A FOOTBALL pools winner's cheque has been paid out - almost 34 years after the score draws came up.

George Devine, from Salisbury, was sorting through his parents’ things at their home after his mum Sandra died in January this year when, in his father’s jacket pocket, he came across a cheque from Littlewoods Pools.

Dad John died in 1992 aged 62 and the winning slip of paper had been tucked away and forgotten about since it was issued in 1987.

The family then decided to contact the Liverpool-based company to see if they would still pay out.

Salisbury Journal: John and Sandra Devine John and Sandra Devine

They say they were "gobsmacked" when not only did they receive the pay-out with inflation added, taking it to £12.66, the cheque had been framed as a memento for them too.

“We didn’t expect a reply, let alone the frame or the cheque plus inflation,” explained George. “I did it more for the company in case they wanted it for their record or archives.

“When we got the parcel from the Football Pools we were gobsmacked and also very thankful and grateful. It’s nice to have a memory of our dad as I was only 16 when he passed away.”

George, 45, says his dad John was always a keen football fan and an avid Pools player when he and his two older brothers Alan and Callum, and sister Fiona, were growing up.

Salisbury Journal: John and Sandra DevineJohn and Sandra Devine

Born in Dundee before moving to Salisbury in 1960 where he met and married their mum, he never lost his passion for the Scottish game.

“Dad supported Dundee and had many programmes from when Scotland played England at the 'Imperial Stadium’ (better now known as Wembley); he was a true Scottish Supporter,” said George.

“He did the Pools every week for as long as I can remember and he used to let us choose teams and to put the crosses on the coupon. Then every Thursday night the Pools man would come round and we would give him the 90p.

“I remember we’d often argue about putting the results in the back of the paper when they were read out from the vidiprinter on BBC1 final score. That way he could then check and see how he and mum had done because obviously it was back in the 80s and there was no internet!

“My brother Alan took over doing the Pools for a while after dad passed away and my mum also did them with the same numbers every week.”

Salisbury Journal: John Devine

Finance manager George says the framed cheque the family received will now take pride of place in his brother Callum’s garden bar.

“My dad was a steward of various social clubs in Salisbury so had a few bits and pieces of bar paraphernalia including a kilt and bagpipes for a bottle that would be wheeled out every Christmas.

“Callum asked to have these for his new bar and we all agreed. It seems only fitting that the frame resides there, next to my dad’s favourite whiskey.”

Football Pools CEO Derek Lloyd said the company was only too happy to pay out on the cheque despite its age.

He added: “We know that our winners are often so delighted to receive their cheques that they keep them as a souvenir, which could well be what Mr. Devine did.

“Even though it’s not a huge sum, a win is a win, so we felt it was only right to honour it and we also wanted the family to have a lovely reminder of their dad. Hopefully the framed cheque will bring them luck with their score draws too.”

Get more Salisbury news

You can also like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter and Instagram to stay up to date.

If you want online news with fewer ads, unlimited access and reader rewards - plus a chance to support our local journalism - find out more about registering or a digital subscription.

Email newsdesk@salisburyjournal.co.uk with your comments, pictures, letters and news stories.