So I wake up on Thursday expecting it to be a morning just like any other. What I didn’t expect was to become embroiled in the shadowy world of international match-fixing.
A person called ‘Footy Accumulators’ inboxed me on Facebook asking whether I was interested in betting on a reportedly fixed match with odds of 7/1. He would supply me with the match, I would bet on the outcome then when it won I would send him over £200. So that’s a random stranger inboxing me at 06:55am on a Thursday morning talking in broken English about fixed matches? What could possibly go wrong?
The match in question was allegedly an Australia Victoria Under 20 League game between Port Melbourne Sharks and Pascoe Vale. The instruction was to bet on the game being a draw at both half-time and full-time. I haplessly steamed in to the tune of £100 quicker than you can say ‘Do you want to buy some magic beans?’ Naturally I couldn’t keep this potentially dynamite information to myself and was soon texting a friend of mine who was on holiday with his family in Tenerife. He wired me over £100 with the caveat ‘This better win mate as it’s the kids’ water park money for today’.
Pascoe Vale had a man sent off early on but then took the lead. When Port Melbourne Sharks equalised a few minutes before half-time I genuinely believed we were onto a winner. Pascoe Vale then went 2-1 up early in the second half. I was certain another equaliser was around the corner as was my source who said as the clocked ticked down ‘They will score on over time mate 100% sure’. Except they didn’t f*cking score. The match ended 2-1 and ‘Footy Accumulators’ quickly blocked me on his Facebook.
I then had to break the news to my mate Dicky who was waiting patiently for updates in Tenerife. He was incandescent with rage as he text back ‘I’ve just blown my kids holiday money on an Australian Under 20 soccer match on the advice of one of the worst gamblers in the country and a shady foreigner who speaks broken English. One word REHAB’. Some people just cannot be pleased.
I took a day to reflect on my folly but was back in the game on Saturday and smashing winners left, right and centre. Two horses I fancied hosed in and I was also convinced Kell Brook would be way too hot for overmatched mandatory challenger Kevin Bizier. I took even money that the fight would not last more than six rounds and also had a bet on Brook winning between rounds 1-3 at 7/2.
The Sheffield switch-hitter was thankfully at his spiteful best as he blew the hapless Bizier away in less than two sessions.
Easter weekend meant no work until Tuesday, so then I set off on a monumental booze up. I went out on Saturday afternoon dressed rather conservatively in a black t-shirt and jeans. When I returned home at 0735am on Sunday morning, I stunned my partner by falling through the door in a stolen silk scarf and a pink cowboy hat. She wasn’t impressed by my new look, commenting that I looked like “an alcoholic Texas Pete” from the 1980s cartoon show SuperTed.
After hitting the sauce in a big way again on Sunday, Bank Holiday Monday was a complete write off and Tuesday was a tough day to negate at work as well.
The very fact that I needed sunglasses to open my fridge door to fix myself a glass of orange juice told me that the day wasn’t going to be easy. My mouth tasted like all the bad decisions I had made over the weekend and I was crippled with the beer fear.
I heroically soldiered through and allowed myself a dignified double fist pump as I left the office at 5pm. The only saving grace of the day was backing both teams to score at evens in that evenings international friendly between Portugal and Belgium. The Portuguese were 2-0 up and threatening to run away with it thanks to goals from Nani and the boy Ronaldo before Belgium pulled one back midway through the second half to help me feel half human again. Romelu Lukaku, you f*cking dancer!!!
Cheeky’s Punt of the Week: Burnley to beat Brighton at 9/4 (Bet Bright)