Putting Your Money On Football


I have grown up with betting playing a big part in my life.

My grandfather is a retired bookmaker. He had his own shop and had bookie pitches all over race courses and dog tacks throughout Scotland and Jersey. He was very well known in the betting world. At one time he counted Sir Alex Ferguson as one of his customers.

My father would also fit in the CCTV equipment and maintain it at Shawfield dog track. When I was a lot younger I would go along with my dad as he fixed various issues with the TVs. Can you imagine being a four year old and basically having a stadium to yourself? It was like the film ‘Home Alone’. I would run down all the empty corridors, would go behind the deserted bars and bound around the unoccupied stands.

Then as I reached the age of fourteen/fifteen I would go to the races with my grandpa. I would be his assistant, along with my cousin. We would help to assemble the pitch, I would go on the computer and change the odds and put through the bets. My favourite job would be to count the money during the races, at that time I could have anything up to a few grand in my hand. It was extremely exciting and nerve wracking!

I have always had a huge appetite for football. This would lead to my grandpa offering me a weekend coupon to look at, and he would ask me who I thought would win or draw. I would take it too seriously and would study the sheet for ages. This would be before the internet, so I’d go on my memory and think who was playing well, who was injured and who was suspended.

Now within a few months my grandfather stopped asking for my thoughts on who’d win or lose. He would ask me about the form, injuries and the like but that was it. Why? Because when it comes to football and betting  I over think it and quite honestly I am not very lucky. So he obviously wasn’t winning anything on his coupons.

I have had some great predictions come true, notably when I predicted a 3-2 victory for England over Sweden at Euro 2012. But alas these great one offs also happen when I don’t put my money where my mouth is.

I have had success at previous World Cups, I successfully predicted Italy would win in 2006 and won myself £150 in the process.

Looking ahead to this summers tournament and I always turn to history for some inspiration. Historically South Americans  do well in World Cups held in their own continent. So the six sides from South America are ones to keep an eye on.

I just don’t see Ecuador having the ability to mount a serious challenge for the trophy. Colombia would have been fancied more had Radamel Falcao not ruptured an anterior cruciate ligament in his knee. Chile are always exciting to watch but they lack that cutting edge at times and could find it tough against Spain and the Netherlands in ‘Group B’ .

Uruguay also have a stern test in the groups stages as they have Italy and England to contend with. They will be dark horses for the title but any side who can boast Edison Cavani and Luis Suarez in their strike-force are ones to watch.

For me it could be between Argentina and Brazil. Again looking back at history, Brazil will have to be wary of the 1950 World Cup, where Brazil lost on home turf in the final. I think Lionel Messi may have a very big World Cup this summer and he could be the man that gets them a third World Cup winners medal.

I’m not sure about the Europeans.

Italy still seem to be a work in progress outfit. The Netherlands could be a bit fragile. Current champions Spain may just be past there past, although that might be wishful thinking on my part.

I doubt England are strong enough to mount a serious tilt at the trophy. Roy Hodgson still doesn’t have enough world class talent in his squad to pull it off in my opinion. But if you are of a different opinion then you can bet on the Three Lions with William Hill

Germany could be the pick of the European countries. They have been improving in each competition and you feel that if this generation of talent is going to succeed then this could be the tournament for them.

I don’t think any of the other countries are technically ready to win the biggest tournament on earth, although I’d love for an Asian or African or a North American side to prove me wrong!

Do I approve of people betting on football?

Well how am I to judge others. As long as it doesn’t ruin peoples lives, its done legally and responsibly I am all for it. After all I am the grandson of a bookie.

Ending this article with how I started, talking about my grandfather, his best bit of advice was always bet on certainties. So maybe that’s the reason why I choose not to bet too much, there are never too many certainties in football!

Leave a Reply