£500,000 soccer winner 'too nervous to watch game'

The football fan who scooped £500,000 with a 30p accumulator bet was too nervous to watch a single kick of the game, it was reported today.

The football fan who scooped £500,000 with a 30p accumulator bet was too nervous to watch a single kick of the game, it was reported today.

Instead, roofer Mick Gibbs paced up and down on his patio watching updates on Teletext through his kitchen window as Bayern Munich won the European Cup.

The 59-year-old Manchester United fan said: ‘‘I tried to sit in front of the telly before the game but I just couldn’t face it.’’

The German side’s 5-4 victory on penalties was the crucial final segment of a 15-part bet Mr Gibbs placed with bookmakers last August.

If they had not come from behind to beat Spanish side Valencia, his 14 other correct predictions would have counted for nothing.

Mr Gibbs, from Lichfield, Staffs, whose winning odds of 1,666,666-to-one are believed to be a world record, said he ‘‘felt sick’’ when it flashed up on Teletext that Valencia had taken a 1-0 lead after three minutes.

‘‘I still couldn’t turn the match on and just carried on pacing and praying,’’ he told a newspaper.

And after Bayern equalised and the game went to extra time and penalties, he was a nervous wreck until the German side’s goalkeeper Oliver Kahn saved a Valencia spot-kick to seize victory.

‘‘I just went mental,’’ he said.

Mr Gibbs, who lives with his wife June, scooped £157,400 from a £2.50 accumulator in 1999 when Manchester United won the Champions League final.

This time he correctly predicted this season’s champions of the top five English leagues and the three lower Scottish divisions.

He also backed Leicester to win the rugby union Premiership, Surrey to win last season’s County Cricket Championship, Gloucester to win rugby’s NatWest Trophy and Arsenal, Hibernian and Falkirk to win their matches on the weekend of August 21/22 last year.

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