Tony Kelly is an experienced and engaging speaker who is available to talk to your audience about gambling-related harms.
By candidly sharing his own experiences with problem gambling, Tony’s presentations help an audience really understand the human costs of problem gambling.
You can get in touch with Tony via:
Tony has a huge range of speaking experience. His speaking and interview engagements include:
Tony Kelly is a former professional footballer who, at the age of 16, became Bristol City’s youngest ever player. He went on to play 210 professional football league games for six different clubs between 1990 and 1999. His football highlights include working with legendary managers such as Alan Ball and Lou Macari; and his famous goal in the 1991 League Cup!
However, Tony’s glamorous lifestyle as a professional footballer was turned upside down by a devastating gambling addiction that impacted the trajectory of his life. He lost over £500,000, had three houses and three cars repossessed, broke up with his partner of 20 years, suffered mental health issues, and ended up bankrupt in 2010 with a bankruptcy file of £192,000.
Despite the odds against him, Tony demonstrated immense courage, resilience, and mental strength, enabling him to come back from the brink and turn his life around. His journey towards recovery began with his first publication book in 2014, “Red Card,” in which he put his story to print. Later, he published his second book, “Red Card- A Bet You Can Win!“, detailing his gambling journey, which ended in him overcoming his demons.
The positive feedback from the media, including his BBC Breakfast interview in 2013, encouraged Tony to continue sharing his story and message with others, highlighting the fact that anyone can become addicted to gambling. Today, Tony is an advocate for gambling reform, a published author, an educator on gambling harms for young people across the UK, and the founder and CEO of his own company, the Red Card Gambling Support Project. Not only has he managed to recover from his addiction, but he is also using his lived experience to support and help others, which is truly remarkable and admirable.
Tony is well-respected by his peers and as a prominent figure in the gambling education space, he is always looks for opportunities to share his story and inspire others. He has delivered his personal talks to thousands of people in various settings, such as his local church, schools, colleges, local councils, and business dinner events; making him a powerful public speaker.
Tony’s story is a testament to how one can rebuild their life after suffering trauma and adversity. Through dedication, hard work, faith, and hope, he demonstrates that one can recover from addiction and go on to live a healthy and sustainable lifestyle for years to come. His story is truly inspiring and serves as an example of the human spirit’s resilience in the face of overwhelming odds
Please see ‘Booking and enquiry’ section below for Tony’s contact details.
Here’s one example of feedback provided following a talk to over 300 students at Langley College.
Yesterday, Hope in Haringey could be seen in support of the former footballer & Founder of a Gambling Support CIC, RED CARD, Tony Kelly at Langley College.
Across 3 incredible & packed sessions, Tony shared his battle with gambling addiction – a vice that cost him over £500,000 across the length of his career.
Now in recovery, Tony is a fantastic speaker and educator on the dark side of gambling, with his talk showing just how damaging gambling addictions are in our communities.
Head of Safeguarding.