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Oxfam willing on a Federer triumph

Roger Federer waves as he enters Centre Court for his fourth round match.
by Sarah Edworthy
Wednesday 4 July 2012

Oxfam, the international confederation dedicated to ending poverty in the world, is unashamedly rooting for Roger Federer to win Wimbledon. Why? There's a potential gift of £100,000 riding on it.

Oxfam supporter Nicholas Newlife left his entire estate to Oxfam when he died in February 2009. This included the outcomes of a series of outstanding bets he had placed. Oxfam has already received £16,750 from one of his bets - when he placed £250 on Federer to win at least 14 Grand Slam titles before 2020 (at odds of 66/1). Another of Mr Newlife's bets was on Federer to win Wimbledon seven times before 2020. The record-breaking Swiss star has won six times already, but the clock is ticking towards an age-related inevitable deterioration of superiority. So come on Roger!

Federer – who founded his own charitable foundation to support innovative education and sports projects in selected countries of the world – would no doubt be thrilled to hear of the happy knock-on effect for Oxfam of a 2012 Wimbledon victory.

Oxfam benefits from the generosity of about 600 legacies a year. The gifts people leave to Oxfam in their wills come in all shapes and sizes and add up to about £13 million per year, or 10 per cent of total income. “Every time someone leaves a gift in their will, whether it's a few pounds or a few thousand pounds, it helps make a difference to millions of lives around the world,” the Oxfam  website states. “For example, £500 could provide 20 basic latrines, such as those Oxfam sent after the Haiti earthquake. And £3,700 could equip an entire special needs school with teaching and learning aids.”

Unusual legacies they have previously benefited from include:

  1. A pair of gold teeth and a dentist's chair from a former dentist.
  2. The royalties from a number of books and plays, including Doctor Finlay's Casebook, which was on TV from 1962 to 1971.
  3. A letter written by Florence Nightingale, which was sold for several hundred pounds at auction.
  4. Racing greyhounds.
  5. Shares in the original Woolwich Arsenal Football Club. The shares had been overlooked in 1920 and were traced through four subsequent estates. When they were finally sold in 2009, each share was worth £6,965.
  6. Proceeds from the sales of art collections and antique furniture, and gifts of jewellery, books and clothes. A Regency Chaise Longue sold at auction for £8,000.

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