£1m payout if England crash out of cup

SUFFOLK-based football fan Paul Hucker has a million reasons to follow England's progress in the World Cup this summer.That's the amount he has insured himself for in case he suffers mental trauma if England get knocked out in the early stages of the competition.

By Paul Geater

SUFFOLK-based football fan Paul Hucker has a million reasons to follow England's progress in the World Cup this summer.

That's the amount he has insured himself for in case he suffers mental trauma if England get knocked out in the early stages of the competition.

The Claydon-based loans broker spent £105 on the policy with insurance broker britishinsurance.com.

Mr Hucker, 34, said he had taken out the policy following years of disappointment when England failed to progress to the final stages of a competition, and the agony of watching them lose through penalty shoot outs.

He said: "The pressure of this World Cup is not just on the players and the managers. I think a lot of supporters are under a lot of pressure and suffer because of England's performance.

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"I find when it goes to penalty shoot-outs it gets very difficult and I wanted to insure myself against psychological trauma."

If England are knocked out in the first round of the competition the insurer will turn to five sports commentators to judge if their exit is premature.

Mr Hucker will them have to provide medical evidence showing that he has suffered severe mental trauma as a result to get his seven-figure payout.

The only thing the policy does not cover is England failing to progress through the tournament as a direct result of players being out due to metatarsal injuries, following news that striker Wayne Rooney may not be fit for the event after breaking his foot.

He married his wife, Louise, last year and said she would also be following England's progress with interest.

“She's interested in the game to keep up with me - I know that across the country there will be families watching the matches keenly.

“If England get knocked out of the tournament everyone will feel depressed,” he said.

Despite the bet, Mr Hucker is looking forward to seeing England progress in the tournament. He said: “I am confident about our chances, especially if Michael Owen is fit in time.

And if the worst happens, he manages to prove that he has suffered severe mental trauma and picks up the money he said charity would be a winner.

“If they pay out for me, then I would give some of my winnings to charity - it would be the right thing to do.”