Video: Referee ends game early to deny football punter £500,000 windfall

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Football News


Premier League referee Kevin Friend denied a football fan a £500,000 cash windfall when he blew the full-time whistle early during Tottenham Hotspur's televised FA Cup fourth round clash against Leeds United at Elland Road on Sunday.

The Daily Mail reports how the Oldham-based punter - arguably one of the most unfortunate sports gamblers in history - was on the verge of a winning the most unlikely of bets, after wagering £3 with Ladbrokes, and successfully predicting correct scores and cup upsets in England and Scotland.

Bookies heralded the weekend results as the biggest shocks of all time, as Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham - all three odds-on Premier League favourites - failed to win against lower league opposition.

Having correctly predicted Chelsea's 2-2 draw with League One side Brentford at Griffin Park, Liverpool's 3-2 away defeat to Oldham Athletic, and Celtic's shock loss to St Mirren by the same scoreline, the betting fan just needed Leeds to beat Spurs 3-1.

And, with the Championship side leading 2-1, Tottenham threw everyone forward - including goalkeeper Brad Friedel - for a corner they won in stoppage time, in a last-gasp bid to find an equaliser and earn a replay at White Hart Lane.

Leeds cleared the danger with 94 minutes on the clock, breaking towards their opponents unguarded goal, before referee Friend called time one second early, as Rodolph Austin's long-range effort rolled towards the empty net.

The premature whistle mattered little to Leeds fans, who celebrated their side's place in the fifth round of the FA Cup. But for the sorry punter - who still earned a £17,000 return - it represented a huge difference in winnings, with the fan missing out on half a million pound.

Ladbrokes spokesman Alex Donohue said: "The referee has ruined our punter's dream. Seventeen grand is sweet enough but he was literally one second away from having his life changed forever."

Watch a video of Kevin Friend's costly decision (above) and leave a comment to share any other high stake stories - you'll do well to match this unlucky punter!


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