• Premier League

Former United star Gillespie reveals £7 million losses

ESPN staff
September 25, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Keith Gillespie was declared insolvent in 2010 © Getty Images
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Former Manchester United winger Keith Gillespie has revealed he earned more than £7.2 million in his football career - and still ended up bankrupt.

The 38-year-old was declared insolvent in 2010 because of an unpaid tax bill of £137,000 after he became addicted to gambling and made poor investments.

Gillespie, who won 86 caps for Northern Ireland, played in the Premier League for Manchester United, Newcastle United, Blackburn, Leicester and Sheffield United.

And calculating his salary and his bonuses, he worked out he was paid £60,000 while at Old Trafford, £1.35 million in his time at St James' Park, £3.9 million by Rovers, £1.45 million while he was with the Foxes and £745,000 during his stay in Sheffield.

In his autobiography, 'Keith Gillespie: How Not To Be A Football Millionaire', which is being serialised in the Mirror, he wrote: "I've led a colourful life.

"I doubt that anyone who crossed my path would describe me as a clean living, model pro. I liked a drink, learned to smoke, and swear by an unhealthy diet. But I was susceptible to other urges.

"How much money did I blow? One afternoon, I figured it out. It's the closest I've come to therapy... until I realised that I actually needed therapy."

Gillespie revealed a 4-0 Newcastle win against Stoke cost him £50,000 - because he was set to win a huge amount from the bookmakers had it ended 3-0.

But he said he was driven to bankruptcy by a tax bill he could not pay that followed his investment in a film syndicate.

"I'd pocketed the £500,000 tax relief, and blown the majority of it," he wrote. "Then the tax liability due on the Film Partnership Profits was £436,000 spread out over 10 years. It brought home the insanity of the scheme which I'd signed up to."

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