Roll-call of shame: the history of British match-fixing
Wednesday 15 March 1995
Billy Meredith, Manchester City captain - the "Prince of Dribblers" - suspended for one season for trying to bribe Aston Villa captain, Alec Lake, £10 to throw a match. Meredith claimed to be acting on instructions from his manager, Tom Maley. Seventeen Manchester City players fined £900 each, two directors suspended for a year, and the manager and former chairman banned for life.
WBA vs Everton. In a complex case, Pascoe Biloetti, whose son carried on a football betting business in Geneva, tried to bribe the WBA team. Five months in prison.
Manchester United vs Liverpool. United's 2-0 win excited suspicion from spectators and referee, especially a missed penalty. The match had been fixed, with 2-0 the desired score. Eight players suspended for life.
Bo'ness vs Lochgelly, Scottish Division Two. John Browning and Archibald Kyle tried to bribe a Bo'ness player to throw the match for £30. They were the frontmen for a betting syndicate that paid them £200 each. Both sentenced to 60 days' hard labour.
Leicester City vs Cardiff City. Both needed one point - Leicester to escape relegation and Cardiff to qualify for "talent money". A 0-0 draw was arranged, but a freak goal was scored for Cardiff. Leicester equalised after a dreadful mistake - the ball "dribbled in and hardly reached the back of the net".
Allegations that Stoke had been asked to throw a match against Norwich led to a five-year investigation, principally by the Daily Mail, revealing widespread match fixing on behalf of betting syndicates. Several retired players admitted taking or passing on bribes.
Esmond Million, Bristol Rovers goalkeeper, admitted allowing a back pass to slip past him and deliberately missing a cross in a match against Bradford that he was offered £300 to lose. The game ended in a draw and Million did not get his money.
The Swan, Kay and Layne case. Three senior players were paid to fix a match in 1962 - Ipswich vs Sheffield Wednesday, which ended 2-0. All three got four months' imprisonment and life bans from soccer.
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