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Red Rum wins Grand National again after 43 years 20/04/17
• Winning bet cashed in more than four decades after it was placed after man discovers slip in late father-in-law’s home

A winning Grand National bet has been cashed in 43 years late after a man found the slip while sorting through his late father-in-law’s house.

Bob Holmes discovered the win-only bet, which backed Red Rum in 1974, while looking through paperwork in his Scottish home.

It is thought to be the oldest bet cashed in.

Holmes, 76, contacted the bookmaker William Hill and it confirmed the slip, placed at odds of 11-1, had not been cashed.

It agreed to pay out on the bet, adjusted for inflation. Holmes will receive £130 as well as £130 to place on Saturday’s Grand National – plus a matching donation to his favourite charity, WaterAid.

Holmes, who lives in Houston, Renfrewshire, said: “My sister-in-law Rhoda Robertson was moving house and my wife and I were helping her to see what could be thrown out, so I was looking through a whole pile of old papers, tax returns, bank statements and so on.

“I came across a scruffy bit of paper that turned out to be a betting slip that had been placed but never cashed. When I looked more closely it was for Red Rum in the 1974 Grand National.

“I contacted William Hill who said yes, it is a bet that has been properly placed and they would not only honour it but would increase the value to today’s prices.”

The betting slip reads: 1 win. Red Rum. Live 3.15.

Holmes does not know why his father-in-law, Joe Robertson, who died in 1979, never cashed in the slip. He said: “It is a mystery. My father-in-law probably lost the betting slip and was not able to cash it.

“It was very rare for him to bet. He was not a betting man, maybe a couple of times a year on the National or the Derby.”

Holmes, who worked for the Foreign Office before retiring, sent the slip to William Hill so it could verify its authenticity. It confirmed the bet was placed at its Paisley branch, which no longer exists, and had never been cashed.

He has split the money William Hill gave him to put on this year’s National three ways with his wife Nancy and sister-in-law. He is backing Blaklion, while his wife has chosen Definitely Red and her sister Ucello Conti.

Graham Sharpe, a spokesman for William Hill, said: “It is certainly a record. I’ve worked at William Hill for 45 years and the record before was seven years for a lady whose husband had passed away and she had not felt able to go through his clothes until then, and had found a betting slip.

“If you have a valid betting slip we will always honour it because we understand that things like that happen.”