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Gambling with lives

our relationship with

In January 2019, Headingley AFC became the first English club with a shirt sponsor warning of the dangers of gambling. The move came at a time when nearly 60% of Premier League and Championship clubs were promoting betting firms on their shirts. Our shirts now feature a ‘Gambling With Lives’ logo in memory of our former manager, player, Committee member and friend Lewis Keogh, who took his own life aged 34 in 2013, when he found he couldn’t cope with his gambling addiction.

Who are Gambling With Lives?

Gambling with Lives was set up by the families and friends of young people who have taken their own lives as a direct result of gambling. These were all very normal, bright, popular and happy young individuals who had great futures ahead of them…gambling was their only problem.

Their deaths were very sudden – “out of the blue” with no warning. They were not the result of massive gambling debts, rather what gambling had done to their hearts and their heads. No one knows how many deaths are related to gambling each year; but research indicates that there are between 250 and 650 gambling related suicides every year in the UK…a minimum of one every working day.

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The Annual Lewis Keogh Celebration Day

The Lewis Keogh Celebration Day is the club’s annual football and social event held in Lewis’ name and brings past and present Headingley players and friends and family of the Keoghs together for a charity tournament. The event has been held for several years and has helped to raise awareness for mental health and the suicide risks of gambling as well as raising thousands of pounds for associated charities.

“The day is our annual celebration of everything the club holds as special – its history, spirit, and the people who have made
it what it is – and is fittingly named in honour of a player who embodied everything the club stands for.” 

Callum Butcher, Chairman

Worldwide Media Coverage

Headingley AFC have received a huge amount of support on their mission to raise awareness of the dangers of gambling. After multiple appearances on BBC Look North and ITV Calendar, the club were invited to appear in a segment of Football Focus on BBC One. The footage was viewed over 460,000 times on Facebook alone and the response we have received has been incredible.

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