JOHN Virgo borrowed £200,000 in the pits of his spirally gambling addiction.
The snooker legend revealed that he borrowed the eye-watering sum over a course of six years in the 80s against his mortgage.
The 71-year-old even blew £10,000 on the horses in just two weeks.
He told the Mirror: “It was a vicious circle.
“When you’re seen as a successful sportsman, people assume you’re earning a good living.
“When the results weren’t coming on the snooker table, I tried to supplement things by gambling on horses even more. I went through a period when I was addicted to gambling.
“It was a compulsion that I struggled to get to grips with. By 1990, it was in danger of ruining my life.”
He went on to tell how his big break on The Big Break saved his career and his finances.
The snooker themed show fronted by Jim Davidson ran for 11 years between 1991 and 2002.
News of John’s financial woes come just over a year after his good friend Willie Thorne revealed he was bankrupt from a gambling addiction.
He said in August last year: “I’m potless, penniless. I’m not coping. Even Sky TV has been cut off.”
Broke . . . Willie Thorne is ‘penniless’ after borrowing money off the ‘wrong people’[/caption]
Willie, 62, started betting heavily on the horses again after his mum died in 2013 but has not gambled for two years.
Speaking at a golf event he said he was behind with the mortgage on his Leicestershire home and had lost his car.
Behind on his mortgage and car-less . . . ‘even Sky TV has been cut off’[/caption]
He then started getting threats. Willie said: “That was when I borrowed off the wrong people. That got very bad and I had to get some money.”
He has been given a six-year bankruptcy restriction after borrowing cash from pals which the Insolvency Service said he cannot pay back.
He added that his wife Jill is “in a right mess”.
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