Richie Paxton was a football player in the period 2000-2019 and now opens up about his addictive lifestyle.
It All Began When Richie was Only 16
The local English newspaper The Chronicle shared the story of Richie Paxton, a former amateur footballer, who struggled with addiction to drinking, drugs and gambling, but managed to recover and is now helping others facing a similar problem.
Paxton, who appeared for 13 clubs in 19 years as a footballer, started his footballing career with then Football League Division Three side Darlington, during which he also had a contract to temporarily play for Spennymoor United.
However, addiction began to sneak up on him slowly and insidiously at the onset of his professional path. Paxton was engaging more and more deeply in a secret self-destructive behavior after he dropped down the leagues.
His substance abuse became all-consuming once in the Northern League, when he went on to play for Esh Winning, in County Durham. He found a way to hide his habits behind the social lifestyle, which was part of the football experience. In Paxton’s words:
“Once the weekend came around I just wanted to get off my face. Football was, in all honesty, my first addiction, then gambling, then using drugs, and so on.”
Paxton’s addiction started at the age of 16 and progressed to gambling as a way of coping with the passing of his son at just 18 years old.
Sporting Chance gets Richie Out of Addiction
This way of life continued for 14 years until his mother stepped in and gave him the numbers of support groups. One of them was Sporting Chance and it helped him get his life back on track. Sporting Chance is founded by Tony Adams, former Arsenal & England Captain, inspired by his own recovery from alcoholism.
A survey carried out by the GambleAware charity showed that up to 2.7% of adults in Great Britain, or nearly 1.4 million people, have a gambling problem.
Now at the age of 36, Paxton is addiction-free and is dedicated to helping others with similar problems. Currently, he is an exercise specialist and runs The LIFE Programme CIC. Also, Richie is about to get a counselling degree at Sunderland University early next year while also starting ‘Richie Paxton Counselling and Coaching’.
His new Counselling and Coaching business will be present on social media platforms and will have a website with an e-book for free download. Richie and his team of professionals will provide ongoing assistance to people struggling with problems of gambling, mental health, drugs and alcohol.
Figures from the UK Gambling Commission show that there was a surge in online gambling in the period March-October due to the lockdown restrictions.