‘Life with my sister Viv Nicholson - the true story’

Newspaper: Pontefract & Castleford Express.
Story: Geoff Asprey from Beal - the brother of football pools winner Viv Nicholson ("Spend Spend Spend" fame), has written a book about their lives.
Reporter: Laura Drysdale.
Photographer: Andrew Bellis.
Photo date: 04/04/16
Picture Ref: AB136a0416
Newspaper: Pontefract & Castleford Express. Story: Geoff Asprey from Beal - the brother of football pools winner Viv Nicholson ("Spend Spend Spend" fame), has written a book about their lives. Reporter: Laura Drysdale. Photographer: Andrew Bellis. Photo date: 04/04/16 Picture Ref: AB136a0416

The brother of Britain’s most famous pools winner Viv Nicholson has written a book about their relationship, a year after her death.

Geoffrey Asprey, 73, has spent the last few months writing ‘Viv and Me’, which he describes as a “controversial”true story about life with his sister.

Castleford, 16th July 1970

Vivian pictured outside the Council house in Kershaw Avenue, Castleford, where she and Keith were living when they scooped the pools.

Castleford, 16th July 1970 Vivian pictured outside the Council house in Kershaw Avenue, Castleford, where she and Keith were living when they scooped the pools.

In the book, he reveals untold tales about their childhood, their work performing in theatres together and the regular visits he made to see her at Breadalbane care home in Castleford towards the end of her life.

Mr Asprey, who now lives in Beale, said: “There’s a lot of things that the general public don’t know about Viv.

“The book is the true story about Viv and I and what we have done since we were children.”

Viv rose to fame in 1961, when she vowed to “spend, spend, spend” after she and her husband Keith won £152,319 on the football pools.

True to her word, it took the couple just three years to spend their winnings – the equivalent of £3m today - on flash cars, jewellery and a new ranch-style home in Garforth.

And after her husband was killed in a crash in 1965, Viv was declared bankrupt.

Mr Asprey described his sister as a “very lonely person”.

He said: “She was a very tricky customer.

“She was not someone that you could easily bring into your heart and let stay there.”

But he said they remained close throughout her life.

“I have always been her favourite and she mine,” he said.

“She bought me my first toy, a pair of roller skates.

“Me and Viv were two fingers on the top of each other.

“She was a person that as soon as she knew one or two things about something, she thought she could run the show.”

Viv was diagnosed with dementia in 2009 and died from the condition on April 11, 2015, aged 79.

Mr Asprey said: “With regards to her spending she realised she had made mistakes.

“She sat in the care home towards the end of her life and said that to me.

“Winning didn’t change her, it just made her more of the person that she was.

“She had more clout and people were listening to her more.”

Mr Asprey is hoping to publish his book later this month.

And £1 from every copy sold will go to funding dementia treatment, in Viv’s memory.