Last Wednesday was significant for for two reasons. The first being that I finally dusted off the last of the Cadbury’s Celebrations left over from Christmas. The second was dual Olympic champion cyclist Victoria Pendleton finally claiming her first victory as a jockey on Pacha Du Polda.
Pendleton had been unseated on the same nag just 12 days previously and a few of my mates were giving me grief for steaming in at 5/4 given the circumstances. I may be many things however but sexist Neanderthal I most certainly ain’t and I was confident the former Olympian could get it right at long last in the Betfair ‘Switching Saddles’ Hunter Chase. And didn’t she f*cking get it right! A bold front-running ride saw her lead from pillar to post and cruise home by some 29 lengths in a display that would have left Emmeline Pankhurst herself a little misty-eyed.
So it’s Thursday night and I’ve smashed into Hull City to beat Birmingham at 11/10.
The omens were not great as it was in Hull while watching Hartlepool United as a young man in 1999 that I took a bit of a pasting outside a naughty old drinking establishment called The Silver Cod.
I fronted up like Danny Dyer, took a few slaps, and waddled away like Danny DeVito. That brought an end to my ever-so-brief career as a football hooligan. We also suffered the indignity of having our Ford Transit windscreen smashed out by a lovely bunch of fellas known as the Hull City Psychos. Have you ever tried driving on a motorway sans windscreen? It’s not recommended.
Anyway, Hull would have gone top on Thursday with a win, but fell to a 1-0 defeat. A defeat that cost me £100. Suffice to say supper that night was crackerbreads and a few hearty sighs.
Quick quiz question. Name three Football League clubs with names that contain swear words? The answer of course is Arsenal, Scunthope and f*cking Middlesbrough.
Let me explain. On Tuesday night I had a big double on Arsenal to beat Hull in the FA Cup and Boro to beat Rotherham. With payday a full week away I went balls-to-the-chopping-board and had a hefty 200 shekels. If it won I vowed to take ‘er indoors for a slap-up meal at Marco Pierre White’s in Newcastle on Friday night. If it went down it would be back to the crackerbreads and piccalilli.
I fancied Arsenal because Paul Merson piped up on talkSPORT radio that morning that they were ‘certainties’. Merson of course famously considered breaking his own fingers so he would not be able to phone his bookie while playing for Aston Villa, and in his book reckons he has sp*nked over £7million on betting throughout the course of his life. So he is obviously worth listening to.
I added Middlesbrough at 10/11 as they were second top in the Championship and playing a Rotherham side in the bottom three. Arsenal cruised to a 4-0 victory at Hull (cheers Merse) but Boro were making hard work of it at New York Stadium. I was ‘watching’ the match on the bet365 app. There’s no actual live footage of the game in terms of pictures, just a graphic showing where the ball is and I would get a semi on every time it said something like ‘Middlesbrough dangerous attack’.
Alas it wasn’t to be. Boro huffed and puffed but two minutes from time Rotherham scored against the run of play to leave me woebegone and seriously out of pocket. But life is all about getting things into perspective. It’s not just me who’s endured a tough week. Take poor Sam Dingle on Emmerdale. That man would walk to the ends of the earth for women but he is always getting pied off or slinked on. Sam, if you are reading this my brother, remember that when the world says give up, hope whispers ‘try it one more time’.
Cheeky’s Punt of the Week: Hartlepool to beat Dagenham at 6/5 (Hills)