15 OCTOBER 1954, Page 6

Collapse of Devout Party

Inspired by a recent paragraph in these notes about a pools- winner being treated for shock in a London hospital, a readet has sent me a story which, though I fear it is old as well as apocryphal, seems worth retelling. A very old man with 3 weak heart won £50,000 in a football pool. His family, fearing that the glad news might prove fatal, called in the Vicar to break it to him. Now, John,' began the Vicar cautiously, ' supposing you were to win one of these big prizes—£50,000, say—what would you do with it ? ' The old man pondered, 'Well, sir,' he said, to start off with I'd give you half of it for the church.' The Vicar fell dead.