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Keith Gillespie

Keith Gillespie

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A former Manchester United, Newcastle and Leicester City winger, Keith Gillespie spent almost two decades in the professional game making over 400 appearances and representing Northern Ireland 86 times. Also recognisable due to the ongoing gambling addiction that took hold of him during the peak of his career, Keith has since established himself as one of the most inspirational football speakers in the industry, not shying away from the hard-hitting topic.

In 1993 Keith made his debut for Manchester United, scoring on his debut against Bury in the FA Cup. Keith came through the academy at Old Trafford at the same time as Ryan Giggs, Gary Neville, David Beckham and Paul Scholes, or the Class of 92 as they’ve since been known. When hired as a football speaker he can explain what it was like being part of this golden generation, and playing under arguably the greatest manager in football history – Sir Alex Ferguson.

Despite his bright start, Keith struggled to nail down a regular place at Man Utd, and in 1995 he was transferred to Newcastle. He excelled in the North East, playing over 100 times for the Magpies including in the Champions League. Over the next decade or so, Keith established himself as a reliable Premier League player spending time at Blackburn Rovers, where he won the League Cup, before going on to represent a plethora of clubs including Leicester City, Sheffield United, Charlton and more.

It’s well-documented that football can provide significant riches, but Keith learned the hard way that these riches can turn into a curse. His issues with gambling have been publicised for many years, with Keith himself even writing a book How Not to be a Football Millionaire, outlining how his addiction cost him more than £7M during the course of his career. At his speaking events, he can recall this traumatic time in his life in vivid detail, explaining how his demons managed to get the better of him before he sought help. It’s these anecdotes that truly set him apart from other footballer speakers out there, as he discusses what it was like to be in that dark place and how he uses his platform to now do everything to help others suffering from similar issues.

Alongside his football speaking events, Keith regularly takes part in activism alongside gambling charities, seeking to encourage advertisers to enforce stricter regulations on the industry.

If you’d like to book Keith Gillespie as a football speaker for your next event, contact Evolve today. Call us or drop us an email and we’ll get back to you.

Topics and Themes

  • Addiction
  • Football

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