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Albert Ellis celebrates his 100th birthday and attributes his sharp mind to working out the odds

An adult gambler who celebrated his 100th birthday with a trip to the bookies has attributed his long life and good health to working out the odds for his daily bets.

The retired window cleaner, who is never seen without his trademark flat cap, visits his local Betfred bookmakers in St Helens, Merseyside, for a flutter.

He says that he believes it is this daily routine, which he has followed for fifty years, that keeps his mind up to speed.

Betfred boss Fred Done has organised a celebratory surprise party for their oldest punter at his local bookies with cakes and £100 worth of free bets.

Albert received a letter from the Queen on his 100th birthday, alongside over 60 cards from his friends and staff at the bookies at Nutgrove Road.

He said: “I have bets daily on the Irish lottery and greyhounds but my favourite bet is the Lucky 63 where you make six horse selections.

“What I do is get my bet on – and then watch the races on TV later.

“I do crosswords in my spare time – but it is working out the odds for my bets that keeps my mind ticking over.

“I have had some decent wins including £1,500 on the Lucky 63 last year – and that only cost me 50p.”

As so often is the case, his love of the bookies goes hand in hand with his enthusiasm for sport. He says: Apart from visiting Betfred every day after checking my coupons and race cards in the paper the night before, I enjoy watching St Helens. I was a big Everton fan, going to all the home matches and away too sometimes – especially if we were playing in Manchester.

‘But in the 1960s a friend introduced me to rugby league and I never looked back.’

Albert’s son Derek said on the occasion: “A big thank you to Fred and all his staff at Nutgrove Road, who have become such good friends to dad. There is no doubt the interest in getting a bet on every morning, however small, has helped keep him active. Even when he was under the weather for a couple of weeks recently, he had me coming to Betfred on his behalf with very specific instructions! He’s been quite lucky over the years but likes to keep his actual stake secret.”

What an uplifting story, demonstrating how bookies are a treasured part of our communities.

We offer our congratulations to Bunny for reaching a grand old age. He is obviously quite a character, and demonstrates how the social interaction, community support, and mental agility provided by his favourite pastime can be of great benefit to the elderly.

We want to get across the message about the positive work we do and in order to support your local bookie, please sign the petition here

Support bookies who do so much for sport nationally, locals in their communities, and for the economy, and spread the word, by sharing the petition with your colleagues, customers, friends and family.

Together, we can ensure that we can all have as fruitful a relationship with our local bookie as Albert. We wish him every success with his next flutter.

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