Brendan Fevola’s gambling addiction was a big part of his downfall from AFL stardom and today he revealed just how bad it got.
Fevola kicked 575 goals in 187 games for Carlton, before being sacked after one too many off-field indiscretions.
He was then traded to Brisbane, where he played just 17 games, kicking 48 goals, before he was also sacked from the Lions following more off-field woes.
The former star full forward then filed for bankruptcy in 2013, following a severe gambling addiction. Speaking on his breakfast radio show on Fox FM on Thursday morning, Fev revealed just how bad it got, explaining he lost $300k over a three day period, after blowing a huge win from earlier that same week.
“I was in Queensland and it was a Wednesday afternoon and I had a bookie so I had $2000 credit in my account and I was having a really good day,” Fevola said.
“By 3am the next morning I was betting at Hong Kong, not knowing anything about the horses, just having a little bit of fun.
“I ended that morning $363,000 in front, told (his wife) Alex. She said, ‘This is amazing, can you get it out?’
“So I rang the bookie the next day to try and get it out but when you’ve got a bookie you can’t get it out until the Monday.
“So Sunday night, I was 20 (thousand) down. So I lost $360,000 in three days. That’s my biggest loss.”
The 36-year-old said he would try to justify his losses to himself, while also struggling to keep track of how much money he had squandered given he would bet through accounts, rather than with cash.
“I said to myself then I didn’t lose that ($300,000) because I’d already won it, so it’s so weird. But you did, you lost it,” he said.
“The worst thing is it didn’t actually affect me too much but if affects your family and that’s the bottom line, Alex and the kids.
“It’s an addictive thing, it’s a really bad addiction to have and it obviously cripples a lot of people’s lives.
“When it’s in your account you don’t actually have the money in your hand so you’re just ringing up and saying numbers. You don’t even realise and then when it’s all gone you’re like, ‘Geez.’
“You don’t think you have a problem when you’re doing it because you’re caught up in that bubble but now you think, ‘Aww geez what an absolute idiot’ because it’s just for a cheap thrill.”
Fevola currently appears on Fox FM’s Fifi, Dave, Fev and Byron 6-9am weekdays.