Peter Edwards watched as his then 18-month-old grandson, Harry Wilson chased a ball around the living room of the family’s home in Corwen, a small town in the northern part of Wales in the United Kingdom. He said placing the bet was just a spur of the moment impulse. What could it hurt? He called the betting firm of William Hill located in London to place the fortuitous bet. The $80 dollar bet has paid off handsomely.
His foresight was rewarded when his grandson was introduced in October during a game against Belgium. The now 16 year old soccer player entered the game in the second half. In addition to winning his grandfather a great deal of money, young Harry will go down in history as the youngest player to ever take the field for Wales.
The boy often plays for Liverpool F.C. a club owned by Boston Red Sox owner John W. Henry and part of the English Premier League.
Edwards, 62, works as an electrical engineer and is gone two out three weekends, leaving his wife Dorothy, 58, home by herself. He watched the games anxiously on his iPad and realized he had put in his last day on the job. When he placed his bet, the odds were 2,500-1. He had warned his manager that if his grandson played in the game, he wouldn’t be coming back. He won $200,000. He retired on the spot – one year earlier than planned.
Harry skipped the traditional custom of swapping kit with his opponents, choosing instead to give his match shirt to his proud grandparents.
Graham Sharpe, a spokesperson for the betting firm William Hill said the firm was pleased to make payment on Edwards’ bet, acknowledging that it allowed him to retire. They noted his exceptional ability to spot talent at a younger age than anyone else they had ever taken a bet from.
Sharpe also revealed that because Wilson’s grandmother had been born in England, he was eligible to play for the English team. Had they chosen him instead of Wales, Edwards would have lost his bet.