Fans cash in on Weymouth misfortune

Weymouth fans watched their beloved team get thrashed 9-0 on Saturday, and then laughed all the way to the bookmakers to collect winnings of more than £1 million.

The wily supporters had heard the cash-strapped club would have to field their youth team for Saturday's match at Rushden & Diamonds after many first team players refused to play because of a lack of medical insurance.

Bookmakers slashed their odds after noticing more money than usual for such a game was being waged on it and local media reported over a million pounds was paid out.

"The punters had obviously heard that the team were short of players," Robin Hutchinson, spokesman for bookmakers Ladbrokes, said on Tuesday. "We looked at the weight of money on it and acted accordingly. Good luck to the punters."

The Blue Square Premier club, whose team is usually watched by a crowd of about 1,000 fans, is struggling with debt and said players and staff had not been paid for several weeks.

Supporters wondering what to spend their winnings on may have noticed the club website advertising Weymouth shares for sale and appealing for funds to be raised.