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Kris Newby: I’ve sought help for my gambling addiction
KRIS Newby says he’s about to get professional help for his gambling addiction, and wants to use football to help with his rehabilitation.
The 25-year-old, from Stanford-le-Hope, gave an honest appraisal of his problem and apologised to anyone he has taken money from to feed his habit, especially his ex-fiancée Lacey Maclean and her family.
Newby is set for a loan move from Ryman Premier side East Thurrock to local rivals Grays after a disciplinary breach at Rocks, and could figure for the Ryman One North title hopefuls when they host Wroxham tonight.
“For the past couple of years I’ve been hooked on competitive gambling,” he said. “I thought I had sorted it out when I re-joined East Thurrock, but I fell back into it four or five months ago and it started spiralling out of control.
“I was too proud to admit I had a problem, and that did not help.
“I’ve hurt a lot of people as a result, but most of all Lacey, and I’d like to publicly apologise to her and her family and anyone else I’ve hurt.”
Newby says his main addiction is to roulette machines, which have been highlighted as contributing to a new generation of problem gamblers in recent reports.
He said: “I’ve never been addicted to drugs, but this is worse than drugs – in three seconds you have lost £100. It ruins lives.”
Newby went to see his doctor about the problem this week and has now been referred to a gambling clinic in north London.
Speculation about Newby’s problems were being aired online yesterday, and some Grays fans expressed reservations about him joining them.
When asked what he would say to those fans, he said: “As long as I’m doing it on the pitch for them then I hope that is good enough.
“The last time I played at that level I scored 35 goals and won the league, so hopefully I won’t disappoint any of them.
“Andy (Swallow, Grays’ chief executive) said he did not care what happened in my personal life as long as I do the business for them on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
“Football has always been a release for me, and I feel comfortable playing.
“So now I just want to get back to playing because it can help me with my problems, and it is a way for me to answer my critics.”
Newby played 229 times from East Thurrock – with a short and unsuccessful spell at Thurrock in between – and singled out Rocks manager John Coventry for praise for helping him with his addiction.
Coventry says he has “no problem” with Newby but that he will never play for him again.
He said: “We will retain Kris’ contract, which we will hold until the end of next season, and he will go out on loan during that time.
“He is set to go on loan to Grays, and could be available for them for Tuesday.”