YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Grandson's debut on national soccer team pays off big for Welsh man

October 17, 2013|By Kevin Baxter
  • The moment Harry Wilson, left, came on as a substitute for Wales against Belgium on Tuesday night his grandfather made a bundle of money.
The moment Harry Wilson, left, came on as a substitute for Wales against… (Dean Mouhtaropoulos / Getty…)

A grandfather's faith in his infant grandson's athletic talent paid off big this week when Harry Wilson became the youngest man to play for the Welsh national soccer team, earning his grandfather a payout big enough to retire on.

Shortly after Harry was born 16 years his grandfather, Peter Wilson, laid down less than $80 -- at 2,500-1 odds -- that the boy would play for Wales in an international match. And that landed him more than $200,000 when Harry Wilson came on in the 87th minute of a 1-1 draw with Belguim on Tuesday in a World Cup qualifier.

Peter Wilson, who worked servicing electrical cable, said he retired immediately after his grandson took the field. He was watching the game from home on an iPad.

"I've retired one year early," the 62-year-old told the British press. "I have come home now and will not be going back. Not bad for a daft bet."

The younger Wilson, a left wing, was 16 years 207 days old when he made his debut, 108 days younger than current Real Madrid star Gareth Bale was when he played his first game for Wales. Bale was the previous youngest-ever Welsh national team player.

"It was a historic moment and a proud one for the whole family," Harry's grandmother Dorothy Edwards said. "We're delighted for Harry. And, of course, Peter's bet makes it all the better. "We had the Champagne out."

Peter Edwards said he made the wager on his grandson when the boy was 18 months old.

"He used to chase the ball around the front room on his hands and knees even before he could walk. That's what gave me the idea," he said.


Marqise Lee's status to be determined, Ed Orgeron says

Surprising Switzerland lands one of eight World Cup seeds

UCLA picked second, USC 11th in Pac-12 preseason basketball poll

Los Angeles Times Articles