“I played for Newcastle – I could do with £5 a few weeks after playing my wages”

Karl Colley has revealed he battled depression off the pitch during his controversial playing career and was sometimes left with just £5 a week to survive due to his gambling problem.

Karl Colley has revealed that he has struggled with depression(UnderTheCosh/Youtube)

A Newcastle United player says he lived on just £5 a week after gambling away his wages.

Karl Colley signed his first professional football contract with his hometown club Sheffield Wednesday at the age of 17. He made a dream move to Newcastle as a youngster during Sir Bobby Robson’s tenure, where he played under Peter Beardsley in the reserves.

But the defender struggled mentally with his move to a new city. That set his decline in motion as he descended the English football pyramid to play in Non-League for the likes of Halifax Town and Goole.

Now, Colley has shed light on the depression he endured as a player. He spoke candidly about his cheerful demeanor around teammates, but secretly struggles with the impact of his gambling addiction for the rest of his weeks.

He told Undr The Cosh podcast: “I was surrounded by gambling growing up. My father was a gambler, my grandfather and uncle were also gamblers. My dad used to let me outside the bookies, but you couldn’t see what was going on inside. You could just hear the commentary, I was always intrigued.

“When I would leave Newcastle’s training ground, the only place I would feel safe was the bookies. I was like a child lost in a big city. When I’m at the bookies for hours, I’m obviously playing more money and it gets worse, but this is my safe place.”

He explained how he would place a bet every 30 seconds, adding: “When I was betting nothing else mattered. That’s when you know you have a problem. My monthly salary would be gone in a week, maybe less. Thousands of pounds. I remember living with the five of us in Newcastle for a few weeks.”

Colley was once sacked by Sheffield United before suffering the same fate at Goole after attempting to punch a fan while playing for the East Yorkshire side in January 2014. Then, aged 30, Colley was called at him by a Coalville supporter, prompting him to lash out. in the stands and throwing a punch.

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