Home Depression FA Cup: Buxton striker Martin Pilkington on gambling addiction and depression

FA Cup: Buxton striker Martin Pilkington on gambling addiction and depression

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Martin Pilkington was one of the most prolific finishers in the Northern Premier League before his ban
FA Cup first qualifying round
Date: 6-8 September Coverage: Thatcham Town v Salisbury live on the Red Button and on the BBC Sport website from 12:30 BST on 7 September

When Martin Pilkington scored the winning goal in an FA Cup tie in 2013, he didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

As his Ashton United team-mates celebrated the unlikely 1-0 victory at AFC Fylde courtesy of the striker’s second-minute effort, Pilkington was rueing the fact his goal had cost him £100.

Pilkington, who now plays for Buxton having just returned from a ban, had placed a bet of £50 on his own team to lose and the money he stood to win amounted to almost 50% of his £220 weekly wage with the seventh-tier club.

A few months later in 2014, new Football Association rules came into force banning players from the top eight tiers of the English game from betting on any football matches around the world.

By then, Pilkington was in the grip of a gambling addiction. Between 2014 and 2016, he placed 831 football-related bets while still playing for Ashton United.

After an FA investigation, he was banned from playing for four years in 2016,