BBC Sport football


Related BBC sites

Page last updated at 15:08 GMT, Thursday, 3 September 2009 16:08 UK

Le Tissier in failed betting scam

Matt Le Tissier
Le Tissier scored 162 goals in 378 league starts for Southampton

Former Southampton forward Matt Le Tissier has admitted taking part in a failed spread-betting scam.

In his autobiography, Taking Le Tiss, he admitted gambling on the time of the first throw-in in Southampton's 2-0 win at Wimbledon in April 1995.

"I couldn't see a problem with making a few quid on the time of the first throw-in," said the 40-year-old.

Le Tissier tried to kick the ball out of play, but it was kept in by Neil Shipperley, who was unaware of the bet.

The former England international added: "Spread betting had just started to become popular.

"It was a new idea that allowed punters to back anything from the final score to the first throw-in.

Shipps knew nothing about the bet and managed to head it back into play

Matt Le Tissier

"There was a lot of money to be made by exploiting it, we stood to win well into four figures."

As Southampton captain for the Premier League game, Le Tissier was able to persuade his Wimbledon counterpart to let the Saints kick off in exchange for letting the Dons kick towards their own fans.

"It seemed to be going like clockwork," said Le Tissier. "We kicked-off, the ball was tapped to me and I went to hit it out towards Neil Shipperley on the left wing.

"As it was live on television, I didn't want to make it too obvious, so I tried to hit it just over his head.

"But, with so much riding on it, I was a bit nervous and didn't give it enough welly.

"The problem was that Shipps knew nothing about the bet and managed to reach it and even head it back into play."

Le Tissier, who made over 500 appearances for the Saints, then explained that the longer the ball remained in play, the more money he stood to lose.

"I have never run so much in my life," said the Guernsey-born player. "Suddenly it was no longer a question of winning money.

I'd never have done anything that might have affected the outcome of the match

Matt Le Tissier

"We stood to lose a lot of cash if it went much longer than 75 seconds before the ball went out. I had visions of a guy coming to kneecap me."

The ball eventually went out of play on 70 seconds, meaning Le Tissier neither won or lost money.

Southampton then went on to win the game, with Le Tissier scoring the first of their two goals.

"I've never tried spread betting since," he concluded.

"I'd never have done anything that might have affected the outcome of the match."

Print Sponsor