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Might Bite The Secret Life of a Gambling Addict By Paul Foster with Will Macpherson

Release date: 03rd February, 2022
Publisher: Bloomsbury Sport

List Price: 14.99
Our Price: 10.99
You Save: 4 (26%)
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In 2007, former cricketer Paul Smith wrote Wasted, a brutally honest account of his long term struggle with drugs, a tussle which ultimately resulted in him being banned from the game. In an instant, his career, which had started as a 15 year-old at Warwickshire, came to an abrupt end.

Fifteen years on another former pro, Patrick Foster has written an equally disturbing memoire dealing with the impact gambling had on his nascent career and which left him on the cusp of taking his own life.

Foster was a gambling addict who calculates he lost more than ? 4 million at the bookies; he also ruined his career, caused enormous pain to family and loved ones and ran up enormous debts.

He was an exceptional schoolboy cricketing prospect, winning a cricket scholarship to Oundle at 13. Within two years, he had signed a contract with Northamptonshire and went on to play for England at under-19 level. His first forays into gambling came while he was at Durham University where he turned a ?2 bet into winnings of ?72 on a fixed-odds betting terminal. When he later won ?250 after placing a ?2 accumulator on a handful of football matches, he reflects on ?how easy and enjoyable? having a bet was.

His problems began in earnest when he sustained an ankle injury which failed to heal properly, prompting Northants to cancel his contract. None the less, he graduated from Durham and waltzed into a well-paid job with an insurance company in the City. At one point, he placed ?500 accumulator bet and pocketed ?35,000 in winnings; he blew the cash within six weeks.

Bank loans, borrowing from friends, payday loans (attracting 1,500% annual interest) followed. By 2018, Foster had 75 accounts in 65 different names with an array of bookmakers and owed half a million pounds to more than 100 friends.

Chasing his losses, he put ?50,000 on Might Bite in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. It lost.

Gambling addiction is often associated with the poor, considered an ailment reserved exclusively for losers. Foster?s compelling account of a once charmed life careering on a downward spiral proves that it can affect anyone.

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