Dean Brett's Cowdenbeath career on line as he admits gambling against own team
Cowdenbeath defender Dean Brett says he will not use the deaths of his partner and daughter as an excuse as he looks to save his career after admitting gambling on football matches.
The 24-year-old is being investigated by the Scottish Football Association over the alleged 2,787 bets he placed.
Eight were against his own team and he faces a club hearing on Tuesday.
"I don't have a leg to stand on," Brett told BBC Scotland. "I hope I get lucky and they forgive me."
The Scot has been suspended by the club at which he has spent his whole football career.
Brett's partner Gemma Porteous died of cancer in January 2015 aged 22, four months after their daughter Mollie, who had been born prematurely, died.
The footballer was left alone to care for Mollie's twin sister Mia, but he admits his gambling problem had started before then.
"It got worse," he said. "It was going to see Mollie in hospital and, if I was sitting waiting, I would go on my bookie's account and I would bet.
"When my partner went into hospital, I was going from one hospital to another hospital, I would be on my bookie's account, horses, and it just took off from there.
"When Mollie passed away, something changed in my head - I've lost a daughter, my money doesn't matter.
"I wouldn't use it as an excuse. There was no-one here, nothing else to do and I just thought I would bet and I got into liking it."
Brett admits such high-profile cases left him undeterred, and he found it hard to accept he had a problem.
"My friends would say, 'you've got a problem', but I would always say I've not got a problem because I wasn't getting into debt," he said.
"I've bet on football for the majority of my career, since I was 18. I knew the rules - don't bet on football because you'll get caught - but I never took it seriously.
"Ian Black got caught betting against Rangers and I thought that was because he got grassed and I thought I'd never get that."
Brett, who has been with Cowdenbeath during their fall from Scotland's second tier to the foot of League Two, insists his gambling never affected his performances.
"I think the fans would agree and previous managers will agree, I'll give everything," he said.
"I scored in one of the games - against Rangers - so I'm not thinking I am going out here to get beat.
"I wasn't going to bet on Cowdenbeath to beat Rangers just because I'm in it."
Brett says he has received messages of support from half the Fife club's squad.
"If they release me, I'll just need to accept it," he said. "But I hope I am still a Cowdenbeath player at the end of it.
"The club's in a bad place just now and I hope I get a second chance to help them back up."
Brett's gambling came to light after he was the subject of a complaint to the SFA regarding unrelated comments made on his Twitter account.
The Gambling Commission said Brett's betting activity involved 2,787 bets covering 6,369 matches.
Cowdenbeath said in statement: "The manager and chairman met with Dean last Thursday and Dean was suspended on full pay pending a club disciplinary hearing this week as per the club's disciplinary code of practice."
PFA Scotland chief executive Fraser Wishart said the players' union only found out about the gambling charge when it appeared in Monday newspapers.
"When you hear about his tragic story, which we were aware of before this came to light, I think it is important that each case is looked at on an individual basis," he said.