Cheeky Punt: Voting Leave and losing a tortoise

Date published: Wednesday 29th June 2016 10:11

I awoke on Friday morning to the epoch-defining news that Britain had voted to leave the EU.

In the end I voted out. I was aware the ‘in’ campaign was the best bet in terms of safeguarding the future of the NHS but after four hospital visits in a week, seeing three specialists who still couldn’t suggest anything better than putting a few bandages on my dodgy finger, my patience was wearing thin. I also had a few quid on ‘Leave’ several weeks ago at 11/4. So to see David Cameron crying on the steps of Number 10 early doors on Thursday morning made me feel all warm and happy inside.

Boris Johnson might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but he was always good craic on Have I Got News for You and his ‘flying headbutt to the nut sack’ tackle on Maurizio Gaudino during Soccer Aid 2006 was a belter.

It looks like it might get worse before it gets better though. As the seminal news broke on a balmy morning over the UK, sterling hit its lowest levels since 1985. I decided to withdraw all my cash into my Paddy Power account (they are one of the top ten betting sites)….just in case. Anyway, if it all goes t*ts up couldn’t we just get Sam Allardyce in to steady the ship?


The wheels came off on Saturday as I was again ambushed by the demon drink. What started off as an innocent few pints watching the Poland – Switzerland match in a social club near my house ended late on Sunday evening in a nightclub rather ironically called ‘Loons’.

It was a rollercoaster few days in which I somehow managed to lose a good friend of mine’s tortoise (I kid you not) while also damaging two of my ribs wrestling with a soldier from the Green Howards in the front garden of a house party.

Happily ‘Little Jimmy’ turned up a few days later unharmed following a neighbourhood search, but my mate and his partner have since let me know in no uncertain terms that I will never be trusted to ‘tortoise-sit’ again.


Monday night saw the conclusion of the round of 16 at the European Championships, with England facing Iceland in Nice.

The Three Lions were red-hot 1/2 favourites to progress to the last eight and I steamed in like an idiot thinking we were certainties. Of course England ended up losing the game 2-1, prompting several media types to label it the ‘worst defeat in England’s history’.

It’s hard to argue against that view when England’s best player on the night was probably Marcus Rashford, a sub who came on with less than 10 minutes to go.

Shameful. Humiliating. Embarrassing. I could scarcely believe what I was watching, particularly in the second half when England seemed to have no clue what to do each and every time they got the ball in the opposition half against a country whose population is the same size as Leicester. So 50 years of hurt goes on and I guess it’s true what they say: It’s the hope that kills you.

Cheeky’s Punt of the Week: Italy to beat Germany at 3/1 (bet365) 

Degsy Bilton

More Related Articles