Former Newcastle star Keith Gillespie to help tackle gambling addiction with event in South Tyneside

Ex-Newcastle United star Keith Gillespie will be helping tackle gambling addiction when he appears in South Tyneside later this month.

Tuesday, 10th September 2019, 11:45 am
Updated Tuesday, 10th September 2019, 11:17 am
Keith Gillespie, pictured in 1998 while at Newcastle United

The retired winger will be treating fans to tales from his 20-year career when he hosts ‘an evening with’ at the Greyhound pub in Jarrow, with proceeds raised going to the Gambling with Lives charity.

The former Northern Ireland international knows of the dangers of gambling addiction from his own experience.

In 2010, he declared himself legally bankrupt after it was estimated he lost more than £7million, a subject he discusses frankly in his autobiography How Not to Be a Football Millionaire.

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The Greyhound event, on September 13, is being used to raise awareness for those who have taken their own lives due to gambling.

Gambling With Lives was set up in 2017 by Charles and Liz Ritchie, whose son took his own life due to a gambling addiction.

Talking about the work the charity does, Charles said: “We are now in contact with dozens of families across the UK – aiming to support each other but also raising awareness of the potentially fatal dangers of gambling and campaigning for tougher regulation of the industry.”

Research indicates that there may be between 250 and 650 gambling related suicides every year in the UK, a minimum of one every working day.

Speaking about the event, Charles praised the retired footballer for dedicating the night to those affected by gambling addiction.

He added: “An evening with Keith Gillespie is such an appropriate occasion, given his well-known problems from gambling. We thank him for his honesty and know that this will be a fantastic evening with a lot of laughs and fascinating stories.

Gillespie represented the Magpies from 1995-1998 after signing from Manchester United and has also played for Blackburn Rovers, Leicester City and Sheffield United.

As well as the talk, he will be posing for photos with the audience and there will be a charity auction.An evening with Keith Gillespie takes place on September 13 with tickets costing £10. More information on Gambling with Lives can be found at https://www.gamblingwithlives.org/