Ryan Tunnicliffe’s Manchester United debut pays off for his dad

Few fathers are shy when it comes to admitting what great athletes their sons are -- even if it’s not true.

But 10 years ago Mick Tunnicliffe put his money where his pride was, taking out a 100-pound (about $163) bet that his then 9-year-old son would one day play for famed English soccer team Manchester United.

Wednesday the bet paid off for both Mick and his son Ryan, now 19, who made his Man-U debut in the 77th minute of Wednesday’s Premier League win over Newcastle at Old Trafford.


Tunnicliffe, who got 100-1 odds on his wager from bookmakers William Hill, will collect $16,000.

This is at least the second time such a bet has paid off for a proud papa. In 2006 Liverpool goalkeeper Chris Kirkland made his debut for the English national team against Greece, something his father also bet 100 pounds would happen before Kirkland turned 30.

Kirkland, aged 25 then, never played another game for the national team.


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