Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland man whose dad won bet with Rod Stewart nearly 40 years ago now hoping to meet star

Rod Stewart during his last Belfast concert three years ago
Rod Stewart during his last Belfast concert three years ago
Nick Jacks
Ralph Hewitt

By Ralph Hewitt

A man from Northern Ireland whose late father once won a bet with Rod Stewart is hoping to meet the veteran rock star when he plays in Belfast tonight.

Nick Jacks (47), who is originally from London but has lived in Enniskillen since 2000, has long held the ambition to show Stewart a cheque the singer personally wrote out to his father in a London pub in the early 1980s.

After a chance meeting in the Queen's Arms in Kilburn, Mr Jacks' father, David James, also known as Jimmy, won a bet he made with Celtic super-fan Stewart around an international match between England and Scotland.

After losing out, Stewart graciously wrote a cheque out for $90 to 'Jimmy Jacks' but it was never cashed and has remained in the Jacks family ever since.

Mr Jacks Snr passed away with cancer in 1988 at the age of 54, but his son would love to meet Stewart after tonight's show at the SSE Arena to talk about his late father.

Looking back at how his father met the singer, Mr Jacks explained that Gary Grainger, who worked with his dad at fruit company Fyffes, auditioned to join Stewart's band and ended up touring all over the world.

Grainger went on to become one of the most popular guitarists in England and performed with Stewart, Roger Daltrey, Nick Lowe and the Jones Gang.

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"My dad used to drive Gary to work and back home during the week," Mr Jacks explained. "Gary played guitar and brought it into work.

"I have a letter from Gary Grainger that he wrote to my dad while he was on tour saying that he couldn't wait to get home and get a drink with him and the rest of the lads."

On his return Grainger brought Stewart along for a pint and that is when Mr Jacks Snr met the singer.

"My dad and Rod Stewart must have got talking and made a bet on England and Scotland matches," continued Mr Jacks.

"I've got the cheque for $90 that Rod Stewart gave to my dad from his Californian bank. The note with it says, 'bets on England Scotland matches three years'. "I don't even know what year they would have met but it would have been in the early ' 80s some time. There's no date on the cheque."

Mr Jacks moved to Northern Ireland in 2000 after meeting his now wife Ruth from Augher, Co Tyrone, during a gap year in Australia in 1999. Now the father-of-four is hoping his story can somehow reach Stewart ahead of tonight's gig as he will be bringing the cheque to show Rod the Mod."I would like to meet Rod Stewart and see if he remembers and to talk about it," he added.

"It would be a good legacy to meet the man who met my dad because this cheque has been in the family since the 1980s.

"I've got tickets for tonight's show but I wouldn't know how to get in contact with Rod Stewart's people. I just thought with him coming to Belfast that if I don't try something to try and talk to him about the bet it's just never going to happen."

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