Michael Owen's fondness for a flutter yesterday livened up proceedings at the Old Bailey when his name cropped up in the course of a race-fixing trial.
The jury heard that the England striker, who recently opened his own training stables in Cheshire, sought information from Kieren Fallon on a daily basis. The six-times champion jockey is one of six men denying charges of conspiracy to defraud customers of the online betting exchange Betfair. The jury heard a transcript of a police interview in which Fallon said opinions he passed to another defendant, Philip Sherkle, were as innocuous as those he routinely gave Owen.
He thought Sherkle was "having his own couple of quid on". "I do that all the time with a lot of people, not just Phil," Fallon said. "Michael Owen every day texts me." Fallon later said: "Most guys, like I say Michael Owen, would only ring to talk about races."