Brentford forward Ivan Toney shared that his most recent bet took place “years ago,” and he currently has no inclination to become an advocate for gambling addiction.
Toney will make his comeback from an eight-month suspension for violating betting regulations on Saturday, leading Brentford as captain in a Premier League match against Nottingham Forest.
The England international had been absent from competitive play since May, with the Football Association imposing a substantial ban. However, the ban was later reduced, recognizing that the 27-year-old was dealing with a gambling addiction.
Asked when he placed his last bet, Toney told the Daily Mail: “Years ago. Yeah, so it’s all sorted now.
“You just look back and look at the money you’ve lost and what that could have gone towards. These kinds of things. But the more you do that, the more you drive yourself crazy.
“I literally couldn’t tell you (how much I’ve bet). The more I think about it, the more I dwell on the past. It will haunt you even more and pain you.
“I didn’t bet on anything else apart from football. Not really. Maybe a horse at the Cheltenham Festival but that was it. The past is the past, so why let it hurt you?”
Toney admits his gambling incident was ‘years ago’
Toney faced suspension after admitting to violating 232 betting rules, with the investigation into his gambling activities occurring months prior. Notably, he earned his debut cap for England while the investigation was ongoing, expressing a “goal” to secure a spot in England’s squad for the Euros.
Despite aiming for a strong return to the pitch, Toney expressed caution about providing gambling advice, particularly to Newcastle’s Sandro Tonali, who is currently serving a ban for breaching betting rules.
“I don’t want to preach to him. I’m glad he is being allowed to train with the team – that will be good for his mental health. I hope he is coping well and will come back stronger,” Toney added.
“Around the time I got banned. I wanted to keep myself to myself and be around my family more than trying to be out there being a spokesperson for all sorts of things. At the time, my head wasn’t really focused on doing those kinds of things.
“I might look more into it now. Then again, I don’t really want to be a kind of ‘feel-sorry-for-me, I’ve-been-through-it, listen-to-me kind of person’. That’s far from my personality and far from what I’d be trying to get across to people.
“At the time, I guess I accepted it. Those are the kind of things, you accept and move forward and sort things out, which I did and that’s all cleared now, so my main focus is steering away from that kind of rubbish and focus on playing well for the team and doing what I do best – which is concentrate on scoring goals and playing well.
“I want to own it and get on with it. I’ve done it. The punishment is done. It is what it is. You can’t change what’s done.”