Bookies void gran's £5 bet on Sam Oldham's Olympic medal win
A GRANDMOTHER from Ramsgate placed a £5 bet that her grandson would win a medal at the Olympics, but when he bagged an historic bronze for Team GB bookies refused to cough up, writes Andrew Woodman.
Linda Aldred, 66, made the 200-1 bet shortly before the opening ceremony, that Olympic Gymnast Sam Oldham, 19, from Nottingham would win the medal for men's artistic gymnastics.
Linda, who couldn't get an Olympic ticket, went into a Betfred bookmakers while visiting family in Nottingham.
She said: "I thought it would be a good idea as Sam's grandad Eric was a betting man, so my sister and I thought we would put down a bet together in his memory.
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"We had never been in a betting shop before. The bet was for Sam to win any medal. As I walked out I said 'this one is for Eric' but I considered the bet already lost."
Despite the outside odds, Sam and his team went on to make Olympic history by getting a British team its first medal in men's artistic gymnastics in 100 years.
The last time Team GB won a medal in the same event was in the Stockholm Games in 1912.
Linda says Sam was close to her late husband Eric who died in 2006. She said: "He gave his grandad his first ever gold medal. The two used to swap medals as Eric had some from his military service.
"When Sam was 12 he told his grandad he would be going to the Olympics."
Sam was awarded his bronze on the anniversary of his grandad's death on July 31.
At 200-1 odds Linda thought she and her sister, 70-year-old Patricia Weatherall, had won £1,000.
Linda said: "I went back to the shop and I asked if my bet was finished and they said it was and the bet was void as Sam had won the medal as part of a team not as an individual.
"I was stunned."
Now Linda has taken her complaint up with The Independent Betting Adjudication Service (IBAS).
A spokesman for IBAS said they could not comment on individual cases but said: "We have been handling a number of bets relating to athletics and the Olympics and they will be dealt with through the normal procedures."
A spokesman for Betfred said: "We are currently in discussion with IBAS and we hope to come to a satisfactory conclusion for all concerned."
Whatever the outcome Linda says she is not worried about the money. She said: "I am really happy Sam won, it is more the principle than the money, but I could have used the winnings to pay for my ticket to see Sam at the 2016 Olympics in Rio."