100 signatures reached
To: Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club
Wolves FC: Kick gambling ads out of football!
I want my club Wolves to cancel all existing partnerships with gambling companies, to reject future partnerships, and to back The Big Step campaign.
Why is this important?
We lost our son Jack to gambling-related suicide in 2017. He was just 24 years old.
Jack was a bright, popular, charismatic, and confident young man with his life ahead of him but gambling took that away from him. Gambling was his only problem - he was not vulnerable in any conventional sense of the word.
He was a huge football fan and no doubt the harmful relationship between gambling and his favourite sport contributed to his addiction, including times when he was trying to cut down or stop. Gambling advertising in football and elsewhere is risking the health and the lives of millions of young people.
I've been a fan of Wolves all my life but I struggle to support a club that continues to promote something so harmful - something that we know that can lead to death. I welcome that this season the club has finally moved away from a shirt-front gambling sponsor, but this is pointless in isolation as there is now a gambling company on the shirt sleeve and the club has other advertising partnerships with the industry. It has to stop, alongside an end to all gambling promotions inside Molineaux and around our pitch.
After Jack's death, my wife and I co-founded and now co-chair Gambling with Lives, a charity representing and supporting a community of bereaved families. All of the young people that the families have lost to gambling suicides were bright, popular and happy people like Jack, but with just one problem: addiction to gambling. This suicide risk is real and substantial: recently Public Health England estimated that there are 409 gambling related suicides every year in England alone.
A YouGov study from this year shows that 2.9 million people are either already addicted or at serious risk of being so, with a further 3.3 million classified as “affected others”. These stark figures show what we already know: gambling harm is not an issue affecting just a small minority, it is severely harming hundreds of thousands and killing hundreds every year.
To prevent any other family from going through what ours and so many others have, I'm urging my club Wolves to cancel all gambling partnerships, say no to any new offers, and back The Big Step campaign to end all gambling advertising in football.