Premier League Football Loses 46k in One Night
by Glenn Baird - December 5, 2019
Crystal Palace and England Internationalist Andros Townsend has revealed in a candid article that whilst struggling with gambling addiction he lost £46,000 in a single evening.
In 2013 Townsend was fined and served with a 4 month ban by the English FA, something that would prove to be the impetus he needed to deal with his addiction.
The winger explained that during one of seasons on loan away from his then club Spurs, he found himself with the time on his hands needed to fuel his addictive personality.
In an interview on The Players’ Tribune, Townsend said: “I don’t drink. I don’t do drugs. I don’t think I’ve ever been inside a nightclub in my life. And yet I still managed to lose 46 grand with just one tap on my phone.
“I didn’t even have to leave my room. I’m probably the only lad in history to lose £46,000 lying in bed on a Wednesday night in Blackpool. This is not a golden boy story. Let’s make that clear straight away.
“You didn’t click on a fairytale, I’m sorry to tell you. I don’t like talking about myself too much, so I’m not telling this story for the whole world.
“I’m telling it for the people out there who have had their knocks – for those who have been misunderstood, depressed, lost, and especially the ones who have battled addiction.”
When he was only 10 years old, Townsend’s brother Kurtis died in a car accident, a moment after which, “pain has been with me my whole life”.
He went on to say: “I went on loan to five more clubs before I got back home to Spurs, and I think that’s where the trouble really started.
“I can remember exactly where I was when I had my first bet. I was bored in a random hotel room the night before a match, and I saw an ad on the telly for an app with a free bet.
“I downloaded the app and had a little bet to pass the time. Within a few months, I was out of control. I just kept losing. I kept trying to dig myself out of the hole. Then, in the blink of an eye, I’m completely addicted.”
The 46k that he lost was spent on a playoff match between Blackpool and Birmingham in 2012.
“I remember when I was at Birmingham, it was the night before our play-off semi-final game. I was lying in bed, trying to get my rest,” he said. “This was the biggest match of our season, and I couldn’t fall asleep. I kept checking my phone, placing more bets. That night, I lost £46,000 on a single match.”
By the end Townsend describes hitting “rock bottom” and having to “get counselling for my gambling addiction. And that not only saved my football career, it also probably saved me as a human being.”