FORMER Newcastle striker Nile Ranger has revealed he had to borrow £70,000 from team-mates to pay off gambling debts during his time at the club.
Ranger was heralded as a future star when he broke into the Magpies team in 2009.
But his career went off the rails big time and he is currently without a club having last played for Southend back in 2018.
Now, in a revealing interview with Four Four Two, the 29-year-old has lifted the lid on how his life off the pitch affected his time on it during the 2009/10 season.
He said: “I gambled £30,000 in a two-month period and had to borrow £70,000 from Hatem Ben Arfa, Steven Taylor and Fabricio Coloccini to pay my debts.
“The club found out and instantly banned me from every casino in Newcastle, while Coloccini sat me down and warned me about the dangers of gambling.”
Ranger revealed how managers Chris Hughton and Alan Pardew soon lost patience with him but Toon favourite Andy Carroll didn’t help.
After helping Newcastle back into the Premier League at the end of the 2009/10 season, Ranger spent his £96,000 promotion bonus on a new Range Rover.
But according to Ranger, Carroll nicked his keys one day and parked it in Hughton’s car parking spot.
Ranger added: “The gaffer warned me to spend my money wisely and not let it go to my head.
“But it went in one ear and out the other.”
Ranger made the headlines in 2011, but it wasn’t for his goalscoring exploits.
A photo of him holding a replica gun was shared around that saw Newcastle fine him two weeks wages.
But in Ranger’s own words, “that was loose change compared to the new five-year contract I was given just three months later.”
In 2018 he was slammed after he he mockingly “shot” the crowd with his boot after scoring a penalty.
Ranger was jailed for eight months for fraud in 2017 but was released after less than three months for good behaviour.
He has also being charged with criminal damage and common assault, as well as being fined by the FA for making homophobic comments.