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Gillespie gambled £3.9m at Rovers
FORMER Blackburn Rovers winger Keith Gillespie gambled away £3.9m during his five-year stay at Ewood Park.
The 38-year-old makes the startling revelation in his new autobiography How Not To Be A Football Millionaire.
In the book, which goes on sale on October 7, Gillespie reveals that he sat down one afternoon to figure how much his gambling addiction had cost him.
He found he had blown more than £7m across his 20-year football career – with most of that figure coming when he played for Rovers.
The former Northern Ireland international, who is now retired, said in his book: “Working out the bonuses was the hard part – the signing-on fees, the appearance money, the inducements.
“At Newcastle, we received £50,000 a head for coming second in the league, which was huge money in 1996.
“By the time I moved onto Blackburn, the globalisation of the Premier League had inflated the wages and the incentives.
“We earned £1,500 per league point, so two wins on the trot could be worth an extra £9,000.
“And if you scored a few goals along the way, it helped. So, the calculations took a while.
“Eventually, we reached a club by club consensus. It went like this... Manchester United £60,000, Newcastle £1,102,000 (plus £250,000 in bonuses), Blackburn £3,510,000 (plus £400,000 in bonuses), Leicester £1,050,000 (plus £40,000 in bonuses), Sheffield United £670,000 (plus £75,000 in bonuses), Bradford £15,000, Glentoran £43,875. Total £7,215,875. A substantial amount of cash, eh?
“And that’s only a conservative sketch of the incomings.
“It doesn’t include boot deals, promotional appearances, Northern Ireland match fees, libel settlements and all the other elements that come with the territory.”
Gillespie started his career at Manchester United before joining Blackburn Rovers from Newcastle in 1998.
He went on to make 139 appearances for Rovers.
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