Sunderland old-boy Michael Chopra has revealed that he has accumulated as much as £2m in gambling losses over the years, having admitted that he has an addiction.

He has spent the last few weeks (apart from match days) in the Sporting Chance clinic which deals with addictions in sportsmen – generally caused because when footballers turn professional they find themselves with a lot of time on their hands, and a lot of money in their pockets.

Chopra also revealed that he has been forced to move clubs to cover his gambling debts – he needed the signing on fees to pay off his bookmakerr.

“I was gambling up to £20,000 a day at times. As soon as I’d step over the white line I would focus on football – but as soon as I got to the dressing room I would check my phone to see if I’d won.

“In my first season at Cardiff I had a gambling debt from when I was at Newcastle,” explained the former England Under-21 international.

“I had to leave Cardiff and sign for another team to pay that debt off.”