Scott Davies – From a sad gambling story to an admirable change

Trabzonspor's supporters hold red flares and flags during the UEFA Europa League Group D football match between FC Basel 1893 and Trabzonspor AS at the St. Jakob-Park Stadium in Basel on December 12, 2019. (Photo by STEFAN WERMUTH / AFP) (Photo by STEFAN WERMUTH/AFP via Getty Images)

Perhaps many of us have heard about Scott Davies and his gambling addiction, maybe from the news, social media, or sports fans. What most of us have memorized was that he gambled about £200,000 – £250,000 and ruined his football career. The ones who don’t know the entire story might condemn him for his choices, ruining such a good life, when he had it all. On one side, they may be right, but there is more to the story and if listened carefully, it might even teach us a few things about life’s ups and downs and admire him for his strength, at the end of the day. If you plan to gamble online, I highly recommend you to use a website like  for finding the best online casinos. If Scott Davies it was using a tool like this, he probably would have bigger chances to win, instead of loosing.

Within the next paragraphs, you’ll learn from Davies’ prospective how a tragedy can turn one’s life around and still manage to have a happy ending, leaving behind an abundance of bad memories, but also an entire dictionary of mistakes to avoid.

The gambling beginnings

Early in his career, when Scott was only 16, he moved out of his parents’ house in Aylesbury to live in digs in Reading, playing for the youth team. His wage was £50 a week, getting paid every Wednesday morning. That was when it all started. Each salary was spent at the bookmakers and since no one really asked any questions, it was the perfect opportunity to avoid the age answer. Each time he would walk out with an empty pocket, the payment for a week gone in a few hours.

At the age of 17, he started training with the first team at Reading. His wage went from £50 to £400 but since all the money would disappear so quickly, he couldn’t afford to pay for his bus home from training, having to walk three miles home every day. At the end of the season, he was rewarded with a new contract, increasing his earnings to £1800 per week. 

At the time, he was living at home and wasn’t paying rent, which led him to gamble more, not only on Roulette and horse racing but also football, which was prohibited by the FA.

Davies’ salary would run out in five or six days, which led his parents to take his bank card and fund his training, a thing that went on for a couple of years.


£30,000 gone in a flash

After receiving his signing on fee at Reading, his parents decided to buy a house for him, with their £30,000 savings, put aside in an indirect savings account on his name. Scott promised to take care of it, desperately wanting to buy a house. You could guess what happened next, all the money from that account was gambled. They were visiting houses for sale, talking to the agents about which carpet would look best, but the whole time he knew there was no money to buy the house or even the carpet with. 

The moment they arrived home, our beloved football player broke down in tears and explained what he has done, leaving his parents in shock, the money was just there three weeks ago. That was Scott’s wake up call, at least for that moment.

A short time after, he was back at Aldershot Town for a second season, doing very well – 14 goals from midfield, at 20 years old. This has caught the big clubs’ attention – with talk of fees of half a million pounds. After that season, he went back to Reading, scoring a few goals, even against Chelsea. Seeing fans with his name on their shirt made him think ‘’This is my day now, I have made it”. He was living in a bubble.


Gambling was why I got up in the morning

Once, after training, the footballer rushed out to get to the bookies. The next day, the manager pulled him into his office for a conversation, mentioning his appreciation towards the brilliant work done this pre-season, but as their best player, he needed to be more involved and focused. This meant coming first thing in the morning for training and staying back afterward, to put in the extra work. But that just wasn’t an option, gambling was the only reason Scott would get up in the morning and training was just in the way of that. It was uncontrollable. 

A while after, he got pulled aside by Brendan Rodgers for leaving the training early again and he replied with a lie about going to the dentist. He was asked to prove it and call the dentist. He couldn’t, just sat there like a child, unable to say a word. That day was the last one at Reading. 

Later on, he received a call from Leeds, they were interested in taking Scott on loan. It was a choice between him and Adam Clayton. Eventually, seeing on Sky Sports that they eventually signed with Clayton, he was devastated and went again to the bookies to spend £7,000 in a few hours.

It was at Crawley Town when the situation started to get even worse, betting on his own football matches. At half-time, he would go to the changing room and put bets on the second half, to help manage the result of the game. If they lost, but the bet came through, he would be in a balancing state. One day, driving home from Crawley, Scott crashed his car because he was watching a horse race on his phone. It was getting that bad.


A fight for a bet

Moving from Crowley Town to Oxford United, his mental health really deteriorated. He was living alone and the habit of betting on his own matches got even worse. Getting no sleep for days, drinking massive amounts of energy drinks, and gambling on his phone. “Gambling was better than sleeping” he said, recalling those days. 

Released from Oxford United because of his gambling addiction, Dunstable Town decided to take him on the team. Being paid in cash, the bookies were all he could think about and the first place to go to. 

In the end, he wasn’t allowed to put a bet on football, being threatened to get reported to the FA, which led to a massive fight. From Scott’s statement, he wouldn’t have stopped even for that report.  

One last wake-up call

A few weeks later, Scott was at the same bookies when he saw his mom at the door. She has seen his car outside and came in to ask him to stop gambling because he was making her ill. At one point, his mom was curled up on the floor. His dad said that Scott was putting a strain on their marriage. She wasn’t sleeping at night anymore, searching online for ways to help with his addiction. After that incident, Scott couldn’t sleep for 48 hours, just lying in the dark with suicidal thoughts. 

Realizing his breakdown, he went to see his parents and for the first time, admitted his addiction and need for help. They rang a 24-hour helpline and spoke to a counselor named Julian. He invited Scott the next day for an assessment, to decide if he needed counseling or a 26-day rehab. The next day, he went for the 90-minute assessment, but after five minutes, Julian told him he needed the rehab. 

A new man

Scott Davies went into rehab on 6 July 2015. He stated that it was the lowest point oh his life, but also the most rewarding and satisfying thing he has ever done. From the moment he walked out on that door, he knew that everything will be alright. His mom said that it was the first time she felt like she had him back since he was a kid. One of the things his counselor asked him to do in rehab, was to get in touch with his old girlfriends and apologize for his behaviour in the past. 

After the recovery, the same helpline called Sporting Chance invited Scott to help them by sharing his story at football clubs. After that, he started to share his story at conferences, which turned out to be the most satisfying work. Even if it was paid, he declared that he would’ve done it for free.

After a few years away from gambling, his life has turned around, working with an organization named EPIC Risk Management. He delivers talks to clubs about gambling problems, inviting the players to ask for help anonymously, if they are struggling. 

He is now sharing his coping mechanisms and is trying to help in any way possible, but mostly he is offering a shoulder to cry on. As Scott’s mom always says, “A problem shared is a problem halved”. Davies is one of the few players to admit their gambling issues and is grateful for having done so. We can just admire his strength, will to help, and the way he managed to start from scratch. 

Cheers to that!