Man wins $200,000 for betting grandson would one day play soccer for country

18.10.2013 15:16

LONDON - It was a simple of act of
faith that paid a handsome return. A
delighted grandfather announced his
retirement Wednesday after banking
more than $200,000 on a bet that his
grandson would one day play
international soccer for his home
Peter Edwards made the $80 bet in
January 2000 when Harry Wilson was
just 18-months old.
He secured odds of 2,500-1 for the
wager after watching the toddler chase
a ball around the family home in the
small town of Corwen in north Wales,
part of the United Kingdom.
“It was spur of the moment,” the 62-
year-old told NBC News' U.K.
partner, ITV News . “He was crawling
after the ball in the living room, so I
just thought it wouldn’t be a bad idea
to put a bet on that he might play for
He added that he had to call the
London headquarters of betting firm
William Hill in order to place the bet.
His persistence was rewarded on
Tuesday night when Wilson, now 16,
was introduced in the second half of a
game against Belgium.
It was not only a lucrative family
moment, but also one for the record-
books: Wilson is the youngest man ever
to play for Wales.
The teenager regularly plays for
Liverpool F.C., the English Premier
League club owned by Boston Red Sox
owner John W. Henry.
Edwards, an electrical engineer, told
The Guardian newspaper that he works
away from home most of the year,
spending only one weekend in three,
with wife Dorothy, 58.
After nervously watching Tuesday's
game on his iPad, he said he knew he’d
worked his last day.
“I retired immediately,” he told the
paper. “I told my manager yesterday
that if Harry plays I wouldn't be
coming back. “I've retired one year
Refraining from the tradition of
swapping kit with his opponents at the
end of the game, the youngster instead
proudly presented his match shirt to
his grandparents, the Daily Post
newspaper, reported.
A spokesman for the betting firm
William Hill said the company was
pleased to pay out.
“Mr Edwards has been able to quit his
job as a result of his amazing ability to
spot fledgling talent earlier than almost
anyone else we've ever taken a bet
from,” said Graham Sharpe.
Sharpe added that, prior to Tuesday,
Wilson had also been eligible to play
for England because his grandmother
had been born there. “If England had
snapped him up this bet would have
been a loser,” he said.