Soccer NewsWednesday 27th July 2016

Cheeky Punt: Casino Royale. Ish. Actually, not at all.

Cheeky Punt: Casino Royale. Ish. Actually, not at all.

A bizarre thing happened last week when I received a message on WhatsApp from an unknown number which said simply:

‘The Wagon Wheel. 6:05 tonight. Beverley. Keep your nut down.’

I wasn’t sure if the text was meant for me but a quick browse of the Racing Post confirmed that ‘The Wagon Wheel’ was actually racing that evening. At Beverley. In a strange twist of fate I had also been watching repeats of the much maligned 1980s TV series ‘Highway to Heaven’ while on weekend night shifts and began to wonder whether the text had actually been sent by an angel?

I had myself £175 at various prices from 15/8 to 5/4 and then watched breathlessly as The Wagon Wheel stormed to victory. I immediately tried to ring the number to thank whoever it was for the tip but it was “not recognised”.

Now if you are in fact my guardian angel, and you happen to be reading this, it’s Glorious Goodwood this week so please do not hesitate to get back in touch, for He indeed moves in mysterious ways.


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So it’s only Wednesday and I’m a responsible adult with things to do tomorrow. Like work. However, I’ve just won £200 backing Celtic minus two on the handicaps against Lincoln Red Imps while also backing over 2.5 goals in the Hartlepool v Sunderland friendly (which Sunderland won 3-0).

Internally I am trying to rationalise getting on the suds midweek, speaking in the boozer at 9pm to a lad whose just earned £9,000 from a three-week trip offshore and another chap who grows stuff in houses (and we are not talking tomatoes here). And there I am, coming out with the all-time classic “We’ll just have a few eh.” I reasoned that because I stayed off it the weekend I am actually in credit in terms of gargle days for the week.

The “few” turned into a full scale mad one that should have ended in a f**king s**t tip of a nightclub called ‘Loons’. However the lads I was with didn’t have to get up the next day and I was revved up on jäger bombs and watered down lager. We ended up in a casino out of town where I am reliably informed at various points I:

1) Fell asleep on a blackjack table
2) Tried to sell my front denture for house chips

I got home at 6:35am, fell straight to sleep and then began to cry real tears as my alarm went off at 7:40am and I realised I was still steaming. A took a shower, swigged half a gallon of mouthwash and said a silent prayer on the train in to graft. There was no manager in so I concentrated on not giving anyone any answer that was more than one word in length – and obviously blanking the phone completely while deleting all photos from the previous night off Facebook while trying not to breathe on anyone. I sailed through the morning, still drunk but genuinely feeling like I had dodged a bullet.

Then boom. Bang on 12pm my anxiety hit the roof and the hangover horror show was in full swing. When you are feeling this fragile five minutes feels like an hour and everyone seemed to be judging. What was I thinking? Coming into work like George Best on Wogan circa 1990? I somehow got away with it and during the train ride home, with head firmly in hands, vowed never to mix business with pleasure again.


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I was at a wedding on Friday. Now I’m a bit of an old romantic on the quiet and don’t oppose the idea of marriage per se. It just gets on my t*ts a bit when I have to dig my suit out and spend good money on gifts that could otherwise be spent on gambling or drink.

The ‘happy couple’ were on record prior to the gig stating they didn’t want gifts but such a message is akin to that of a bookmaker advert that ends with a message to ‘please gamble responsibly’. Of course they wanted f*cking gifts. Big expensive gifts for their big expensive wedding.

In the end, after pressure from ‘er indoors, I got them some nice champagne glasses and a bottle of Moët. That’s despite being p*ssed off with them for warning me about my conduct twice by the groom in the run up to the big day. I was OK in the afternoon, but began to unravel around tea-time after seven free glasses of Bucks Fizz and nine (paid for) pints of Coors Light. Their decision to have a fancy dress photo booth came back to haunt them too as I stole a Pete Doherty-esque top hat and began giving it my best ‘Mr Bojangles’ impression on the dance floor while flirting with a woman in her 60s (who was clearly game). On reflection though, the whole day/night passed off rather successfully. Nobody died, I only got my ‘Mighty Mallet’ out on two occasions and the ‘happy couple’ seem, so far, to be living happily ever after.

Cheeky’s Punt of the Week: Dwight Gayle to be Championship top scorer at 10/1 (Coral)


Degsy Bilton