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Peter Shilton's wife on gambling struggle

13 May 2022
Shilton and wife

Peter Shilton, former England goalkeeper, is known for his 30-year sporting career but his 45-year gambling addiction is less known.

In light of Mental Health Awareness Week, Peter’s wife, Steph Shilton, has spoken out to raise awareness of gambling related harms.

Since meeting 10 years ago, Steph has been helping Peter to overcome his addiction to gambling. She told The i newspaper:

“I never threatened to leave him as I knew that was the worst thing I could do when he was living with immense mental anguish.”

“Loved ones can be the key to someone quitting and recovering from a gambling addiction and can be the antidote.

She continues, “they can be just as much a victim as the addict.”

A new pilot project currently being rolled out across the Northwest and Southwest of England, and Wales.

The scheme, part of the Addiction Recovery Agency’s (Ara) Six to Ten Project, seeks to support those affected by someone else’s gambling.

Research suggests that on average six to ten people are at risk of gambling related harms due to a loved one’s addiction.

Steph reached out to the betting agency in which Peter had lost hundreds of thousands of pounds to, but they were unable to help.

Ara, Beacon Counselling Trust and DrugFAM came together to develop the service to link such people with a support worker to provide financial, legal, housing or emotional support and counselling.

A spokesperson for CARE said:

“For most people, gambling is a bit of fun but for a significant and growing minority, it is a gateway to an addiction that ruins lives, families and communities.

“The situation is made far worse by our outdated gambling laws, which are not fit for purpose. People are suffering and will go on suffering until the government brings in proper regulation that brings the betting industry to account.”

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