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Ex-Chelsea player wins £5.5m Lotto

Published 08/07/2015

Terry Bradbury started his career with Chelsea in 1957
Terry Bradbury started his career with Chelsea in 1957

A retired Chelsea footballer has won £5.5 million on the Lotto.

Terry Bradbury, 74, used to earn £25 a week as a professional footballer in the 1960s, b ut he is celebrating becoming an overnight millionaire after he hit the jackpot in Saturday's draw.

The ex-midfielder, from Buxton, Derbyshire, said: "The news really is still sinking in. We still can't quite believe it."

Bradbury and his wife Ann, 73, said they are looking forward to spending some of their new-found fortune on their grandchildren.

The couple said they are going to splash out on a villa in Spain - their favourite holiday spot.

Mrs Bradbury said: "The villa will be a place where our family can always go to for holidays. Looking after our sons and our nine grandchildren is something which is a priority for both of us.

"It is wonderful to think that none of our children will have a mortgage or any stress for the rest of their lives. This win provides our family with security and this is what pleases Terry and myself more than anything."

Bradbury began his career with Chelsea in 1957 and made 29 appearances for the First Division club.

He moved to Southend United in 1962 for a reported £6,000 before going on to play for Leyton Orient.

Bradbury moved to Wrexham in 1967 before joining rivals Chester, and later worked as a player-coach at Weymouth.

The couple usually play the same numbers in the Lotto every week, but they scooped the jackpot after they changed to a Lucky Dip.

Bradbury said: "We just felt like a change so threw two Lucky Dip lines on - and we are so glad we did.

"We will definitely be continuing to play Lotto - and will probably stick with Lucky Dips too."

The couple, who used to run a pub in Tideswell, Derbyshire, bought their ticket from WH Smith in Buxton.

Bradbury said he had no plans to emulate modern footballers with their flash cars and other luxuries.

He said played in a golden era of football and did not begrudge current stars their millions.

Bradbury said his playing earnings were limited by the maximum wage of £20 a week in the season and £17 a week until this was famously smashed by Jimmy Hill in the 1960s. He said he would get a £4 win bonus and £2 for a draw.

But he said he never earned more than £25 a week and drove a Mini at the time.

"I was getting £20 for playing football but a tradesman was only getting £8 to £10, so it's all relative," he said.

He said Jimmy Greaves was "the greatest goal machine I ever saw" but "ruthless" Dave Mackay was the hardest player he came up against.

"There wasn't the other distractions there are now," he said. "The crowds are always big. There was this banter between the crowds because they weren't segregated. People went to watch the football and enjoy the atmosphere."

But asked about modern players, he said: "Good luck to them. You can't blame the sportsmen. If someone offered you another £1,000 a week you would go."

Bradbury said: "I had a good time at Chelsea, enjoyed every minute - all through my playing career. This is just the icing on the cake for Ann and I."

He said he does not watch live football any more because "I'd rather be playing".

Bradbury said one of his most cherished memories was walking out at Wembley in front of 90,000 people as a 15-year-old schoolboy.

"I'd like to be 15 walking out again," he said.

And he said he thought Jose Mourinho "has done a fantastic job" as Chelsea manager.

The Bradburys have four grown-up sons and nine grandchildren.

Mrs Bradbury said they were drinking tea when they found out they had won and celebrated with a second cup.

And the first thing her husband did was to take their son's dog, Alfie, out for a walk.

"Somehow, I always thought I would win the lottery but you never really believe it, do you?"

She said she did not win with her normal Lotto tickets. The couple had got fed up with never getting numbers on the Euromillions draw so bought two extra lucky dip Lotto tickets. It was one of these that won.

Bradbury said he did not know what he was going to spend his cash on first.

"N o idea. It's all surreal. It's like being in a film. It's a fantasy world."

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