William Hill offers free £5 bets on kids' call-ups

Bookmaker William Hill is running a 'Back Your Pride and Joy' campaign with a free bet that will pay out £5,000 to parents if their child makes the England football team.

William Hill: the Kirklands join the Back Your Pride and Joy campaign
William Hill: the Kirklands join the Back Your Pride and Joy campaign

William Hill, which is the official betting partner of the FA, will hand out 200,000 bet certificates worth £5 and at odds of 1,000-1 to parents as it seeks to take advantage of the hype ahead of Euro 2012.

To qualify for the free bet, customers have to place a £10 football bet in-shop or online and then visit a "play for England" microsite (www.williamhill.com/playforengland) to customise their free £5 bet certificate.

Former England goalkeeper Chris Kirkland and his father Eddie are backing the campaign, having won a similar bet themselves.

Eddie Kirkland placed a £100 bet with William Hill at odds of 100-1 when his son was 12 that he would one day play for England.

He collected his £10,000 winnings when Chris made his debut for England against Greece at Old Trafford in 2006.

At the time the bet had to be placed by writing a letter to the bookmaker, which was accepted by William Hill in writing.

Tony Kenny, William Hill spokesman, said: "Chris and Eddie are living proof that bets like this come off, but we are keen to see future England talent nurtured.

"It is a novelty bet with a serious side and that is that we should all be backing England going forward in the future."

Follow Matthew Chapman at @mattchapmanUK

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