I don’t suppose I was the only amateur forecaster to suggest that Leicester City would not win the Premier League this season – even as late as Christmas. However, on reflection, it was perhaps unwise to say that I would eat my hat if they finished fourth at the end of the season. (My son suggested that as Leicester finished first, all bets were off but as John Couzens said, I am a man of my word.) The fact that only about two teams top at Christmas had failed to go on and become champions did not worry me: injuries, suspensions, the inevitable loss of form….Somehow, they proved us all wrong and as my friends kept reminding me, my Paddy Ashdown moment was fast approaching.

I have an old panama that my wife would be only too happy to see me eat but Michael Jenkinson was more concerned about having to employ his resuscitation techniques if I went ahead so on May 16th, as hundreds of thousands of Leicester supporters crammed into the city centre to celebrate the most unlikely of triumphs, I fulfilled my part of the bargain and brought a more edible fedora (see above and below) to the club so that everyone could share a slice of my humble pie.


There was no shortage of requests for teams that I thought likely to win next season so that folks could back them for relegation and vice versa but having tipped my own team, Charlton, to win the Championship handicap competition, only to see them relegated, I think I need a season off (as does my chess, I suspect, but that’s another story). Still, as Andy Flood pointed out, Leicester only won by ten points – and what would the odds of that have been at the start of the season? And let’s be grateful for small mercies – I could have done a Gary Lineker and offered to play the first chess match of next season in my underpants….

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