Wilson granddad bet pays off
There was a double celebration for the family of Harry Wilson, Wales’ youngest-ever player, after his grandfather won ￡125,000 (US$199,100) on a bet that the Liverpool Academy player would represent the country. Pete Edwards took a punt on his grandson when he was only 18 months old, betting ￡50 that he would play for Wales at odds of 2,500 to 1. Wilson came on for his first appearance in the 87th minute of Wales’s 1-1 draw with Belgium in a World Cup qualifier on Tuesday. He was 16 years and 207 days old, breaking the record of Gareth Bale as the country’s youngest player by 108 days. “Mr Edwards has been able to quit his job as a result of his amazing ability to spot fledgling talent earlier than almost anyone else we’ve ever taken a bet from,” Graham Sharpe, a spokesman for bookmaker William Hill, said in a statement. “Apparently, England have also been interested in Harry, who has a grandmother born in Chester. If [England manager] Roy Hodgson had snapped him up this bet would have been a loser.”
Liverpool plan India facility
Liverpool are preparing to launch a new youth academy in India next year, the Premier League giants announced on Wednesday. The five-time European champions will work with Indian club DSK Shivajians to set up the facility, which will open in January and be called The LFC International Football Academy DSK. Accommodating players up to the age of 18, it will feature a residential complex, full-size pitches, practice areas, classrooms, changing rooms, a gym, a canteen, a lecture theater and medical facilities. Liverpool have also committed to providing coaches to help run the project. “At the academy in Liverpool we aim to develop outstanding players and good human beings,” Liverpool Academy director Frank McParland told the club’s Web site. “The results speak for themselves, as last season seven academy players made their first team debuts.”
Japan’s Jones has stroke
Japan rugby coach Eddie Jones has been hospitalized after apparently suffering a stroke, local media have reported. The former Australia coach had missed the naming of his squad on Wednesday for internationals next month, including a Test against the world champions All Blacks in Tokyo on Nov. 2, due to “illness” the Japan Rugby Football Union said. The 53-year-old apparently complained of a severe headache on Tuesday and was taken to a hospital for tests, Kyodo news agency reported. Japan general manager Kensuke Iwabuchi said Jones was conscious and able to talk, and that the Japan Rugby Football Union would wait until results of medical tests were known before making any official decision or announcement.
Bale back in Real training
Gareth Bale returned to full training with his Real Madrid teammates on Wednesday as he continued his recovery from a muscle injury, suggesting that the Wales winger may play a part in tomorrow’s La Liga clash at Malaga. Bale became the world’s most expensive player when he joined the Spanish giants from Tottenham Hotspur for 100 million euros (US$135 million) in the close season, but was sidelined by a thigh strain last month. Real’s internationals were back at work at the club’s Valdebebas training ground on Wednesday and Bale came through a full session overseen by manager Carlo Ancelotti, the club said on their Web site.