Grandfather wins bet toddler would play soccer for Wales

The grandfather of a young soccer star is £125,000 ($202,000) richer after cashing in on a bet he made when his grandson was a toddler, wagering the boy would go on to play for Wales.

Harry Wilson, 16, national team player for Wales, earns grandfather $200K on $80 bet

Harry Wilson became the youngest player to play for Wales when the 16-year-old took to the pitch in the final five minutes of a World Cup qualifying match against Belgium Wednesday, making good on a bet his grandfather placed 15 years previous. (Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty)

The grandfather of a young soccer star is £125,000 ($202,000) richer after cashing in on a bet he made when his grandson was a toddler, wagering the boy would go on to play for Wales.

When Harry Wilson, 16, made his international debut in a World Cup qualifying match between Wales and Belgium on Wednesday, he made good on a bet made by his grandfather nearly 15 years ago.

“He was about 18 months old at the time. There is no way I could have known,” Peter Edwards told CBC Radio's As It Happens host Carol Off on Thursday.

“It was a spur of the moment thing,” the 62-year-old said of the bet, which he made in 2000.

Edwards wagered £50 ($80) that his grandson would one day play for Wales. The odds were 2,500 to 1.

“He’s progressed over the years. He’s absolutely brilliant now,” Edwards said of his grandson, who became the youngest player to take the field for Wales, beating out the previous record-holder, Gareth Bale, by 108 days.

From left, Wilson trains with Wales players Aaron Ramsey and Craig Bellamy ahead of their World Cup qualifier against Belgium at the Vale Complex on Monday in Cardiff, Wales. (Stu Forster/Getty)

His grandson's national team start was a dream come true in more ways than one. Edwards decided to retire a year early on the proceeds of his bet, allowing the former electrical contractor, who spent much of his time on the road, more time with his wife, he said in an interview with the Guardian newspaper.

Edwards will use some of the money to help cover his grandson's travel expenses to and from his home in Wales and the prestigious Liverpool soccer academy, where he trains. He'll also throw “a little bit of a party,” Edwards said.

With files from As It Happens

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