Cheeky Punt: Berdych, chest freezers, Jermain Defoe

Date published: Wednesday 18th May 2016 9:33

Due to a lack of any real decent football on Thursday (apologies to Portsmouth and Plymouth fans) I got stuck into the Rome Masters tennis.

There were loads of matches on the ATP and WTA Tours in the Eternal City but I ended up steaming in with a heavy single on Tomas Berdych to beat David Goffin at 4/7. Me and The Berd Man have previous. Since his debut in 2004 I can’t think of a player or team in any sport, ever, who has cost me so much money.

He’s the type of player that when I put any money down on him he falls apart, and when I lay him he plays like he invented the game. He’s cost me thousands over the years, almost certainly five figures. Sighs. Indeed I call my 2008 purple Clio with no wheel trims ‘Tomas’, purely because I know if he hadn’t been born I’d be driving around in an Audi right now.

So quite why I keep getting stuck into the Czech is beyond me. The attraction is like a moth to a flame. Like an old rummy who can’t help waking up and dousing himself in strong, cheap cider.

Anyway on Thursday our relationship ended. For good. This excuse of a man somehow lost 6-0 6-0. He was double-bageled. The c*nt won just 15 points in the entire match.

Listen I’m 37 and about two stone overweight but I’d back myself to win 15 points against diminutive Belgian Goffin. 6-0 6-0? The match had some serious repercussions. Berdych sacked his coach while I advised ‘er indoors she can break both my hands if she ever catches me punting on this putz again. F*ck you Tomas. It’s over.


As Rabbie Burns was so often fond of saying ‘The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men, gang aft a gley’.

And so it was on Saturday, when I was due to go to Doncaster races for a sophisticated day of racing on the flat. The hotel and train tickets had been purchased and I’d even got myself one of those moody suit jackets the cool kids on Facebook seem to be wearing these days.

However I got a call from one of the lads I was going with at 6:33am on Saturday morning saying his car had been smashed up and his front window put out after a day of heavy boozing on Friday had gone catastrophically wrong. Being the good egg I am I went straight down to survey the damage and help with the clean-up operation. However, he unwisely handed me a freezing can of Fosters as we hoovered up shards of broken glass. At 7am. Big mistake.

All bets were off. A day of sophistication was replaced by a day of getting absolutely hammered in the local hellholes of my hometown. Memories are sketchy but I returned home after 2am minus a shoe, not unlike Wee Willy Winkie.

My partner was horrified as she came downstairs and witnessed me staggering around the garage all confused. “What are you doing with your life?” she whispered.

I apparently replied “it’s a surprise” before trying to climb into a chest freezer.


Monday was spent mostly wanting to punch Roy Hodgson in the mouth. Now as it goes I don’t mind Roy. Yes, his voice has a slightly migrainous quality but I think he’s an honest bloke who has done well for himself and is proud to boss the national side. My reasons were purely selfish after I had backed Jermain Defoe at 10/1 to be named in England’s squad for Euro 2016.

I’d heard a whisper last week from an old journalist friend of mind that Defoe was in the frame and I figured his 18 goals in all competitions for a pretty sh*t Sunderland side might have sufficiently impressed the England hierarchy. I had backed the Ambrosia custard-loving Londoner at 10/1 on Friday night and by Sunday he was no bigger than 7/2 to be on the plane to France.

So by 11am on Monday morning I was hopeful of hearing the gamble had landed and planned to celebrate (I had £50 on at 10s) by doing a Roger Milla-style dance by the water cooler in the corner of my office. Alas Hodgson decided to p*ss all over my chips by selecting young Marcus Rashford as his fifth forward. It was a blatant case of ageism in my book and left me truly gutted. Now, if any readers have a Voodoo doll kicking around their house I would be eternally grateful if you could put either Rashford or Daniel Sturridge out of commission for a few weeks.


Degsy Bilton

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