As a recovering gambling addict and a huge football fan, I am aware that the prevalence of gambling in football from a young age normalised gambling, exacerbated my problem and subsequent addiction. This addiction took to me my darkest places and I am pleased to be over 18 months in recovery. The sport I love has been infected by gambling and like many others, it infected me too. There are 400,000 problem gamblers in the UK. In the last year 80,000 of these will have thought about suicide and 20,000 of these will have attempted suicide. Source
This tragic data is why, in June, we walked 124 miles in 90 hours around the North of England. The first Big Step
was a tough but rewarding challenge where we asked clubs and fans to review their relationship with gambling companies to prevent gambling harm in football. We raised £4000 and just as importantly, the supporters clubs of two of the clubs we visited (Burnley and Huddersfield Town) are now engaging with us to work together to put measures in place at the club to help problem gamblers and raise awareness of gambling harms.
We want to constantly take this message across the country so we have planned three new events over the next few months which will be announced on here when all details are finalized.
The challenges will once again raise funds and awareness for Gambling with Lives Gambling with Lives
, a charity set up by bereaved families and friends of gambling addicts who sadly took their own lives. Our ultimate aim of our work is to prevent any more gambling related suicides, with a big step being football clubs evaluating their relationship with gambling.
For more info checkout The Big Step on Twitter