Jack Whatmough touched by reaction of Portsmouth well-wishers after Sporting Chance confession

Jack Whatmough has thanked the Fratton faithful and team-mates past and present for their support following his Sporting Chance confession.

Monday, 7th December 2020, 6:30 am
Jack Whatmough netted Pompey's first goal in Saturday's 2-0 success over Peterborough. Picture: Joe Pepler

And he hopes going public with his past troubles will be the ‘eye-opener’ to enable a greater understanding among football fans.

Set in September 2019, when recovering from knee surgery, Whatmough admitted he had occupied a dark period which saw him drink up to eight cans of Carling a day and use horse racing betting apps.

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In the present, the 24-year-old is a pivotal player in Kenny Jackett’s first-team and in July became a father for the first time.

And he has no regrets over coming forward to tell his story with such brutal honesty.

He told The News: ‘I’ve had some messages from people I wouldn’t expect to, people I hadn’t spoken to for a while.

‘I got a nice message from Paul Robinson, who was club captain here.

‘I look at Tom Naylor now and they are so similar in their ways, that’s why Nayls is such a good club captain.

‘There have also been some lovely messages on social media. I stay a bit more quiet on there now, I just don’t really have time.

‘It was a tough situation to be in and I don’t think people really understand how it is until they are in it.

‘If I could turn the clock back down I would have slapped myself and told me how stupid I was. It’s how it is and you get caught up in the moment.

‘Hopefully talking about my experiences is a bit of an eye-opener so others can see what people go through.

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‘But everyone is entitled to their perception and what they want to think. The fans can have their opinion, you can’t take that away from them.’

Having recovered from a third serious injury to his left knee, the Gosport lad is playing as well as ever.

He added: From that moment when I first really spoke about it, everything has been positive.

‘Moving forward, I became a dad and feel I have matured more as a person and a player. If I was in that situation now, that wouldn’t happen.

‘It has gone really well. Surgery was amazing, the rehab work I’ve done is really good and football is going really well and I’m enjoying it.

‘I’m looking forward – and I’m happy.’

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