A MAN has reportedly left his local Ladbrokes for the first time in 43 years, after British horse racing was cancelled due to an outbreak of equine flu.
73-year-old Derek Spencer from Huddersfield was a promising tradesman with a wife and two young children back in 1976, until one day he wandered into his local Ladbrokes to place a bet on the horse racing after getting a tip from his friend at the pub.
Spencer never returned home, spending the rest of his adult life perched on an uncomfortable red stool, craning his neck to keep up with every horse racing result on eight different TV screens for 43 years.
According to store manager Ethel Clayton, the staff would even leave the screens on overnight and find Spencer sat in the exact same spot when they turned up for work the next morning.
"After a few years, we just stopped kicking him out when the shop closed because he'd just sleep in the doorway and follow us back in the next morning anyway".
"We'd come in and he'd still be sat there at 8am screaming at the TV, surrounded by bet slips he'd ripped up and thrown on the floor, even when he hadn't placed any bets."
But when all British horse racing events were cancelled for over a week due to an outbreak of equine flu, Derek decided it was time to call it a day and see the outside world again.
"I should probably go home and see my family", said Spencer. "I haven't seen them since the late 1970's when they stopped begging me to come home. Or I might see what they've got on in William Hill. Yeah, I think I'll do that."