Former England star Paul Merson says he slipped back into gambling when he thought Covid rules had ended his TV pundit career.
The ex-Arsenal player, 53, said he was convinced he would lose his Sky Sports job when football matches were banned early in the pandemic.
The dad of eight said: “I got hooked on the news in lockdown.
“My brain was telling me, ‘I’m not going to work again. There’s not going to be another Soccer Saturday’.
“The addict in me was, ‘What am I going to do for a job?’. I got scared.”
In October, the Sun told how wife Kate gives him only a cash allowance after he gambled away their house deposit in his lockdown relapse.
He says he has not placed a bet since.