£1.5m coup pays off as injury-hit Forfar lose 8-0

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The Independent Football

Gamblers around the world landed collective winnings estimated at £1.5m on Saturday after the biggest football betting coup in years, involving around £3m wagered on a minor Scottish match. As The Independent revealed on Saturday morning, a deluge of cash began to pour in on Friday for Peterhead to beat Forfar in the Scottish Second Division.

Forfar, with an acute injury crisis that left them with only eight match-fit players, two of them goalkeepers, had asked for the game to be postponed. The Scottish FA declined that request on Friday. Canny punters backed Peterhead, with single bets reaching five figures, including one £10,000 wager placed in Canada on the internet.

Peterhead were backed heavily both with high street bookies and on betting exchanges. On the Betfair exchange alone, £405,000 was traded on the game, with £398,000 of that on Peterhead. Ladbrokes, who took £5,000 on Peterhead and not a penny on Forfar by Friday afternoon, actually had to reprint their weekend coupon to accommodate a shortening of the odds. Peterhead, who were even money at the outset, were 1-2 at kick-off.

The result showed money really does talk. Peterhead won 8-0 and, to compound Forfar's misery, they had two players sent off.