When it comes to football, there is a whole different level of zest and zeal that people are puffed with. And this is why it’s not surprising to learn about the drastic hike in the number of lottery winners who bought football clubs.
However, investing in footy clubs is not always the wisest decision, and some of the winners do end up regretting it. Nonetheless, it’s always the nationwide obsession for football that takes in the significant portion of the bigger picture.
So, let’s talk about some of the crazy footie maniacs who didn’t let their minds wander, narrowing to the slacks of profits and loss. And while many secured a fair bet, some made it to the falls!
Lucky lottery winners who bought football clubs
Here comes the list of four lottery winners who invested a chunk of their prize money in their favorite football club. Some made it through the top while some lagged off, baring the adversities alongside.
- John McGuinness (LIVINGSTON FC)-
McGuinness seemingly experienced the best of both worlds. The former nurse rose from the rags when he became Scotland’s biggest lottery winner in the year 1996.
Winning an amount of more than £10 million, John decided to step out of his parent’s one-bedroom apartment and pay a considerable share to his ex-wife. Hereafter, he lavishly spent for a grand wedding to his new wife-to-be!
Being a Celtic fan, McGuinness was planning to invest in a football team. And putting a million pounds, he finally took hold of Livingston F.C. from West Lothian.
The club hit a great start, promoting to Scottish Premier League and playing friendlies against internationally leading teams of Newcastle and Manchester United.
However, the team couldn’t stand firm in the long run. It was in 2001 when John signed a pact concerning loans taken out to the club without considering the mandates. And without being mindful of the fact that he’ll be held responsible for the loans if the team defaulted.
Eventually, when this happened, he was held accountable for the debt. And within no time, the remaining sum of his win vanished, bringing him back to square one.
- Les Scadding (NEWPORT COUNTY)-
Swirling between the lower tiers of English professional football Welsh football club Newport County AFC barely secured any biggest hit. There was not much for the little fans to cheer for over a decade of the club’s existence.
It was only the upswing to the European Cup Winners tournament in 1980, that struck the strings. However, no one had a clue that one amongst the very fans of the club would change the entire course of this football team.
This duly happened when the former petrol tank driver—Les Scadding, hit a jackpot of £45.5 million in June 2009. Winning Europe’s biggest lottery, Lotto Les chose to put a lump sum of £1.25 million in his favorite footie club.
Hereafter, events like County’s promotion from non-league football to Division 2 of the English Football League occurred, validating his role behind this successful stint.
- Colin Weir (PARTICK THISTLE)-
Colin Weir and his then-wife, Christine, brought in a glimpse of good fortune for Glasgow-based Partick Thistle.
It was when the couple hit a jackpot of £161 million in 2011 and considered to donate a share of their win with the team. And this proved to be a much-needed boost this cash-strapped football club was striving for.
Colin and Christine had always been the cheering supporters of Thistle. And with much in hands to devour, they decided to invest in a way that has a long-term impact on the club.
Concerning this, they donated £750,000 in 2013 to build a youth academy for Partick Thistle, allowing young talents to thrive in.
Many donations further followed the tread, making it to a total of £2 million to date. Marking the call of gratitude and appreciation, Partick Thistle honored Colin Weir as the first official patron of the club.
- Paul and Thea Bristow (TORQUAY UNITED)-
Paul and Thea Bristow were admired as the most generous lottery winners who earned all the affection of Torquay United.
Besides rescuing the local club in the darkest hours, the couple actively supported all the worthy causes as their nature conservation program and the local scout troop.
After 80 years of being in the football realm and many fall offs, Torquay ultimately consigned to the football conference by the year 2007. Gradually, dropping to the low tiers, the club experienced a major downfall until the Bristow’s stood by extending a helping hand.
Working with a consortium of financial backers, Mr. Bristow took over the club in 2007 and became the new chairman. And aligning with the pace, Torquay finally made a striking comeback in the Football league by the end of 2008/09.
With Paul’s sudden demise in 2010, Thea stood committed to the club as a director. However, in 2015, certain health issues made her shut-in.
But with her ceaseless traits of selflessness and generosity, she retained all the admiration of the fans even after taking a step back from Torquay’s remarkable construct.
Supporting a football team, especially the ones in adversities—doesn’t necessarily favor promising results. However, there aligns a whole lot of stories of football fans whose contribution led to incredible turnarounds for many of the lagging footie-clubs. And the list continues to top with supporters like Paul Long and Matthew Evans.