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Wales’s Youngest-Ever Soccer Player Wins Grandfather $200,000

Oct. 17 (Bloomberg) -- A man won 125,000 pounds ($200,000) on a bet placed almost 14 years ago that his then 2-year-old grandson would play soccer for Wales.

Pete Edwards wagered 50 pounds at odds of 2,500-1 in January 2000 that his grandson would represent his country. The gamble paid off two days ago when Harry Wilson, 16, came on as a substitute in Wales’s World Cup qualifier against Belgium.

Wilson, a Liverpool academy player, entered the game in the 87th minute of Wales’s 1-1 draw in Brussels. In doing so, the winger became the nation’s youngest international soccer player, beating the record previously held by Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale.

“We have taken thousands of bets like these,” said Graham Sharpe, spokesman for bookmaker William Hill Plc, which took the wager. “We rarely have to pay out on them,” he added in a telephone interview.

William Hill paid out 10,000 pounds on a similar bet placed by the father of Chris Kirkland when the goalkeeper made his England soccer debut in 2006, Sharpe said.

To contact the reporters on this story: Ben Priechenfried at the London Sports Desk at bprie@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser in London at celser@bloomberg.net

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