chopra said: “Your first bet’s your worst bet. As the years have come along and I’ve earned more money I’ve started to gamble more.
“I was gambling up to £20,000 a day at times. As soon as I’d step over the white line I would focus on football – but as soon as I got to the dressing room I would check my phone to see if I’d won.
“As a gambler you want to be playing to get the appearance money. I was playing through injury to cover a debt.”
Self-confessed Newcastle fan Chopra revealed he left Cardiff for Sunderland because the signing-on fee would pay off a gambling debt.
He continued on Sky Sports News: “In my first season at Cardiff I had a gambling debt from when I was at Newcastle.
“I had to leave Cardiff and sign for another team to pay that debt off.
“I have probably lost between £1.5 m and £2 m on gambling.”
However, with the help of Sporting Chance Clinic, Chopra wants to repay the faith Ipswich have shown in him and help them back to the Premier League.
He added: “The main thing now is to get promoted with Ipswich.
“They’ve backed me and I want to pay them back.”