BLACKBURN ROVERS winger David Bentley has revealed he would place up to 100 bets a day when he was gripped by a gambling habit which threatened to derail his football career.

Bentley admits in an interview on Setanta Sports' Football Matters how gambling became more important to him than football before he eventually succeeded in kicking the habit.

"I loved it. I was 14 when I first started going to a betting shop.

"I got carried away with it," said Bentley, who began his career at Arsenal.

He added: "As I started earning more money I really started getting heavily into it. You just get addicted.

"I was on everything, the horses, the dogs, online with poker, betting on bingo, all sorts. I was betting on everything.

"You could get a certain amount of money and then just blow it all.

"I'd wake up in the morning and the first thing I thought of was to have a bet instead of thinking about football.

"I don't know whether other people are like that but from my point of view that's what I get like.

"I got to the point where all I wanted to do was have a bet, I suppose you can't live like that.

"You get addicted to the whole thing, trying to pick a winner.

"It started out just by loving it but you can't help but get to the next level. In the end you risk losing it all.

"It depends how many races in a day. It could have been anything - 50 to 100. It was a joke. Anything I could bet on.

"It all starts off on pounds. Then it's hundreds and then it's thousands.

"It's never about winning £100, you want to win a hundred grand.

"It was difficult to stop doing it but luckily enough for me I got out of it."