Ex-Newcastle ace Keith Gillespie was left bankrupt despite £7m career earnings

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Former Newcastle United midfielder Keith Gillespie was declared bankrupt after earning £7million during a playing career that also included spells with Sheffield United and Blackburn Rovers.

Gillespie made 239 Premier League appearances for five different clubs in his career but has spoken about his struggles since his final top flight match in 2007.

The Manchester United youth product has opened up about his money troubles in the new BBC film, Paul Merson: Football, Gambling & Me.

Former Arsenal and England midfielder Merson has been especially open about his struggles with addiction both during and after his playing career, revealing he has gambled away £7million.

Speaking in the film, Gillespie revealed that he went bankrupt in 2011 and that he feels his money issues also contributed to his divorce.

"In 2011 I was made bankrupt, I looked at career earnings of £7m completely gone, and you sort of think how can you do that?" explained Gillespie.

"Embarrassment in terms of losing that money. Being made bankrupt, I've got a family, divorced now, but that would have had a lot to do with it."

As well as making over 200 Premier League appearances, Gillespie also won 86 caps for Northern Ireland, having made his international debut aged 19 in 1994.

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Having come through the youth ranks at Old Trafford, Gillespie left United for Newcastle in 1995 after making just 11 first-team appearances.

He made 148 appearances for the Magpies before going on to play for Blackburn Rovers and Sheffield United, winning the League Cup in 2002 with the former.

Gillespie returned to Northern Ireland in 2009 and spent a year with Glentoran before turning out for non-league Darlington and Irish side Longford Town before retiring in 2014.

He has recently been working with charity side Mindwell FC in Northern Ireland, who work to raise awareness for men's mental health in the UK.

  • Premier League
  • Newcastle United FC

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