Sunday 25 September 2016

All-Ireland minor hero on gambling addiction: 'If you won €1m, you'd look to win €2m'

Catherine Devine

Published 01/06/2016 | 15:44

Tipperary’s 2006 All-Ireland minor hurling final hero Timmy Dalton has opened up about his gambling battle to highlight the addiction among young men.

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Dalton told Tipperary Mid-West Radio's Stevie O'Donnell that after a knee injury in 2007, gambling took over his life.

He said he knocked on his parents’ bedroom door in the early hours of the morning to ask for help for his addiction, according to quotes reported by the The42.ie.

“They knew I had a massive problem. I went gambling one weekend and went to bed on a Sunday night. I woke up at four or five o’clock in the morning, went down to my parents’ bedroom, knocked on the door and told them that I was going to get help. They were delighted to be honest, it had caused them a lot of pain for years, seeing the way I was. They knew, they were the closest people to me and knew how it was affecting me. I went and rang the treatment centre.”

Dalton attended his first Gamblers Anonymous meeting when he was 21-years-old and visited numerous counsellors until he was 26-years-old.

He stopped gambling for a ten-month spell following a relationship break-up but after resuming worse than ever, he received treatment and has been free from addiction since then.

In the lengthy interview, Dalton explained that various teams he played in had all been involved in gambling.

“It’s a massive problem. I’ve been involved with a lot of teams down through the years and gambling has been a part of all those teams. We have text groups or WhatsApp groups and you have people constantly talking about prices of other teams, what’s a good bet, what teams have a good chance this weekend or what teams are missing players,” Dalton said.

Dalton called for greater awareness of gambling and that it “needs to be stopped”.

He said he first started gambling at the age of 14 when he placed a bet on the Grand National but his addiction escalated in college where he was making bets on midweek and weekend soccer games.

He revealed that his biggest win was €1500 on Rory McIlroy in a golf tournament but added: “If you won €1m, you’d look to win €2m. That’s just the way it is."

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