Former England goalkeeper Peter Shilton and his wife Steph have announced their campaign to rid football shirts of gambling sponsors – Shilton’s Soccer Shirt Gambling Ban – will be supporting the Big Step’s petition, which is calling on the Government to end all gambling advertising and sponsorship in football and will be delivered to 10 Downing Street later this year.
Shilton, who played for England a record 125 times, revealed last year that he struggled with gambling addiction for 45 years. Together with his wife, Steph, Shilton has set up a campaign to ban gambling sponsorship on football shirts. Their campaign is calling on football to take a stance and “end their conspiracy of silence” in order to protect public health.
Steph said: “it is time for everyone to make a stand. We must protect children and the vulnerable. Morally we don’t believe there is any justification in advertising gambling in football, especially on the shirts!”
This coalition comes as the Government, who are currently reviewing the 2005 Gambling Act, are under increasing pressure to make sweeping changes to gambling advertising laws.
There are between 430,000 (Gambling Commission) and 1.4 million (YouGov) people addicted to gambling in the UK, including 55,000 children, with a further 3.6 million (YouGov) affected by the gambling of others. Tragically, research indicates that there are between 250 and 650 gambling related suicides every year in the UK, a minimum of one every working day.
James Grimes, founder of the Big Step, said: “We are delighted to be joining forces with Shilton’s Soccer Shirt Gambling Ban and are proud to have the support of both Peter and Steph, who are doing amazing work in raising awareness of gambling harms.”