Ivan Toney: I’m not currently set to become a spokesperson on gambling addiction

Ivan Toney: I’m not currently set to become a spokesperson on gambling addiction

Brentford forward Ivan Toney has revealed his last bet was “years ago”, but does not currently have any interest in becoming a spokesperson on gambling addiction.

Toney will mark his return from an eight-month ban for breaching betting rules on Saturday when he captains Brentford in a Premier League home fixture with Nottingham Forest.

England international Toney has not played competitively since May after the Football Association handed the striker a lengthy ban, which was reduced after it was deemed the 27-year-old had a gambling addiction.

Asked when he placed his last bet, Toney told the Daily Mail: “Years ago. Yeah, so it’s all sorted now.

“You just look back and look at the money you’ve lost and what that could have gone towards. These kinds of things. But the more you do that, the more you drive yourself crazy.

“I literally couldn’t tell you (how much I’ve bet). The more I think about it, the more I dwell on the past. It will haunt you even more and pain you.

Ivan Toney in action for England
Ivan Toney was in action for England in March 2023 but has not played competitively for his club since May (Zac Goodwin/PA)

“I didn’t bet on anything else apart from football. Not really. Maybe a horse at the Cheltenham Festival but that was it. The past is the past, so why let it hurt you?”

Toney received a suspension after he admitted breaching 232 betting rules, but the investigation into his gambling occurred months earlier and he earned his maiden England cap while it was ongoing.

He had repeatedly stated his “goal” was to force his way back into England’s squad for the Euros.

While Toney would aim to hit the ground running, last season’s 20-goal hitman was wary of offering gambling advice, especially to Newcastle’s Sandro Tonali, who is serving a ban for breaching betting rules.

“I don’t want to preach to him. I’m glad he is being allowed to train with the team – that will be good for his mental health. I hope he is coping well and will come back stronger,” Toney added.

“Around the time I got banned. I wanted to keep myself to myself and be around my family more than trying to be out there being a spokesperson for all sorts of things. At the time, my head wasn’t really focused on doing those kinds of things.

“I might look more into it now. Then again, I don’t really want to be a kind of ‘feel-sorry-for-me, I’ve-been-through-it, listen-to-me kind of person’. That’s far from my personality and far from what I’d be trying to get across to people.

“At the time, I guess I accepted it. Those are the kind of things, you accept and move forward and sort things out, which I did and that’s all cleared now, so my main focus is steering away from that kind of rubbish and focus on playing well for the team and doing what I do best – which is concentrate on scoring goals and playing well.

“I want to own it and get on with it. I’ve done it. The punishment is done. It is what it is. You can’t change what’s done.”