Betting sponsorship 'wasn't ideal', McConville admits

March 04, 2018

Oisin McConville.

Oisin McConville admits a betting firm's sponsorship of his club Crossmaglen Rangers left him in an "awkward situation".

Bar One Racing's sponsorship of the South Armagh giants coincided with McConville completing treatment for a 12-year gambling addition.

Last weekend, a whopping 93 per cent of delegates at annual Congress voted in favour of banning betting sponsorship in the GAA, a move which the former Armagh and Crossmaglen All-Ireland winner has warmly welcomed.

"It just wasn't ideal. I was after coming out of treatment. I was after penning a book on my gambling addiction. Almost immediately after that, we were sponsored by a bookmakers," he told Sunday Sport on RTÉ Radio 1.

"Again it's ironic that it affects my club. Every time I went out with that badge on my chest, it was a very awkward situation for me to put it mildly. It was a real moral question for me - do I pull this jersey on or do I walk away from football?"

However, McConville couldn't bringing himself to quitting the sport he loves.

"When I was at the height of my addiction, football was the only thing that saved my life at that time," he pointed out.

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