FRP is my long term hobby project of Football Result Prediction.
I was fascinated with the Football Pools which my Dad did every week for years with Littlewoods Pools, as a child I would always day dreamed of Dad winning the big prize.
37 years ago in the summer of 1982, I was 16 and I had just sold my year old ZX81 and purchased the newly released ZX Spectrum 48k for £125 from WHSmith.
In 1983 a friend managed to get some software of a Football Pools Program for the ZX Spectrum. It was ironically called Football Pools Program
It was designed to list the most likely draws, home wins and away wins of the English and Scottish football leagues.
I was intrigued by it however my friend would not give me a copy despite myself asking many times. His belief was to win and keep it all to himself.
Undeterred I sat down at my desk in my bedroom and started to code my own football pool analysis program.
I just worked on the English League Division 1 (this was before the Premier League). It was much easier to work with one division, especially when having to hand type in all the data on a Sunday from the Sunday papers.
For the first couple of years I did not bet or gamble as I was still under 18 so I just kept updating the data, updating the algorithms, updating the core code and testing.
Once I turned 18 the I would put small bets on and then on 11th April 1987 I got my first win from Littlewoods Pools, it was only £2.05 but I was excited as this was more about the enjoyment of programming than winning.
Then after a while around 1989 my ZX Spectrum started to run out of storage space on the microdrvies, so I managed to buy a new computer, my first PC and it was a lovely luggable. It was an Amstrad PPC640 (Dual Floppy Disk) and green monochrome LCD display.
I had to convert FRP from Sinclair Basic to QBasic, but with a better keyboard (than the ZX Spectrum rubber mat keyboard) data entry was quicker and I started to add more divisions.
Then on 10th October 1987 I got 2 dividends, one from Littlewoods for £0.28 and the other from Zetters for £0.20. And yes I was still happy with that.
Over the next several years I still got a few wins a year, though nothing big enough to retire on however it was still just the enjoyment of my programming and not the enjoyment of gambling.
In 2005 I found an online source of Football Data at www.football-data.co.uk, so I paid the £10 for lifetime access and I wrote some software to collect the data each night (which is still running today). The online data source was fantastic, no more tedious hours of typing data and also a lot more additional data including odds.
And here we are on Thursday 22nd of August 2019 and it’s 37 years later and I am still doing FRP in one way or another.
Instead of collecting the football data on my home PC I use my custom web server.
I am constantly redeveloping my ideas and hope to write some location algorithms to calculate team distance travel, a full blown ratings system and also a few other ideas as well.