/ Tennis

Posthumous gambler nets charity windfall

Updated: Wednesday, 10 Mar 2010 13:09

If Roger Federer wins Wimbledon this year, Oxfam will receive €100,000 from a deceased gambler's bets
If Roger Federer wins Wimbledon this year, Oxfam will receive €100,000 from a deceased gambler's bets

A charity could stand to gain more than €300,000 from a series of sporting bets left to it in a will.

Oxfam supporter Nicholas Newlife died at the age of 69 a year ago, leaving his entire estate - including a set of outstanding bets - to the charity.

Now they could benefit from more than a third of a million euros if the bets are successful, including a €100,000 payout if Roger Federer wins Wimbledon this year.

The tennis star has already won €18,500 for Oxfam, claimed this month. Mr Newlife, of Kidlington, Oxford, had placed a €275 bet at odds of 66/1 that Federer would win at least 14 Grand Slam titles before 2020.

Now if he wins Wimbledon in June, a €1,700 bet placed by Mr Newlife that he would win the men's singles tournament at least seven times before 2020 could be claimed, winning €112,580.

Graham Sharpe, of bookmakers William Hill, with whom the bets were all placed between 2000 and 2005, said: ‘Mr Newlife was clearly a very shrewd sporting gambler whose early identification of potential superstars won tens of thousands of pounds for himself while he was still alive.

‘But to ensure that a respected charity would benefit from any bets which came to fruition after his death makes him unprecedented in my 30-year experience of the betting industry.’

The other bets concern fellow tennis player Andy Roddick and cricketer Ramnaresh Sarwan.

Cathy Ferrier, fundraising and supporter marketing director at Oxfam, said the bets, and the €300,000 estate left by Mr Newlife, were helping them make a ‘huge difference’ to those in need.

She said: ‘We're enormously grateful to Mr Newlife for his generous gift, and will be keeping a close eye on Wimbledon this year as a result.

‘Legacies amount to 10% of our total income from individuals, so they're essential to us, and as this case proves they can come in all shapes and sizes.’

If all the bets come to fruition, Oxfam will be able to provide emergency rations for almost 46,000 people and safe water for more than 350,000 people.

Other unusual legacies left to the charity include a letter written by Florence Nightingale, racing greyhounds, a pair of gold teeth and a dentist's chair bequeathed by a former dentist.