Paul Merson continues to tell the most difficult story – about his addictions. The former England international revealed he blew £160,000 on a betting site, despite the money being earmarked to buy a house.
Merson, 54, also revealed that he has battled a gambling addiction for 35 years, during which he has lost more than seven million pounds on unsuccessful bets.
The former Arsenal midfielder started betting at the age of 16, later developing addictions to alcohol and gambling.
Merson thought he had put an end to his gambling addiction, but during the pandemic he returned to betting again. The former footballer said that when football was suspended due to Covid-19, he feared he would never work as a pundit for Sky Sports again.
“They sent me on unpaid leave from Sky Sports and I liked it at first,” Merson told The Sun. “I was sitting in the garden with my youngest children, the sun was shining…
After that, I started to worry that there would be no more shows. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to make any money. The mothers of my older children have their own houses and I wanted to give the same to the younger ones.
Kate (Merson’s current wife – b.a.) and I had raised about £160,000, but I wasted it on a mosquito. Everything went online. My last bet was eight thousand on table tennis. I don’t know much about table tennis, but because of the pandemic there was almost nothing else to play, so that was the option.
I remember watching the kids playing and thinking about suicide.”
Merson had a total of eight children by three women. His previous two marriages did not last, but in the name of not repeating things with his current wife – Kate, Paul has left the entire finances in her hands. He receives a certain amount from it to be used only for his personal needs.