The Honour and the glory
Many have tried, but nobody has succeeded in taking his crown. The inimitable Cheeky Punt takes you through his weekly betting lows and highs with the original punting blog.
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Last Thursday was payday. A month previously I had wiped out three weeks wages in the space of four days. The losses had continued steadily throughout the month. I was every inch a man on the edge.
My nerves and confidence were shot to bits. What do you do in that situation? You phone GamCare, right?
Wrong. You put your faith in the greatest player ever to toss up a tennis ball. Step forward Roger Federer. A bit like me with the gambling the Swiss had been going through a rough patch on the ATP. But as Abe Lincoln once said 'Towering genius disdains a beaten path', and with this in mind I smashed into Federer at 4/9 to beat Tommy Haas.
Inevitably there would be no smooth passage as 'Roggie' lost the first set and went a break down in the second. At this point, with the Swiss now as big as 8/1 in-play for the win, I was considering self harming with the Sky remote. Suddenly, and quite beautifully however, he clicked into gear. 'The Fed Express' was finally motoring and he began producing winners almost from memory before eventually claiming a 1-6 7-5 6-3 win in just shy of two hours.
It was a win of huge significance for me and Roger, whose image I kissed after making him my phone screen saver before settling down to enjoy one of the most peaceful sleeps of the past six weeks.
Hartlepool were playing at York on Saturday and along with 1800 other Chimp Chokers I made the trip to Bootham Crescent.
During the Britpop era I was arrested at said ground for pulling a moonie whilst staging a one-man pitch invasion during an FA Cup replay. I was steaming that night and so with this in mind 'er indoors begged me to "go as long as possible" without having a drink.
Given we were getting the 8.55am train and a mate of mine had brought a litre of vodka this was always going to be a tough ask, but in hindsight there was probably no need to be as mashed as I was by the time I shambled off the Grand Central.
The day was a mixed bag. Pools claimed their first point of the season but I also dropped £150 backing Arsenal to beat Aston Villa.
Highlight for me though was bumping into Brian Honour, my childhood hero who was voted Hartlepool's 'Player of the Decade' for the 1990s.
They say you should never meet your heroes, that the reality of knowing them in person just means they are going to be a letdown.
What nonsense. 'Jackie' Honour is a legitimate legend. Always was. Always will be. I am worried though that I could be about to be served a restraining order by the wing wizard given the amount of times I kissed, cuddled and fell at his feet during what was a wild and wonderful day in North Yorkshire.
I got finished on the drink at 7.00am on Sunday morning so spent much of the rest of the Sabbath hungover in the recovery position.
The day was mostly spent dry heaving, drinking water and watching football. £50 on Spurs to beat Crystal Palace at 4/5 certainly lifted by mood and by the time Chelsea beat Hull 2-0 (with yours truly having a wedge on the Blues 'to win to nil' at 21/20) I was feeling positively chipper.
PSG's failure to beat Ajaccio at the Parc des Princes was a hammer blow but I still ended the day in front and by 9pm I was back on solids too, which was nice.
Cheeky's Punt of the Week: Lyon to beat Real Sociedad at 6/5 (Coral)