Wayne Rooney lost close to $1m in casino spree - reports
England football captain Wayne Rooney blew almost $1 million in a two-hour gambling spree at a casino, according to English news reports.
The Times reported that the Manchester United skipper lost £500,000 (NZ$939,000) on the roulette and blackjack tables at the Manchester 235 casino after United's Europa League home win over FC Rostov on March 16.
The Times report stated onlookers said Rooney, 31, arrived at midnight and played until 2am while drinking beer. His wife, Coleen and two sons, were away at the time.
"He appeared to be chasing his losses on the roulette wheel, placing large bets on single numbers and growing increasingly grumpy as he kept losing," the report said.
"One of those present told the Sun on Sunday newspaper: "Wayne was being extremely reckless, laying down chips which amounted to massive bets . . . He was gambling a lot on red when he was playing roulette - which seemed appropriate - and was putting long-shot bets on solo numbers. He kept losing but that just prompted him to bet more."
The Times said Rooney had a history of gambling.
"In his autobiography he wrote that during one year early in his career he lost £50,000 [NZ$94,000] and Coleen, 31, "was furious".
"It was not known whether she had been aware of this particular spree, although Rooney is a regular at the casino, where he has an account. "He was cursing under his breath and seemed to be in his own little world - fixated on the tables and all the machines around them," a witness said.
"He looked really down in the mouth towards the end."
In 2006, Rooney allegedly built up debts of £700,000 (NZ$1.3 million) in a dressing room gambling ring.
Rooney said at that time he was glad the story had come out because it had forced him to face up to his habit.
"It shocked me into realising how much I'd been losing and how stupid I'd been."
Rooney earns around $25 million a year at Manchester United.
He is the face of the club's poker app.