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Upper crust: Billionaire bookie Fred Done doubles up for St Ann’s

Bookie Fred Done faced the wrath of a football club’s queen of pies Barbara Gaskill for charity – and now he wants to turn the tables and give her a job!

Fred donned a pinnie to help her sell a record number of pies at non-league Salford City during their big FA Cup second round 1-1 draw with League Two Hartlepool.

And to boost funds for St Ann’s Hospice at Little Hulton, supporters donated loose change for the chance to win £100 by guessing how many cheese and onion, meat and potato and peppered steaks pies were sold.

The answer was 249 – and supporter Don Bradfield from Great Sankey, Warrington was closest with his guess of 250. The father of two has decided to donate his win to the fans’ collection of £200 which Fred has doubled, meaning the hospice will receive £600.

Sewing machinist by day, Barbara gave Fred ten out of ten for effort and praised his determination to carry on cooking despite suffering several burnt fingers – and regularly getting his pies mixed up.

She said: “My verdict is that he should stick to his day job. I ordered 280 pies so we shifted most of them in what was a record night for pie eating at the club. Getting a bit burnt is part of the job so I don’t want Fred putting a claim in. I told him a few times about how the pastry markings are different so you know which pie is which but he found that a bit difficult when the pressure was on. He did contribute to a highly successful night in the club kitchen. He’s a trier who got stuck in so well done!”

As for Fred he’s back in the office vowing never to look at a pie again. He said: “ Barbara is a dragon. … a real sergeant major and I tell you what I would take on a grafter like her to work for me any time. It is people like her, real stalwarts who keep clubs such as Salford City ticking. The draw seemed like a defeat with my home town club easily the better team and they are 5/1 to win next week’s replay.”

Kind Don, aged 43, who works as a car manufacturing plant waste recycling supervisor, said: “My daughter wanted a pair of new trainers with the £100 I won but St Ann’s is such a good cause there is no way I was going to keep it. I just plucked a number out of the air not trying to work it out based on the number of pie fans in the 1,400 crowd like some people were doing.”

Rachel McMillan, Acting Chief Executive at St Ann’s, said: “We can’t thank Fred, Barbara and Don enough for their kind donation to the hospice. It will make such a difference to the local patients we care for, and their families too. The pies looked delicious, so it’s no surprise that so many were sold on the day. Hopefully our good luck in having such wonderful supporters will rub off on the team in their replay too!”

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SalfordOnline.com's Local History Editor and Senior Reporter.