Betfred and Valentines – welcome to Match of the Day

 | February 14 | 

3 mins read

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Tony Barry took the biggest gamble of his life at Betfred ... and won himself a bride!

Betfred boss Fred Done vowed to find a love story for Valentine's Day, after hearing how a Betfred punter who won a cruise at Christmas met his girlfriend at the Betfred shop in Rock Ferry, on the Wirral.

He said: "It got me thinking about romance at any more of our 1,300 shops across the land, so we asked them to come up with their best true love stories."

So - cue Tony, a shy bachelor, single for forty years, who has magically found himself lucky in love. He hardly endeared himself initially to staff at the bookies in St Helens because he works as a plasterer, and always left dusty footmarks on the shop carpet.

But whatever - Tony's bright blue eyes were enough to woo the Betfred shop manager Nichola Aspinall, leaving her all of a flutter! Fate intervened to ensure the path to true love was smooth, with a rival bookies closer to the building site where Tony was working closed for the day.

He decided to go to the Betfred shop on Ormskirk Street instead, where he made a beeline for Nichola's till to get his Irish Lotto bet on. He told her it was his last day on the site - a fact she sadly shared with colleague Sharon Glover, as Tony left.

Sharon pretended she was going on a break but instead was determined to play cupid and followed Tony, asking him if he was single, and could she have his telephone number.

Sharon said: "He seemed shocked and thought it was for me, but I told him I was much too old for him and it was for Nichola, who I knew fancied him because she went all coy when he came in to put his bet on.

"He seemed panicked and mumbled something about coming back. But I wasn't having that so ten minutes later found the building site and handed Nichola's telephone number to one of his workmates, with the strict instruction that he had to tell Tony to ring Nichola that night."

And the rest, as they say, is history - with the couple setting up home together, and now four years after Tony plucked up the courage to ask for that date they have set another very important one - their wedding in July!

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And bookie boss Fred Done, who organised flowers and champagne to celebrate the best Betfred love story, made their Valentine's Day joy complete by agreeing to pay for their honeymoon - in Paris no less!

Sharon (pictured right, above), aged 54, who has refused the chance to be a bridesmaid because she reckons she's too old, added: "I was so chuffed when they got engaged, and sent me a text saying it was all down to me."

Tony, aged 44 from West Derby on Merseyside, said: "To say I'm shy with women is an understatement. I was still living with my mum until I was 40. I had an idea that Nichola fancied me and was made up when Sharon got her number to me. Then it was up to me to gamble and make the call, which I'm so glad I did.

"If it wasn't for Sharon and Betfred I'd still be at my mum's instead of my life having being transformed."

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Now 35-year-old Nichola, who still has to cope with Tony's dusty footprints but at home rather than at the shop, says they still joke about how fate brought them together.

She added: "We have the most perfect relationship and it grows stronger every single day. I am so lucky to have Tony in my life."

Fred's delighted. "Nichola's joyous tale reads like a Mills and Boon, and I am absolutely chuffed to bits that I'm able to provide a final chapter by paying for their honeymoon."

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