Paul Merson thanks fans for support after Arsenal icon reveals 'crack' gambling addiction

The 50-year-old told producers of the new ITV documentary that "life's fallen apart".

Merson is no stranger to excess having previously lost £7million on alcohol, drugs and betting problems in the 1990s.

But some of those issues have sadly returned.

He said: "I'm struggling with life at the moment, struggling badly.

"Life's fallen apart – gambling…I've just completely lost control, I've completely, again. I'm digging a hole – I can't get out of it. It's the worst addiction in the world."

Merson is part of a show including a dozen other England internationals

After receiving hundreds of messages in the wake of the revelations, Merson took to Twitter to pay tribute to his supporters.

The Sky Sports pundit wrote: "Thank you for the supportive tweets, means the world to me.

"Taking one day at a time but it's getting better for me.

"Addiction is the most lonely of places and I've had three of the worst types over three decades. Never be afraid to talk, you're never alone."

A former England international who won 21 international caps, Merson represented 10 clubs during his distinguished career including Arsenal, Middlesbrough and Aston Villa.

Featured in an ITV show which will be broadcast next week, he is one of 13 ex-England stars trying to get fit again under ex-Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp.

However, his problems emerged after he was forced to miss a training session abroad.

The 1993 FA Cup winner is also back at Alcoholic Anonymous and has attended sessions for at least nine weeks.

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