Star striker speaks publicly about massive losses

Wayne Rooney has revealed how he built up massive debts through a gambling company he was introduced to by another England player.

In his autobiography – My Story – the 20-year-old Manchester United striker has spoken out for the first time about how he began gambling at home, bored after training, while his fiancée Coleen McLouglin, 20, was out.

Wayne says: ‘When I was sat at home on my own, watching horse racing, dog racing or a football match that I had no involvement with on TV, I’d often put on a bet, just to make it more interesting.’

He tells how during his second year at Everton, he would stake up to £1,000 but stopped when fiancée Coleen discovered he had lost about £50,000 over a year.

The footballer started to bet again seriously when he moved to Manchester United in Setpember 2004, and is believed to have lost as much as £700,000. He would bet by sending text messages to a man he knew only as Mike, but did not realise the scale of his losses as he was never supplied with receipts or accounts.

Rooney says: ‘I blame myself. No one forced me to bet.’