Bookmaker's in Britain were today in mourning after the announcement of the death of Henry Billingsworth. Mr Billingsworth died yesterday at the age of 94 as the man with the reputation of being an amiable loser.
"It is a black day," said Arthur, a regular at Connolly's Turf Accountants in Formby, Merseyside. "He was a chipper chap, was Henry, everyone liked him."
Henry was known as a character in his local, the Red Lion. As beers were downed and the stories of the day's gambling exploits unfolded, it was indeed the case. No one seemed to have come out a loser.
"Aye, I did OK in the bookie's today. Held my own," said Arthur who was a bit flushed having run into the pub. "Guys, can anyone lend me a couple of quid, That roulette machine next door is bound to pay out soon."
"Up and down, up and down. Came out OK" added another, avoiding Arthur's gaze.
"Doing alright. I had a ten-to-one winner three weeks ago.Won £50 I did." said Mike rummaging through his change at the bar to buy his final pint of the day.
"I had a good day, ended a little bit ahead" said Jim, another regular. "I remember Henry. Quite often he would say that he had lost. Sometimes he had ended the day ahead, but quite often he was down."
"Of course I am a bit worried, not a good start to 2007" said David Connolly, the local independant bookmaker, buying a round of drinks at the bar from a bundle of £50 notes. "Henry was a really nice, honest chap and if he was losing some money, he would tell you. If you ask any of my regular punters, they rarely lose and none of them are ever down on the day. I wish i had their luck. Maybe then I could afford a bigger Villa in Spain than the one I currently have and my Jag is getting on for two years old now."
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