EPIC Risk Management has announced that former Reading FC manager Brian McDermott will be a speaker at their upcoming Gambling Harm Prevention event in Sport Summit.
McDermott will be present 5 October at Wembley Stadium to share his stories and past experiences of players he coached who had their struggles with gambling addiction, one of them being EPIC’s programme facilitator, Scott Davies.
“I look at Scotty now and I look at how he lives his life and how he turned his life around. He’s really helping other people and it’s fantastic what he’s done,” said McDermott.
“It’s life we’re talking about, this is life, everyone needs to open up and talk and it’s not easy. But just by having conversations it’s a start really, and when I played you didn’t talk, I certainly didn’t talk, it was a sign of weakness to talk… but it’s a sign of strength today.”
McDermott coached Davies for two years at Reading, but Davies left the club in 2011, one year before Reading won the Championship title to earn promotion back to the Premier League.
Davies has been open about his battles with gambling addiction and is now using his past experiences to share with young aspiring footballers on the dangers of gambling and the harm it can cause.
McDermott was also a professional before heading into management, playing for the likes of Arsenal and Cardiff City. But he too has his stories of heavy gambling during his playing days.
He shared: “Back in the day, there was gambling on the coach on the way to a game. It can’t be right if you look at that to mentally prepare yourself for the game. Does that go on today? I’d like to think it doesn’t go on today but I’m not sure.”