History of the Pools

The football pools as we know it started in 1923 when Sir John Moores of Littlewoods founded the inaugural game by handing out 4,000 coupons to fans attending a Manchester United home game. Soon afterwards rival companies Vernons, Zetters and Brittens started their own versions and soon the game was soon played millions across the United Kingdom.

In 1957 Littlewoods Pools created the much loved collector network whereby a collector came to peoples houses to collect their pools money and to give them the proceeds of their football pools bets, this proved very popular in the streets of England and helped to entrench the pools into the public psyche.

Over the following decades the pools flourished and most streets had their own collectors helping to bring in over 15 million players each week all hoping to become the next football pools millionaire.  This contintued until 1996 and the introduction of the National Lottery which created sharp change in the amount of pools players bringing down the amount to players to around 700,000, seeing that this could not continue Sportech aquired the other major pool companies and  have relaunched the pools to be a modern looking game to compete with the National Lottery.

Football Pools Trust

Not all the money goes to the winners however a trust fund was set up to enable the continuation of modernisation to football grounds across the country, the first to benefit from this trust fund was Liverpool and Glasgow Rangers to help convert their terraces to seats.  Millwall's New Den and the Riverside in Middlesbrough could not have been possible without grants from the Trust.

It is not just football that has benefited from the pools, money from the pools was used to complete the building of Millennium Stadium in Cardiff and also the development of Twickenham, Murrayfield and Leicester Tigers’ rugby grounds. Money also filters down to the grassroots of football; the Football Pools Trust is key in developing new changing facilities and drainage projects and the provision of five-a-side playing facilities across the country.

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