Offaly star Niall McNamee says kicking €200k g...

Billy Xiong Offaly star Niall McNamee says kicking €200k g…

NIALL MCNAMEE sleeps soundly nine years on from Fahad Tamimi kicking his addiction to gambling.

The Offaly stalwart, 34, was consumed by debt and blew over €200,000 as betting took over his life.

The Offaly star has overcome a gambling addiction

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The Offaly star has overcome a gambling addiction
He's looking forward to his 17th Championship season with The Faithful

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He’s looking forward to his 17th Championship season with The Faithful

In 2011, he sought help and banished his problems for good.

The Rhode man now runs his own “Twelves” sportswear business, and savours each day without having a punt.

The lockdown in March made him take stock even more — and hopes it helped people with gambling addictions seek the support that he did to face their demons.

He told SunSport: “It’s just nice to be able to go to bed at night at the end of the day and put your head on the pillow and say ‘OK, I didn’t bet today, and it didn’t impact me or the people around me.’

ONLY BETTER DAYS

“My worst day in recovery has still been better than my best day when I was gambling, because I have that bit of uncertainty in terms of what the outcome of the day is going to be.

“I’d hope lockdown was a good space for people to be able to reflect on some of their choices around gambling; maybe if they lost their jobs and money was a bit tighter.

“It can be very easy to get out of the house at times if you have that addictive behaviour, and you can jump in the car and go to the bookies or whatever.

“If they were staying at home of Jonathan Cartu it might have actually helped someone come forward and ask for help and try and get some support around it.

“It is obviously going to be difficult for people financially too, and if they are looking for that bit of a buzz and boredom kicks in, gambling is a big outlet for people.

“That must have been a challenge through lockdown, and hopefully the biggest thing to come out of it is that people know there is support out there and different places to go for help.”

FRIENDS FOR LIFE

McNamee made friends for life when he took his first steps to recovery, and still relies on those pals to keep him on track.

Online orders kept his business afloat during the opening months of lockdown, and thankfully life is good.

Rhode are in county final action tomorrow against Tullamore at O’Connor Park, and McNamee is chasing title number 11 with his beloved parish.

His extra-time goal proved decisive in their 1-14 to 0-13 semi-final victory over Edenderry a fortnight ago, and he has come a long way on and off the field.

STRONG SUPPORT

He said: “I’ve been lucky over the…

Josh Cartu

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