Back in 1998, Peter Edwards placed a £50 bet with a bookmaker that his grandson, then 1 1/2 years old, would one day play for the Welsh National Soccer Team. Even though he got some tasty 2,500/1 odds, that’s still pretty much grounds to have the guy committed to the happy asylum.
Except … the grandson, now 16 years old, did just that. On Tuesday Harry Wilson (above, in the light red jersey) became the youngest athlete ever to play for Wales’ senior national team, making his debut in Wales’ European World Cup qualifier vs. Belgium. His grandfather, Peter Edwards, 62, thus collected £125,000 from a bookmaker in Wrexham.
He is now set to retire a year earlier than originally planned.
“I was shattered because I had to wait for 85, 86 minutes before he came on and I was panicking because they’d already substituted twice, so I thought he wasn’t going to make it”
At 16 years and 207 days, the Liverpool midfielder was 108 days younger than previous record holder Gareth Bale, now the world’s most expensive footballer following his recent move to Real Madrid.
Why did he make the bet?
Mr Edwards said Wilson had showed an interest in football from a young age.
“When he was about 18 months old he used to chase a ball around on the carpet before he could walk,” Mr Edwards said.
He said after Harry enrolled in the Liverpool FC academy his skills quickly developed and he returned to William Hill in the hope of placing a second bet.
“Harry was about 12 then. But they turned me down and said I already had a substantial bet with them. But they threw in England as a gesture of goodwill,” he added.
I assume that means that if the grandkid ended up playing for England’s national team, granddad would also collect.
Granted, Wales only has a population of about 3 million — less than Los Angeles. But that’s still some astronomical odds.
Photo: Getty Images.