A lottery winner whose life was ruined after he won £9 million five years ago died of a heart attack brought on by money worries.
Tragic Keith Gough, 58, died penniless after collapsing at his nephew’s home and passed away in hospital last Saturday.
His life spiralled out of control after he scooped the £9 million jackpot with his wife Helen in 2005.
Keith blew his fortune on booze, race horses and an executive box at Aston Villa FC and was fleeced out of his last £700,000 by a conman.
Friends said Keith had been suffering ”financial worries” shortly before his death.
One pal, who did not want to be named, said: ”Keith always put a brave face on things but he was financially screwed.
”A combination of carelessness, naivety and generosity left him skint and he was finding it hard to get back on his feet.
”I know the stress of not being able to pay his way was weighing on his mind.”
Keith suffered a heart attack at his nephew’s home, where he lived, in Broseley, Shropshire, and was rushed to Telford’s Princess Royal Hospital where he died last Saturday.
Soon after becoming a millionaire in 2005 Keith’s life began to fall apart.
His 25-year marriage split up, he gave up his job as a baker and began drinking heavily.
He also gambled away tens of thousands of pounds and splashed out flash cars and boozy parties.
Despite being separated from Helen who bought the winning ticket she gave him £1.5 million.
He checked into the Priory rehabilitation clinic in Birmingham for his alcoholism where he fell victim to fraudster James Prince who conned him out of £700,000 between August 2006 and July 2008.
Prince, who was jailed for three years four months last June, befriended him and plied him with alcohol before persuading him to sign over his cash for ‘business ventures’.
John Homer, owner of Broseley News, where Keith’s wife Helen bought the winning ticket, yesterday described him as ”a lovely man”.
He said: ”Keith was larger than life. I understand he died of a heart attack but I know he had alcohol-related problems as well.
”He was a lovely man and will be sorely missed. Winning the money was the worst thing that happened to him. It’s very sad.”
Shropshire councillor Les Winwood, who was a friend of Keith, added: ”He was quite a character and he had a lot of friends who used the pub.
”I knew him socially, he knew he’d made mistakes with the money but was never bitter and was a great man to know.”
Former work colleague Graham Hall said: ”It was a tragic end for a larger than life character.”
Keith’s funeral will be held Telford Crematorium next week