Betfred bookies Jamie Scales and Jack Bell from Diss save pensioner Michael Base’s life
- Credit: Jon Parker Lee
Staff from a bookies saved the life of a pensioner punter from Norfolk who collapsed in a diabetic coma and was alone at home for four days.
Retired chicken factory worker, Michael Base had been a regular at the Betfred betting shop on Mere Street in Diss for 13 years.
The 72-year-old known as Popeye, used to visit the bookies twice daily to place a £1 bet on football, the horses or the Irish Lottery.
But when the pensioner who lives alone was not seen for four days worried Betfred staff Jamie Scales and Jack Bell turned detective.
They knew his handwriting and found out by talking to colleagues and checking betting slips that Mr Base had not been in to place his regular wagers.
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Deputy manager Jamie Scales knew the pensioner lived near his mother and spent his lunchtime asking residents in the area if they knew Michael.
He knocked on the door of pensioner Glenn Bingley who said he knew Mr Base and told him where he lived.
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When the deputy manager got no answer at Mr Base's house he looked through the letterbox and noticed the tartan bag the pensioner always carries.
He called the police and within an hour they had broken into the 72-year-old's home and found him slumped on the floor.
The pensioner was cared for in the Intensive Care Unit at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital for a month and is now being cared for in the Culrose House residential home in nearby Dickleburgh.
He said: 'I don't think Jamie and Jack saved my life - I know they did!
'I don't know how I ended up on the floor in a coma at home but it was obviously to do with my diabetes.
'I was only a few yards from my tablets but couldn't reach them.
'I miss going to Betfred where I've had some good winners over the years including £350 on the horses once.'
Deputy manager Jamie Scales said: 'I knew something wrong when I saw that tartan bag because he's never seen without it.
'He had a brother who was in the navy and that's the only family anyone knows about.'
Hans Daugaard-Hansen, operations director at Culrose House carel home, has promised to arrange a trip for Michael back to Betfred.
He said: 'Michael is a very lucky man. He's a mischievous and bright fella who is lucky to be alive . He certainly loves his racing.'