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Le Tiss admits attempted betting coup
Published : 03 Sep 2009 18:38:35
Le Tissier, a cult hero with the Saints, has revealed in his new autobiography that he agreed to try to kick the ball out for an early throw-in to aid a spread bet in exchange for around £10,000. However, Le Tissier failed in his mission and his fellow conspirators had to settle for the return of their stake. "Spread betting had just started to become popular. It was a new idea which allowed punters to back anything from the final score to the first throw-in," Le Tissier wrote in his autobiography Taking Le Tiss, quoted in the Daily Mail. "There was a lot of money to be made by exploiting it. We were safe from the threat of relegation when we went to Wimbledon on April 17 and, as it was a televised match, there was a wide range of bets available. "Obviously I'd never have done anything that might have affected the outcome of the match, but I couldn't see a problem with making a few quid on the time of the first throw-in. "My team-mate had some friends with spread-betting accounts who laid some big bets for us. We stood to win well into four figures but if it went wrong we could have lost a lot of money." Le Tissier smashed a long pass that he hoped would go out, but instead Neil Shipperley - unaware of the bet - managed to keep the ball in, leaving Le Tissier to hope the ball would go out before 75 seconds were up to avoid losing the bet. "It was set up nicely," Le Tissier added. "The ball was to be rolled back to me and I would smash it into touch. It seemed to be going like clockwork. We kicked off, the ball was tapped to me and I went to hit it out towards Neil Shipperley on the left wing. "As it was live on television I didn't want to make it too obvious or end up looking like a prat for miscuing the ball so I tried to hit it just over his head. But with so much riding on it I was a bit nervous and didn't give it quite enough welly. "The problem was that Shipperley knew nothing about the bet and managed to reach it and even head it back into play. "I have never run so much in my life. If there had been Pro Zone analysis back then my stats would have been amazing for the next minute as I charged around the pitch desperately trying to kick the ball out of play. "Suddenly it was no longer a question of winning money. We stood to lose a lot of cash if it went much longer than 75 seconds before the ball went out. "I had visions of guys coming to kneecap me. Eventually we got the ball out on 70 seconds. The neutral time meant we had neither won nor lost. I have never tried spread betting since." Le Tissier, who played eight times for England, was earning around £4,000 a week at the time of the attempted scam.