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EXCLUSIVE: Missing millions of playboy former Wolves star Michael McIndoe

Wyre Forest | News | Published:

Five Wolves stars are owed £2.6 million by ex-teammate Michael McIndoe who squandered millions on gambling, lavish parties and failed business ventures, leaving 100 footballers £30m out of pocket.

Former goalkeeper and Sky Sports presenter Matt Murray is owed £1.6m of the sum according to documents seen by this newspaper.

The Scottish-born winger, who is now being investigated by fraud detectives, owes current number one Carl Ikeme £290,000, former striker Freddy Eastwood £275,000 and ex-forward Andy Keogh £67,000.

He was signed by ex-Wolves manager Graham Turner and did well for the Bulls but the club's financial pressures forced them to accept a £25,000 bid for McIndoe from Yeovil Town in 2001. Under Gary Johnson, McIndoe scored 22 league goals which helped secure promotion to the Football League as Conference champions in 2003.

During the summer he moved to Doncaster Rovers for £50,000, becoming their second highest scorer for season and making the PFA Team of the Year. His second season saw him become joint top scorer in the club's first season back in League One.

In 2005, he scored the first penalty in the Football League Cup tie against Premier League side Manchester City to start Doncaster's cup run. He then scored a memorable penalty against Aston Villa. The exposure sparked interest from a host of Championship clubs and the Scottish national set-up.

He signed on loan for Derby County in the second half of the 2005–2006 season. At the end of that season, McIndoe was named in the League One PFA Team of the Year.

He then joined the newly-promoted Championship side Barnsley for £125,000 in 2006. He quickly moved on loan to Wolves in the Autumn, activating a clause in his contract allowing him to move elsewhere if he wished. He moved permanently on January 1, 2007 for £250,000.

He sparked controversy when he again teamed up with manager Gary Johnson, this time at Bristol City on a three-year contract for an undisclosed fee.

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After two years in the West Country and in August 2009, he signed a two-year contract with Championship side Coventry City for an undisclosed fee.

Incredibly, an anonymous former Wolves youth player is owed £380,000.

In total, 17 men are owed nearly £3.5m according to a list prepared for the official receiver of McIndoe's bankrupt estate.

It is believed these are just the tip of the iceberg with up to 100 footballers, businessmen and celebrities affected, including former Wolves strikers Robbie Keane and Sylvan Ebanks-Blake who are also thought to have lost money.

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A source close to the club said a consortium of Wolves players gave McIndoe more than a million pounds in cash in a single payment into his scheme in 2011.

There is no suggestion that any of those paying money into the scheme were anything other than genuine investors.

The Express & Star has also spoken to former Walsall and Kidderminster midfielder David McDermott who lost around £140,000.

He spoke of how he was flown out to a luxury resort in Marbella where he partied with models for a month in the sun and how McIndoe's bar bill totalled 38,000 euros for a single day's drinking.

Mr McDermott, aged 27, said: "He was very good and made you feel like one of his best friends.

"As young men in our early 20s we thought we were living the dream. I was playing for York at the time so the money was obviously nothing like I was experiencing.

"Because he was treating us to this incredible life, he made us feel like we owed him something.

"So I gave him some money to invest, as did my friend who took out a loan, and my dad invested some money too.

"We saw that others were getting their money back and we took his word as gospel."

He added: "We were then suddenly told that the payments would stop."

Footballers were attracted to McIndoe's scheme that promised 20 per cent interest per month on investments. News of the scheme spread throughout the football world and initially players received their payments.

It was at its height during 2010 but by the end of 2011 the money dried up and the payments stopped during the same season Wolves were relegated from the Premier League.

A source said: "Most of the Wolves squad in 2011 were members of the scheme and would club together.

"To start with it was all fine as we were getting regular payments. But when the money stopped it created panic."

McIndoe never revealed to those paying in how he was allegedly making the money.

McIndoe, 35, told a bankruptcy hearing at the Royal Courts Of Justice last week that he was a 'professional gambler' and that he did not know how much he had lost by gambling. Some of his William Hill gambling records seen by the Express & Star show almost £400,000 staked on matches, including Wolves and Albion games.

He was declared bankrupt last year.

McIndoe also played for Luton, Hereford, Yeovil, Doncaster, Bristol City, Barnsley, Coventry, and MK Dons.

McIndoe could not be contacted by the Express & Star and refused to speak to reporters outside court last week.

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