Chelsea caught everyone by surprise during their final Premier League clash against Sunderland by substituting John Terry in the 26th minute.
The club captain has worn the number 26 for almost the entirety of his career at Stamford Bridge and was giving a guard of honour as he left the pitch in the first-half in what is likely to be his final appearance for Chelsea.
It later emerged that it was actually Terry’s idea and Sunderland boss David Moyes agreed to kick the ball out of play for the substitution to be made.
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After the game, Moyes said: “We knew it was coming and we agreed to put the ball out.”
While Terry admitted he persuaded his manager, Antonio Conte, to agree to his request.
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“I had a discussion with the manager – I think he wanted to get the boys that didn’t play on Monday night against Watford and give them a run out. So I kind of negotiated with him to play 26 minutes and come off. It was a compromise between the two of us," he told Sky Sports.
Given the prior agreement, it’s rather remarkable that nobody knew it was coming.
Well, we say nobody but someone let the secret slip.
That’s because a few betting slips have emerged online of punters placing wagers on Terry being substituted in the 26th minute.
The odds? 100/1.
Bookmakers Paddy Power have told the BBC that three gamblers got odds of 100/1 for Terry to be replaced in the 26th minute. Although he eventually left the pitch in the 28th minute, Paddy Power paid out.
"We replied to a novelty request for odds on John Terry's substitution - one of hundreds on the Chelsea game - and fair play to the three punters who were on at odds of 100-1," a Paddy Power spokesman said.
"To be honest the only mistake here is we should have clocked sooner there'd be another cringe-worthy Chelsea send-off for JT."
The winning bets
The two betting slips that have been doing the rounds on Twitter have the stakes as £25 and £10 - winning £2,525 and £1,010 respectively.
Did they get lucky or did they hear a rumour? We suspect the latter.
And the most astonishing aspect is that Paddy Power actually paid out!
Despite this, the Premier League will not be investigating the stunt.
Football Association rules regarding match-fixing state that: “Fixing is arranging in advance the result or conduct of a match of competition, or any event within a match or competition.”
However, after these bet slips have emerged, the Premier League may have a change of mind.
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