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Tranmere Rovers and The Big Step

The Big Step is delighted to announce a working partnership with Tranmere Rovers Football Club.

As part of the club’s excellent community scheme, The Big Step will raise awareness of gambling addiction and offer support and signposting for those affected by gambling related harm in the club’s fan base and local community.

During COVID-19 lock down and beyond, The Big Step will use lived experience to help those who may be struggling with gambling because of boredom, isolation or financial woes. The partnership will also link Tranmere Rovers with Gamban and the NHS Northern Gambling Clinic where both will be promoted and signposted towards for anyone that needs a tool to stop gambling or gambling treatment, respectively. 

The partnership is a long term project that will cover four main areas of gambling addiction; How to stop, where to get treatment, raising awareness of the addiction & suicide risk of gambling and preventing the harm with campaign work.

We are thrilled that a professional football club is working with us to inform their community of the real dangers of gambling, how to stop gambling and where to get treatment. The gambling-football relationship has caused harm to many and Tranmere Rovers are now leading on reversing some of that damage with this collaboration with The Big Step. 

James Grimes (The Big Step founder & project manager) said:

“As a recovering gambling addict, I understand how boredom, isolation and financial woes can lead to gambling addiction. I’m delighted that TRFC have partnered with The Big Step and will be able to reach people who need support during lock down and beyond. The gambling-football relationship caused harm to me and many others, so it is fantastic that the club will work with us to put measures in place to help anyone affected by gambling related harm in the community” 

Mark Palios (Chairman of Tranmere Rovers FC) said:

“When gambling gets out of hand, it is like a virus itself and has huge consequences for individuals and families, undermining the relationships and destroying the trust that underpins everything.”

“With the boredom and isolation that results from the lock down, it has never been more important to help those that are affected or at risk and we felt the time to act was now. The project is not just a short-term fix, but will evolve into a longer-term initiative too. 

“In the short term, we will be available as a confidential point that will help to direct people to the help that’s available through our partners. That is not just for Tranmere Rovers fans but for all members of their families and  our community generally.

“Once isolation is over and it is safe to do so, we shall be hosting a series of events and programmes with The Big Step to help supporters and the wider community to overcome their gambling issues as a permanent feature of our work in the community.

“As the first Football Club working alongside The Big Step, Gamban and teaming up with such other heavyweight organisations to combat (excessive) gambling, Tranmere Rovers has added  an extra layer of support to its fans and the wider community and taken another Big Step forward in the game re-defining its relationship with gambling” 

Matt Gaskell (Consultant Psychologist & Clinical Lead, NHS Northern Gambling Service) said:

 “I’m delighted that the NHS has developed a partnership with Tranmere Rovers FC through the Big Step. It is fantastic to see how seriously they take the welfare of their fans, and that they understand the link between gambling and football is a harmful one. We will be on hand to offer support for those whose gambling is causing them real problems. We can also offer support to the family affected as well.” 

 Jack Symons (Gamban Chief Executive & Co-Founder) said:

“We are very pleased to be part of this gambling harm prevention initiative with TRFC and The Big Step. The commitment to supporting both players and fans in these uncertain times highlights just how much they contribute both to the club and community. For athletes in lockdown, unable to play, I fear gambling may be an increased risk. I encourage anyone experiencing trouble to acknowledge and discuss gambling issues before they get out of hand and take proactive steps to minimise further harm. This is a clear sign of commitment from TRFC, acknowledging the impact of gambling harm.”

Scott Davies (Club captain at Tranmere Rovers FC) said:

 “As someone who has seen firsthand the impact of gambling in the past, I fully support the partnership between TRFC and The Big Step. Having an affection for sport can lead to gambling addiction and issues, so it’s really important that football and other sports do all they can to support those affected. It’s great to know that TRFC fans now have somewhere to turn to get help in The Big Step and it’s partners.” 

Carolyn Harris MP, (Chair of the Gambling Related Harm All Party Parliamentary Group) said:

“This is a brilliant initiative by The Big Step and Tranmere Rovers and I would urge other clubs to do the same”

How the partnership will work at The Big…


If you’re experiencing any form of gambling related harm and want to stop, install Gamban, which will block all gambling applications and websites from your devices.

If you or someone you know needs NHS treatment for gambling addiction, referrals are open at the NHS Northern Gambling Service. The most local clinic is in Salford but remote treatment is currently being offered. 
Tel: 0300 300 1490
Email: [email protected]

Providing talks and presentations in community and school settings, based on the lived experiences of gambling addiction. Informing of the dangers of addiction, dangerous gambling products, dangerous industry practises, how to spot the signs of addiction and how to stop & get treatment.

Providing a regular peer support group to hear lived experience testimonies and to discuss recovery from addiction. Organising events that campaign for a sponsorship & advertising ban in football as part of an immediate review of the Gambling Act.