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Chopra admits to losing upto 2m gambling
Published : 01 Nov 2011 21:41:59
The former City striker has said he would play when injured just to claim the appearance money.
"I have probably lost between £1.5m and £2m on gambling.
"Your first bet's your worst bet. As the years have come along and I've earned more money I've started to gamble more.
"I was gambling up to £20,000 a day at times. As soon as I'd step over the white line I would focus on football - but as soon as I got to the dressing room I would check my phone to see if I'd won.
"As a gambler you want to be playing to get the appearance money. I was playing through injury to cover a debt."
Chopra is currently being treated for his addiction and his admissions are startling. He has even moved clubs to get money to pay off debts built up at previous employers.
"In my first season at Cardiff I had a gambling debt from when I was at Newcastle.
"I had to leave Cardiff and sign for another team to pay that debt off."
Dave Jones has revealed that Cardiff knew of Chopra's problems.
"I knew everything about what Chops was up to," Jones said.
"The only thing we never really knew was the amount, but whatever he told us we just tripled anyway.
"We knew all when we signed Chops the first time and second time [and] I'd informed Roy [former Sunderland and Ipswich manager Keane] of his addiction and also I'd informed [current Ipswich boss] Paul Jewell of the addiction as well.
"Part and parcel of the reason why he didn't play at the back end of the season that I was there was because of the gambling and we thought that it was affecting him, because he was a shadow of himself really.
"We had an idea how much he was in for and we tried to help him as much as we possibly could.
"We tried to get him to see people but it's like any addiction that you have, that people have to do it themselves.
"We lined up lots of people for him to see, spoke to him basically nearly every day on the situation because there was always something else coming up.
"I'm pleased that he's now tried to address it but he's on a long road and I wish him all the very best."
Now Chopra is hoping to repay his current club Ipswich for sticking by him
"The main thing now is to get promoted with Ipswich. They've backed me and I want to pay them back," he said.