'I'M ADDICTED' Hearts striker Kyle Lafferty admits he has a gambling addiction as ex-Rangers star thanks Austin MacPhee, Craig Levein and Ann Budge for support

Lafferty’s issues first surfaced last year when he was slapped with a charge from the Football Association after being found guilty of betting on football.

Playing with Norwich City at the time, the Jambos ace returned to Scotland following a stint out of the first team and visited a bookies in East Kilbride where he bet money on horses and dogs.

After losing, he then had a punt on Spanish football and was subsequently fined £23,000 when the authorities found out.

Speaking to BBC Sport, he said: “It’s a lot for Vanessa to take in. Vanessa will tell you I don’t like talking. I don’t know what it is. I like keeping everything to myself, but the time has come now.

“This is the last thing Hearts wanted: another problem. I spoke to Austin after training a while ago. I told him how it’s been, how much I’ve lost.

“I needed to speak to somebody and I knew I could trust him. His wife must have thought we were having an affair he spoke to me that much. Hearts have been incredible.

“I feel lucky to be at Hearts with so many supportive people around me. Austin, Craig, Ann – what they’ve done for me makes me feel stronger this time.

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