Gambling addict Paul Merson is to take on the betting companies with a hard-hitting BBC film exploring the hold they have over the world of football.
The former England legend, who has gambled away more than £7million over the past 30 years, was seen weeping in ITV’s 2019 series Harry’s Heroes, as he admitted he had not beaten his long addiction and was feeling suicidal.
Recently reformed after seeking professional help, Merson, 53, has given up booze as well as betting and now wants to understand why his life has been so blighted by his addiction – and explore the relationship between gambling and football.
With many clubs in the top two divisions of English football promoting gambling companies on their shirts, he wonders if an entire generation of young Brits is at risk of following the same, dangerous path he went down.
He admitted at the time: “My gambling is out of control.”
The star wept: “I’m struggling with life at the moment. Gambling. I’ve lost control completely again.”
Paul Merson: Football, Gambling and Me will air on BBC1 later this year.
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