FORMER Barnsley loan striker Michael Chopra has revealed he has gambled away up to £2m - and he played with injury to cover a debt.
The Ipswich and one-time Newcastle, Cardiff and Sunderland player recently checked into the Sporting Chance Clinic to address his addiction. Chopra said: “As the years have come along and I’ve earned more money, I’ve started to gamble more.
“I was gambling up to £20,000 a day at times.
“As soon as I’d step over the white line I would focus on football - but as soon as I got to the dressing room I would check my phone to see if I’d won.
“As a gambler you want to be playing to get the appearance money. I was playing through injury to cover a debt.”
Self-confessed Newcastle fan Chopra revealed he left Cardiff for Sunderland because the signing-on fee would pay off a gambling debt.
He said: “In my first season at Cardiff I had a gambling debt from when I was at Newcastle. I had to leave Cardiff and sign for another team to pay that debt off. I have probably lost between £1.5m and £2m on gambling.”
However, with the help of the Clinic, Chopra wants to repay the faith Ipswich have shown in him and help them back to the Premier. He added: “The main thing is to get promoted. They’ve backed me and I want to pay them back.”