As far as those who marvel at his sporting glories are concerned, Oisin McConville is a winner. His career has marked him out as one of the most gifted footballers of a generation. To date, he has won eleven Ulster titles and four All Irelands for club and country, picking up two All Stars and becoming the top scorer in Ulster football along the way. But off the pitch, winning has not been so easy. Outside the sport, McConville looked for other ways to replicate the buzz he felt while on the pitch for Crossmaglen and Armagh, and things very quickly got out of control. After the closure of his pub, it was rumoured that he had a drinking problem but in fact McConville had fallen victim to another addiction: gambling.What started out as a hobby became an overwhelming obsession and as his debts mounted the only escape he could find was on the football field. In "The Gambler", McConville relives the darkest days of his addiction and the six months he spent in rehabilitation while also recalling the highlights of his career.
Shortlisted for Energise Sport Irish Sports Book of the Year Award 2008.
Oisin McConville made his senior football debut for Armagh in 1994, the team for which he still plays. In 2006, he became the top Ulster scorer in the history of the GAA. He plays club football with Crossmaglen Rangers. Ewan MacKenna is a sports writer with the Sunday Tribune. He started his journalism career with the Kildare Nationalist before winning the Peter Ball Memorial Sports Writing Award and moving to his current post.