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Lost bet left gambling addict considering suicide, after trying to win back huge debts

Ryan Sidle

| Last updated 

Lost bet left gambling addict considering suicide, after trying to win back huge debts

Many of us will have tried our hand at gambling on sport, whether it was a bit of fun or trying to chase some extra money, but Patrick Foster's story explains how an addiction can easily ruin your life.

Foster recently spoke to UNILAD about how his gambling addiction became so bad, and his debts piled so high that he nearly ended up taking his own life.

He was a talented cricketer who got a professional contract at Northamptonshire as a teenager, and moving up to Durham for university.

That's where his gambling started but things got even worse for him when he moved down to London and started working, often spending hours of his work day in the bookies.


He moved out of the capital, to try and get away from his problem, and started to teach but things got even worse and he ended up borrowing money from pupil's parents.

Eventually he attempted to clear all his debts, borrowing a final £10,000 and working it up to £58,000, which he then put all on the 2018 Cheltenham Gold Cup, with Native River beating Might Bite, in order to try and clear all of his debts.

With his horse, Might Bite, losing by a few lengths, Foster says he saw no way out and tried to kill himself, as the compelling video explains.



On how he acquired his debts, the former cricketer explained, "The salary I got paid would usually last the first or second day of each month. And then I'd think 'Well how on earth am I going to pay off my debts my bills, carry on gambling, live afford anything?'

"I turned to payday loans, I had 23 different bank and payday loans. And then I guess all those kind of avenues had been exhausted.

"And it was at that point that I started turning to individuals.

"And eventually out of desperation, I'd make decisions at work that I regret forever because I would start to abuse my position as a teacher.


"I worked in private school, I wasn't stupid. I knew how wealthy some of these people were had access to that information and I started to take advantage of it and lie to them. So I'd borrow money off parents of pupils that I taught, I lied to them why I needed the money they'd like respect to me were worried about me they had the money to lend me.

"I promised to pay them back. I didn't pay a penny back. I'd gamble it all away. And when it all came to a head, it transpired that there were 113 different individual people that I borrowed money off, ranging from about 75 quid Which doesn't sound too bad up to the best part of 30,000 pounds, and had half a million pounds worth of pure gambling debt."

Native River on the way to winning the Gold Cup. Image: Alamy
Native River on the way to winning the Gold Cup. Image: Alamy

On his suicide attempt and eventually reaching out to his brother, and the text that saved him, he said, "I'd always seen a way out. And at that point, there was no way out as far as I was concerned. I tried to essentially drink myself into submission take an overdose of antidepressant sleeping pills. I even tried to drive my car off the road in a kind of 48 hour period before eventually arriving at a train station and was on the verge of doing the unthinkable that was in floods, tears.


"I had commuters all around me, a lot of them kind of looking at me some of them laughing at me thinking what's wrong with that bloke as I was stood there in a complete mess in floods of tears.

"But I didn't care. Because I felt real.

"The only person I could bring myself to tell in a way that I felt was right was was my best mate in the world. And that's my little brother. I didn't want to call him I didn't want him to him in the state that I was in. Because I think he might have reacted differently if he'd heard that.

"So instead of calling him I sent him a message or told him what I was about to do. And fortunately for me, having tried to call me He then sent me a message and that message saved my life.


"He said, "Look, tell me what the problem is talk to me about it. And I promise I'll try and help."

"And as simple as it sounds, that's what I needed to hear. And it's what stopped me doing it.

"I took myself home, I came clean to my girlfriend initially and then my parents and that was so tough. But I think one of the things that I reflect on more than anything else is that their reaction was so different to how I thought it was going to be how I'd played it in my head for the last however many years they didn't disown me, they didn't go mad."

If you are concerned about your gambling, please call the National Gambling Helpline/GamCare on 0808 8020133.

Further support and information can be found at and

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Featured Image Credit: YouTube/UNILAD

Topics: Horse Racing

Ryan Sidle

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