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FEARLESS FREDDIE'S pounds 8MILLION FORTUNE; EXCLUSIVE RACING LEGEND'S HUGE ESTATE REVEALED Court battle looms after bookie dies without will.

Byline: By BILLY PATERSON and CARA SULIEMAN

LEGENDARY bookie Freddie Williams left a staggering pounds 8million in his estate.

The fortune is the subject of a bitter battle between his widow Sheila and lover Margaret Gribben.

TV regular Freddie earned the nickname Fearless by taking huge bets from high-rollers from across Europe. He lost pounds 1million in one day to racing tycoon JP McManus.

TV presenter Jim Delahunt, a close friend, said: "I'm not surprised he did so well. He worked all hours of the day and reaped the rewards."

Another pal added: "Freddie had various business interests but built this fortune at the tracks. He was at his pitch until the day before he died."

Freddie passed away in June aged 65 after suffering a heart attack.

His daughter Julie was appointed executor of his estate as he did not leave a will.

But Margaret, 56, has launched a claim on his fortune on the grounds she was his common-law wife.

Freddie's estate includes 50,000 shares - worth pounds 4.5million - in the Caledonian bottling plant in his home town of Cumnock, Ayrshire.

His bookie shops and 11 racecourse pitches, at tracks including Ayr and Cheltenham, are worth pounds 2.4million.

He also had pounds 830,000 in reserve cash in a commercial bank account.

Freddie's Cumnock home is valued at pounds 300,000, with other personal property worth pounds 82,000.

He also left a pounds 20,000 racehorse, a pounds 53,500 Mercedes SL convertible, a MercedesCLK240 Avantgarde worth pounds 10,575 and pounds 3000 Citroen C3 Desire.

But Freddie's 50,000 shares and director's loan account in Glasgow's upmarket 78 St Vincent Street restaurant are worthless. The venue has gone into liquidation and closed.

Julie has served awrit laying claim to the pounds 3000 Citroen, which is driven by Freddie's lover's daughter, also Margaret.

She also wants to sell his home, where he lived with Margaret after divorcing Sheila in 2006. The division of the estate will be decided by the courts.

A spokesman for the Williams family said: "Freddie began life in humble circumstances and this inventory is testament to his hard work and professionalism.

"His daughters are still grieving the loss of their father and are unavailable for comment."

A source close to Margaret said: "She has the right to make a claim and intends to pursue it all the way."

Last week it was announced a race would be named after Freddie at next week's Cheltenham festival.

Julie said: "This is a special honour for a very special man."

CAPTION(S):

Accumulator: Freddie raked in millions of pounds by "fearlessly" accepting bets from high-rollers; Fight: Sheila, left, and Julie are out to protect Freddie's legacy
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Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Mar 1, 2009
Words:452
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