Patrick Foster: the secret life of a gambling addict

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Join us and hear Matt Dickinson, senior sports writer, The Times in conversation with Patrick Foster as he discusses his previous double life and the recovery from pathological gambling addiction.

For more than 12 years, Patrick Foster lived a double life. Turning 31, he was a popular, sociable young teacher and former professional cricketer, and was hiding a debilitating gambling addiction from even those closest to him. 

3.3 million people in the UK are in gambling debt and 55,000 children in the UK are classified as problem gamblers. For Patrick Foster, huge bets led to huge debts and thousands of lies that ultimately pushed him to the edge of the platform at Slough station, whereby in March 2018, he was moments from taking his own life.

That same month he had turned a £30 bet into £28,000. He then lost £58,000 on a single horse - Might Bite. As he sat in a classroom and watched the race unfold, his students undertook a mock exam in front of him. 

Nearly four years into recovery, Patrick works with the leading gambling harm minimization organization in the UK, devoting his life to deterring others from the allure and advertising of gambling companies, shining a light on the true picture of gambling addiction in the UK and being living proof that no matter how dark life may seem, recovery is possible. He is also an ambassador for the Mintridge Foundation, a charity dedicated to enhancing life skills in young people through sport.

Join us for a compelling discussion with Patrick on his recovery, and his book Might Bite - the shocking, honest and brave account of his life at the mercy of pathological gambling addiction, and the first steps to putting the pieces back together. 

Read more about Patrick Foster in a recent Times article here.

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