While brokers love to claim underwriters are eccentric loonies, Backchat reckons the exploits of James Howland Jackson (we call him Junior because his father is GISC chairman, Anthony) are a gem.

Last summer an unnamed broker was doing the rounds at Lloyd's seeking cover against highly-fancied Nottingham Forest gaining promotion to the big league.

The cover he sought was against Forest's sponsors having to pay the club's players a fortune in bonuses in the event of promotion.

No underwriter in the market would touch the business and on the eve of the 1999/2000 season, the broker still had not placed his risk.

Finally he arrived at Junior's door. Junior looked at the risk, negotiated slightly better terms, and told the broker he would confirm the business on Monday morning.

Over the weekend, Junior went and researched the risk personally by watching his idols, Ipswich Town, destroy Forest in the first game of the season.

Back at Lloyd's on Monday morning, Junior took the risk. Forest then had an abysmal season, and Euclidian never had to pay out a penny in claims.

Now that's underwriting.