Kilkenny hurling great Richie Power has credited the GPA and Oisín McConville with helping him on the road to recovery from his gambling addiction.

The eight-time All-Ireland SHC winner revealed that his gambling problem which had started in his teens, "took a hold of him" and affected him throughout his playing career.

It wasn't until he was axed from the Kilkenny panel by Brian Cody in 2013 that Power began to address his issues.

Speaking on the BBC Radio's GAA Social Podcast, he said: "I’ve struggled with a gambling addiction,"

"It started at a relatively young age, around probably 17, maybe 18 and it would have been very small at the beginning. Then it just took a hold of me, really, grabbed a hold of me as it does as it has affected so many other people as well.

"It affected me throughout my sporting career. Being an inter-county player, you have so much free time at weekends. You’re not out socialising, you’re trying to maybe fill that void. Gambling was an escapism for me, away from hurling, away from other problems that were going on in my life."

"I just tried to hide it and continued on down that long, lonely, dark road until I eventually couldn’t go any further at the end of 2013."

In 2013 Power’s club Carrickshock were edged out in the county final and shortly afterward he was informed by Cody that his services were no long required in the Kilkenny set-up.

That was the final straw that made Power reach out for help and a hastily arranged meeting with his father and addiction counsellor and former-Armagh star McConville helped to get him on the road to recovery.

"I won’t say he (Cody) was aware of how bad things were but he was aware of my gambling. That kind of led to everything coming out at home with my mam and dad at home, my brother and sister. Everything was put on the table and luckily enough the GPA were a huge help," he said.

"That was the start of the road to recovery. There were bumps along the way but that was where I had to make a decision, really. Keep going down that road on my own or sit down and talk about it and manage or arrest it.

"I’ll always be a gambling addict but as long as you keep doing the right things it doesn’t have to affect the rest of your life."