• Thu 8 Dec, 2016
  • 22:01 GMT
  • 18:01 ET (GMT-4)
  • 00:01 CET (GMT+2)

Bookies Relieved After 1000/1 Backer

A punter from Harrogate has missed out on a £10,000 windfall, after John Higgins’ snooker World champs final defeat of Judd Trump meant his bet on the young star winning the title before his 30th birthday was put on hold for at least one more year.

Neil Morrice, 54, placed the £10 bet with bookmaker Coral in 1998, taking odds of 1000-1 that the then eight-year-old would win snooker’s biggest prize before 2020, after he saw the youngster in action at the Keynsham snooker club, near Bristol, and he came close to collecting with nine years to spare, when Trump made it through to this year’s final, where he eventually lost 18-15 to Higgins.

Coral’s spokesman, David Stevens, commented: “Neil first saw Judd Trump in action when his 12-year-old son played a frame against him, and at the time he was so young he needed to stand on a box to reach the table. Having spotted his star potential so early, he was quick to place his bet at 1000-1 that he would one day win the World championship. His foresight almost paid off this weekend, but although we’ve escaped the payout this year, both Neil and Judd have time on their side. He’s only 9-1 to go one better at the Crucible in twelve months time, so I’m sure Neil won’t be tearing up his betting slip just yet!”

Neil Morrice, who works for online betting company Stanjames.com, said: Judd looked something special even as an eight-year-old, but even I didn’t expect to see him competing in his first world final just yet. It’s been a thrilling fortnight, and although we’ve both just missed out this year, I’m confident it’s only a matter of time before he’s crowned World champion, and his first celebratory drink will be on me!”

2012 World Championship – Coral betting
6-1 J Higgins, 7-1 M Selby, 8-1 D Junhui, R O’Sullivan, 9-1 J Trump, 10-1 M Williams, n Robertson, 20-1 Bar

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