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Offaly GAA star Niall McNamee has spoken out on his gambling addiction Photo by: Setanta

Top Irish footballer admits to gambling addiction that almost ruined his life

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Offaly GAA star Niall McNamee has spoken out on his gambling addiction Photo by: Setanta

"I'd want to get away, I'd be in bad form and say, 'ah, here, the hell with it, I'm off.'

"Even now, this year I tore my quad, and for five or six weeks it's a terrible place to be if you're injured.

"If I didn't have people to talk to, meetings to go to, and people to chat about all the stuff going on in your head, it could bring you back to all that stuff (gambling).

"That's something people don't realize. There's a lot of pressure on footballers to perform, week in, week out.

"Having an injury, or issues that could be going on at home, or problems at work, can weigh people down.

"If you don't have someone to talk about those worries, and they have a gambling addiction or if they're an alcoholic or whatever, it could set them off and make the problem worse.

"I've been lucky that I've good people around me and I can talk to them about anything that's going on.

"I think the lads with Offaly can see that as well. I'm very open with all the players. I'm very aware of lads that have a lot of stuff going on in their lives outside football. If they need anyone to talk to, I'm available.

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