As if seeing your side go from relegation scrappers to league champions in the space of a year wasn’t enough, one Leicester fan is set to reap the rewards of his support with a potential £100,000 payout.
After ‘fancying the look’ of the pre-season odds, Leicester fan John Pryke, 59, dismissively placed his £20, 5000/1 bet with bookmakers Ladbrokes last August.
Leicester are now five points clear at the summit of the Barclays Premier League and now with just 13 games remaining, John and wife Julie are enduring an anxious wait.
John claims he was inspired by Greece’s European Championship victory, keen not to make the same mistake twice:
“I remember when Greece won the European Championships in 2004, as late entrants. No-one fancied them” remarked John.
“They were 500/1 to win it and I remember my son, Christopher, said to me: ‘They’ll win it, dad,’ and I laughed at him. Lo and behold, they did. I didn’t want to miss out like that again.”
“I’m not a big gambler but when I saw the odds for City – 5,000/1, and with the way we finished last season – I thought it was worth a go.”
He added: “I feel confident. I’m nervous, but I think we’ll do it. I don’t think it will go to the last game, or even the last two games, of the season.
The odds were so good, I just thought: ‘Well, that’s not bad – I fancy that’ so I had a bet on them.”
John, who lives in the Leicester Forest East region, is hoping to invest the winnings into his business and to buy himself and his wife a new bungalow.
As is the nature of betting, where there’s big winners there are always big losers.
Fortunately should the stars align for Leicester, the only party losing out is Ladbrokes who had 46 customers take on their 5000/1 odds.
They face a payout of £1million if Leicester win their first Premier League title.
Jessica Bridge, Ladbrokes representative, admitted: “We’re staring down the barrel of a multi-million pound payout.
“We thought we’d outfoxed punters by offering 5000/1 pre-season, but we can only doff our cap to Claudio Ranieri’s team who have proven us all wrong.
“It’s not every day of the week you get to lay a team like Leicester to win the league, so with the liabilities racking up we find ourselves in the unusual position of cheering on former champions Manchester City for the trophy.”
Sounds like yet another reason to get behind Leicester as we approach the conclusion to the season!