Former Newcastle United star declared bankrupt after racking up nearly £1.4 million tax debt

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Craig Bellamy played 128 times for Newcastle United and picked up 43 goals playing under Bobby Robson and Graeme Souness in the early noughties.

Former Newcastle United star and current Burnley assistant manager Craig Bellamy has declared bankruptcy.

The ex-Wales captain scored 43 times in 128 appearances for The Magpies between 2001 and 2005, working under Bobby Robson and Graeme Souness.

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Newcastle paid £6.5 million for Bellamy when signing him from Coventry City in 2001 and the winger's cumulative transfer fees across his playing career amounted to £45 million as he starred for Liverpool, Manchester City, Cardiff City and more.

Now 43 years old, Bellamy had admitted bankruptcy as a result of failed investments and owes £1,398,071.20 to HMRC.

In an emotional interview with The Daily Mail, Bellamy said he had been “living the last five or six years on Death Row just waiting for someone to put me out”.

He said: "Everything I have had has been taken from me. If you get the wrong people advising you it all haemorrhages, it all dwindles. It has got to the point where bankruptcy is a relief. It means I can just live again.

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"I know some people will probably think I have squandered all my money on drinking or gambling or drugs. I haven't.

Craig Bellamy signed for Newcastle from Coventry in 2001 (Image: Getty Images)Craig Bellamy signed for Newcastle from Coventry in 2001 (Image: Getty Images)
Craig Bellamy signed for Newcastle from Coventry in 2001 (Image: Getty Images) | Getty Images

"I can go quiet where you won't hear from me but I won't be down the pub. I have never touched drugs since I was a young kid. I don't gamble - I have never gambled.

"It doesn't make any sense to me. But I have gambled on people, unfortunately."

The news comes after Bellamy opened up about a depression diagnosis in 2020 when vacating his post as assistant manager at Anderlecht in Belgium in September 2021.

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Burnley manager Vincent Kompany and assistant Craig Bellamy watch on

The EFL Sky Bet Championship - Hull City v Burnley - Wednesday 15th March 2023 - MKM Stadium - Kingston upon HullBurnley manager Vincent Kompany and assistant Craig Bellamy watch on

The EFL Sky Bet Championship - Hull City v Burnley - Wednesday 15th March 2023 - MKM Stadium - Kingston upon Hull
Burnley manager Vincent Kompany and assistant Craig Bellamy watch on The EFL Sky Bet Championship - Hull City v Burnley - Wednesday 15th March 2023 - MKM Stadium - Kingston upon Hull

The Welshman said that he had been diagnosed three years earlier and had been taking medication. He added that injuries had made his condition worse. When announcing his bankruptcy, Bellamy also sent a warning message to young players.

He said: "Check everything, make sure the people advising you are regulated. If they are not regulated, it's the wild west. Get your stuff audited by independent people, the equivalent of getting a second opinion.

"I was brought up in a generation of footballers where everything was done for you. Every bill. Wherever I was, the club did everything for me. I think that's wrong.

"It makes you too vulnerable. It's good for players to have their own responsibilities because one day the club will not be there.

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"You will finish your career and you will still be a young man, and when you finish who's going to pay your stuff then? You are going to have to learn to survive. You are going to have live in the real world."

If you have been affected by anything in this article a list of helplines is available through mental health charity Mind.

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