How a former Premier League star turned football pundit went that extra mile to help a Banbury fundraiser

Both of them are keen to raise money and awareness of tackling gambling addictions
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When Calvin Findlay turned towards a famous former footballer to endorse his fundraiser, little did he know that he would get so much more back in return.

Calvin is hoping to raise money and awareness for a charity that deals with gambling addictions - something he has been battling against himself.

So he approached a celebrity personalised company and requested a video message from former Arsenal and England star Paul Merson, who has also faced the same addiction.

Calvin Findlay will be taking part in a 48-hour fast where he will only be drinking water, raising money for Gambling With LivesCalvin Findlay will be taking part in a 48-hour fast where he will only be drinking water, raising money for Gambling With Lives
Calvin Findlay will be taking part in a 48-hour fast where he will only be drinking water, raising money for Gambling With Lives

Not only did Paul agree, but he also asked for the video fee to be refunded to Calvin - and then requested for Calvin to call him directly so he could have a one-to-one chat with him.

Calvin said: "I was over the moon when I was asked to contact Paul and was in shock when he answered the phone as I thought it would most likely be his agent.

"I had a good conversation with Paul about gambling addiction as he is very open about his own recovery from a gambling addiction he's a real nice chap and I'm so thankful for his support."

In response, Paul - who has been a long-standing pundit on Sky Sports for may years - said: "It's my pleasure to support Calvin and Gambling With Lives."

Paul Merson gave up his time to speak to Calvin and put this video together for him.Paul Merson gave up his time to speak to Calvin and put this video together for him.
Paul Merson gave up his time to speak to Calvin and put this video together for him.

As we reported online last week, Calvin will be taking part in a 48-hour fast where he will only be drinking water, raising money for Gambling With Lives.

"As many people are aware I have struggled with a gambling addiction for many years but with the great support I have had I'm currently just over 28 months gamble free," he said.

"This will be a very hard challenge for me as those who know me will know I'm a big eater - the belly proves it.

"I would like to thank Antep Kebab House who are going to provide me with my first meal after the challenge and for their kind donation to my fundraising page"

To donate to Calvin's fundraiser, visit https://sponsorme.co.uk/calvinfindlay/48-hours-with-only-waterThe challenge will take place from 12pm on Friday April 2 until 12pm on Sunday April 4.

"Unfortunately there are many mostly young males who have taken their own lives because of their gambling addiction and that's why I have chosen to raise money for the amazing charity Gambling With Lives," added Calvin.

Gambling with Lives was set up by the families and friends of young men who have taken their own lives as a direct result of gambling.

They provide support those bereaved by gambling related suicide, and raise awareness of the dangerous effect of gambling on mental health and suicide risk.

To find out more visit https://www.gamblingwithlives.org

If anybody is suffering with a gambling addiction there is support available: