OPTIMISTIC Wiganers are ready to toast England’s World Cup run.
Regulars at pubs and clubs will stay up late to see Roy Hodgson’s braves hopefully conquer the Azzurri.
The lads in the Three Lions shirts open their campaign against the Italians late on Saturday evening with no need for late-night drinks extensions after an 11th-hour intervention by the Prime Minister.
But Jenny Liptrot, landlady of AllGates’ canalside Crooke Hall Inn, is now scouring recipe books for international cuisine to give the events an extra twist.
She will be offering special World Cup recipes themed from the national dishes of England’s opponents.
While that may be straight forward enough for the pasta-loving Italians, she is prepared for a rather more challenging time in the kitchen for game two...when she attempts a Uruguayan Asado barbecue! She hasn’t settled on a Costa Rican dish for the third game yet though.
Jenny said: “We are doing a food offer based on the nationality of the opponents whoever England play. It could be paella if we end up playing Spain or onion soup if we play France.
“But I can see some problems depending on who they play in the later matches...so I will have to get searching on the internet! It will give a lot of pubs a big boost coming at this time of the year and I am sure England will do well.”
Pemberton Central Labour Club will be staying open late for all the England matches...but customers will need to be in their seats by 10.30pm when the doors will close.
Barman at the Enfield Street-based club, Alex Neil, said: “I am football crazy and really looking forward to the World Cup. Here at Pemberton Central we have the added bonus of a big screen and we will be laying on free hot pasties to create a fantastic atmosphere.
“I’ve decorated the games room with flags and bunting and we are all set for the big kick-off. Come on England! I can’t wait.”
At the Globe in Standish the landlord believes the beer sale boost set to be delivered by the World Cup will be a key to many pubs surviving the quieter summer months.
Although if some customers of the famed sports pub in High Street are to be believed, they will be supping more in consolation than celebration...
He will be laying on pies or a curry for customers during the “big games”.
Gavin Rimmington said: “We already had a one o’clock licence anyhow, so we were never going to have to apply for an extension, anyhow.
“There is excitement off some but plenty of pessimism from others about how well England are going to do, but the younger ones are certainly well up for it.
“Its very important for the pub trade, I would say. We are a bit quieter over the summer months, along with many others so it will give everybody an important boost.” The Silver Tally in Shevington Moor - Prospect Brewery’s official “tap” - is hoping for roaring support for England with a serious discount per pint of Standish-made real ale during England matches.
Rugby fanatic brewster Patsy Slevin has joined the soccer hullaballoo and installed a new wide-screen television in the ultra-trad pub.
Mrs Slevin said: “We are not going to ever fill the place with flat screens - that simply isn’t The Silver Tally, is it?
“But our customers do want to follow England in the World Cup so we have installed one just to keep them happy. We are staying open for the late-night games as long as there are enough folk to make it worth it. But we will have to call time if there are only one or two in because that won’t be worth it.”
Chief Insp Gareth Parkin head of GMP’s World Cup operation said that the Force wanted everyone to enjoy the World Cup in the “right spirit.
He said: “To reduce the likelihood of alcohol-related disorder, and to make drinking environments safer, bars and pubs are advised to consider extra security, as well as plastic glasses.”
n For more World Cup news see page 39.