Former Arsenal star Paul Merson has shed light on his gambling addiction, admitting he needed his beloved wife’s help to keep his problems at bay. Merson revealed that his wife regularly checks his phone and gives him pocket money for expenses.
Merson has long struggled with gambling addiction. He reportedly placed his first bet when he was just 16 and spent his entire first month’s salary at Arsenal on a 10-minute gambling spree at William Hill. The Englishman, who lost £7m in income to his addiction, admittedly blew his house deposit a few years ago.
Currently recovering, Merson can’t help but feel remorse about the money and, more importantly, the time he’s lost to gambling. Speaking to GB News (via the Daily Mail), the author of “Hooked” (Merson’s memoir) said:
“’I lost a lot of money, don’t get me wrong, I lost a mind-blowing amount of money but I also lost time. I will never recover the time. I can earn money, but I can never earn time. I will never be able to earn back by going to see the kids in school plays and choosing to sit in pubs and betting shops instead.
“My wife will still pick up my phone and go through it on the off chance that she still doesn’t have that confidence two years later because of what I did with the house deposit. I lost everything. She takes care of the money. I have pocket money now, I’m 54 but that’s all I need. I can’t have money around me.
Paul Merson has had a remarkable career at Arsenal
Despite his struggles off the pitch, Merson was a fantastic footballer. The former England international was at Arsenal for 10½ seasons, playing 374 games in all competitions.
He has scored 86 goals and provided 28 assists for the Gunners during that streak.
The versatile striker can play as an attacking midfielder, right midfielder, left midfielder or deeper in a central midfield role.
Merson was also a hard worker and a vocal leader, making him a coaches delight. His contributions have helped the North London side win significant trophies, including a few Premier League titles, an FA Cup and a League Cup.
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