Widower Colin Hendry declared bankrupt owing £2.2m as he admits plight partly caused by gambling

COLIN Hendry, the former Scotland captain and Rangers player, was declared bankrupt yesterday with debts of £2.2 million.

• Colin Hendry. Picture: TSPL/Ian Rutherford

Though the footballer, once known as "Braveheart", did not attend Blackpool County Court, he admitted in a statement that part of his financial troubles were caused by gambling.

Hendry, who led Scotland during the 1998 World Cup, had hoped to avoid bankruptcy but was unable to come to an arrangement with his numerous creditors who include HM Revenue and Customs, to whom he is said to owe as much as 1.1m in unpaid taxes.

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The petition for bankruptcy was led by Spreadex, an online gaming company to whom he owes 35,000. According to court papers, Hendry also owes 10,000 to the parents of his late wife Denise, 35,000 to his brother and another 60,000 to his late father's estate.

Among his other debts are 85,000 owed to his former neighbour, Hector McFarlane, who lent Hendry money when his late wife was gravely ill and he asked him not to tell her.

In recent years, Hendry has endured a number of personal crises, which began in 2002 when his wife was left in a coma and requiring multiple surgeries following a botched liposuction operation. She later died from a brain infection in July 2009.

The formal application to bankrupt Hendry was made yesterday by barrister Tom Gosling on behalf of the original petitioning creditor, Spreadex. Mr Gosling told the hearing: "There has been a proposal that Mr Hendry enter into an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA] with his creditors. A proposal was put forward by him but this was rejected by 55 per cent of the creditors. Spreadex did not, however, vote against it. Since then, no other proposals have been put forward."

Mr McFarlane was among those who rejected the IVA which would have led to him receiving just 14,100 over the next five years.

The former Rangers and Blackburn Rovers defender, who went on to manage Blackpool and Clyde, put his financial plight down to poor taxation advice in the past. In his statement, he said: "I have gambled in the past but not to the extent some people may think. What worries me now and what I am unsure about is what impact this will have on my ability to earn money in the future. It has already had a bad effect on my family."

Yesterday the judge, Michael Buckley, agreed to Mr Gosling's application that Hendry, of Lytham in Lancashire, be made bankrupt. The court's decision will be passed to the Official Receiver for the area. He will then formally question Hendry abut his finances and any assets he may possess, and decide whether there has been any recklessness or failure to disclose hidden money.

An insolvency practitioner will be appointed to control Hendry's assets and distribute them amongst the creditors, who include Howard Walker, the son of Jack Walker, who signed Hendry for Rovers.

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Hendry will continue to live at his Lytham home. He owns another property in the town which is for sale and a villa on the French Riviera where Howard Walker, the founder of Flybe airline, lives.

The bankruptcy order will last for a year, during which Hendry will not be able to get credit of over 250. He will not be able to run any company and will have to resign as a director of the three firms he has set up in the last ten years.

A close friend of Hendry said: "He knew what would happen at court and there was no legal reason for him to attend. He knows what the next steps are but he hopes that a way may still be fund to get this bankruptcy annulled. The Hendry household has suffered some very grim days in the last few years and this is another one."

The Official Receiver will allow him to keep a modest car, clothes and reasonable household expenses from any earnings.