Andros Townsend comments on gambling addiction and FA charges

    Crystal Palace forward Andros Townsend has revealed he once lost £46,000 in a single night before the FA ban changed his life habits

    The 28-year-old opened up about the gambling addiction that was following him on various loan spells away from Tottenham, particularly during his one-year stint at Birmingham City in 2012.

    The occasional England international said that he lost £46,000 lying in the bed in a hotel room in Blackpool on the eve of the Championship play-off semi-final in May 2012.

    “I’m probably the only lad in history to lose £46,000 lying in bed on a Wednesday night in Blackpool,” Townsend said, as reported by BBC.

    Breaching of betting regulations forced the Football Association into action in 2013 that eventually resulted in an £18,000 fine and suspension.

    “It snapped me back to reality,” he added. “I really feared for my whole career. When the thing that you love in life can be taken away from you, it changes your perspective.”

    Townsend, who started having counseling for his gambling issues before the incident, admitted that the ban he was handed by the FA helped him overcome this niggling problem and become a better person.

    “That not only saved my football career, it also probably saved me as a human being,” he explained.

    “It opened me up to the possibility that actually talking to somebody about what I was going through was OK.

    “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.”

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