December 06, 2013

Don't Bet on It

Don't Bet on It


BILLY'S CONTRACT did. And regretted it. Twice.


At the beginning of each season my son and I have a 'daft wager' of some sort regarding Pools just to keep the interest going. (Particularly as in the last few seasons the interest has dropped off very quickly!)

Last season on hearing of Stevie Howard's signing he bet me a fiver that said centre forward would not score more than ten goals in all competitions. Make it a tenner I said snapping his hand off at the chance of some easy money. A couple of days later I felt even more confident as it was announced that Howard was going to be Pools penalty taker in chief.
"Make it a tenner I said snapping his hand off at the chance of some easy money."

A few games in Howard had not scored but I was far from worried about losing my bet as he was getting close, having hit the woodwork on several occasions as well as having a goal attempt cleared off the line. I genuinely felt that Big Stevie was just finding his range.

In a home match, I forget against whom, Pools were awarded a penalty. Big Stevie strode up, John Terryish, to take the spot kick. At the same time I looked up several terraces behind me in the Town End, where my son stood with his mates, and we both gave each other a knowing glance. As history records, the penalty was missed. We all groaned except my son who was quietly celebrating Howard's misfortune.

Three quarters into the season I paid up.

So to the beginning of this season. My son offered me the same ten pound bet on Stevie Howard. Once again I snapped his hand off. Surely at this level Howard would get ten goals before Christmas. 

"How about a bet on side on the same player?" he suggested. He bet me a further tenner (where do these students get their money from? ...oh, me. I forgot.) that Ritchie would score more goals for Chesterfield in the league than Howard would in all competitions for 'Pools. 

I asked him, did he want to reconsider his offer, as I said that even I, as one of his biggest fans, realise that Ritchie is only averaging one goal a season (a statistic based on, regrettably, his last season with us when he scored ermmm ...one goal.).

Last week it was announced, to many fans' delight, that Steve Howard had left the club by mutual agreement, which meant an end to his Hartlepool United goal-scoring exploits. As Mr Howard moved on, so did my ten pound note ... into my son's grubby little hands, swiftly followed by a further ten pounds to cover the one goal (the winner against Oxford United) that Ritchie had scored for the Spireites.

Several morals can be taking from this.
1) Betting is a mug's game ...especially with your own street-wise son.
2) You could rely on Stevie Howard to let you down.
3) You can always depend on Ritchie not to let you down.