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Footballer John Hartson: I almost lost wife to gambling

By Lucinda Cameron

Former Celtic striker John Hartson has told how he almost lost his wife over his gambling addiction.

The 39-year-old said he hit rock bottom as he continued gambling while recovering from cancer.

He has not placed a bet for three years now but still attends Gamblers Anonymous meetings in his native Swansea and will carry on going to meetings until he is 70 to keep his addiction under control, he said.

He added: "One morning Sarah got up quite early and said that she was leaving me if I carried on gambling.

"She told me in no uncertain terms, 'I am going this afternoon and I am leaving you and I'm taking these girls with me'. That was just an incredible moment for me, a sad moment and a very serious moment in my life.

"They say you have to hit rock bottom if you're an addict, whether it's drinking, whether it's drugs, whether it's any sort of addiction, and it was the same with myself.

"That was rock bottom for me. I would just as well not be here because what am I without my family? I am nothing."

Sarah said: "I am as proud of him for recovering from being a gambling addict as I am of him recovering from cancer."

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