Ipswich: Marathon effort to beat gambling and thank Norcas

Phil Lindsay of Ipswich in training for the London Marathon in aid of Norcas

Phil Lindsay of Ipswich in training for the London Marathon in aid of Norcas - Credit: Archant

As he pounds the streets in training for next month’s London Marathon, Phil Lindsay is motivated by a determination to thank those who have saved his life.

The 40-year-old lost nearly everything to gambling, including his marriage, frittering away £10,000 in only three years as his vice overwhelmed him.

Now Mr Lindsay is preparing to take on the 26.2-mile run through the capital to raise funds for Norcas, the addiction charity which came to his aid.

“I am a recovering gambling addict, it will always be with me, but I now know hopefully I can control it,” he said.

When his addiction to fixed odds betting terminals was “found out”, the delivery-driver said he had to move out of the family home in Worcester, leaving his two treasured children behind.

“I lost everything,” he told The Star.

“I now live 180 miles away from my kids and I see them every other weekend.

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“I moved to be near family here in Ipswich and that is when I sought help.”

He said his addiction to the casino-style betting machines developed from placing bets on football fixtures or the horses.

“Gambling has always been a part of my adult life,” he said.

“After placing a bet on a football match or horse race I would often use the money left over in the machines.

“Sometimes I would win, sometimes I lost. But quickly it became something I couldn’t leave alone. It really was a compulsion.

“If I had to put a figure on it, I must have lost £10,000 in total – it is not my proudest moment.

“It was the speed, the quick fix – just like a drug addict getting their fix, or an alcoholic getting a drink.

“After moving to Ipswich my GP referred me to Norcas where I saw Mari Green. They were brilliant, I am so grateful.

“To speak to someone who could understand how I was feeling was invaluable.

“She asked the right questions, got to the bottom of why I had turned to gambling and she helped put in place methods to help me stop. “Small things like making sure I don’t carry too much money around with me, to start with I wouldn’t even carry a bank card.”

Mr Lindsay said he was inspired to take on the marathon to make his son and daughter proud.

“One driving factor for me is making my kids proud of their daddy,” he added.

“And I want to thank everyone who has been there for me.”

– To donate to Phil’s fundraising effort visit www.justgiving.com/Philip-Lindsay

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