Portman Road star reveals reason he moved to Stadium of Light.
Ipswich Town striker Michael Chopra has revealed he has gambled away up to £2million – and only joined Sunderland to pay off a debt.
The 27-year-old recently checked into the Sporting Chance Clinic, run by Tony Adams, to address his addiction.
“Your first bet’s your worst bet,” Chopra told Sky Sports. “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.”
Self-confessed Newcastle United fan Chopra revealed he left Cardiff City for Sunderland because the signing-on fee would pay off a gambling debt.
“In my first season at Cardiff I had a gambling debt from when I was at Newcastle,” he added. “I had to leave Cardiff and sign for another team to pay that debt off.
“I have probably lost between £1.5 million and £2 million on gambling.”
However, with the help of Sporting Chance Clinic, Chopra wants to repay the faith Ipswich have shown in him and help them back to the Premier League.
He said: “The main thing now is to get promoted with Ipswich. They’ve backed me and I want to pay them back.”