Magazine Archive


This season’s greetings

There’s a guy who lives opposite my flat in south east London who my road refer to as ‘Naughty Nigel’ (he’s not really called Nigel, but his actual name does alliterate with Naughty).

I’ve lived on this road for nearly three years now, but it wasn’t until this summer that Nigel and I started exchanging words that went beyond: “Alright mate?” This is because Nigel’s naughtiness (speeding up the road in his battered old car, coming and going in the early hours, and generally hanging around in his vest and pants) had previously discouraged me from making a new friend in the intriguing man across the street.

But then the World Cup started. All of a sudden I was no longer concerned about the weird screams that were coming from Nigel’s house, as I knew he was watching the same match that I was also glued to. Mexico beating Germany; Croatia thumping Argentina; England playing promising football. All of a sudden, Nigel and I had something to talk about. He began chatting to me on a daily basis about the tournament, the encouraging signs that young English players were showing, and whatever other games were scheduled for that day. It was yet another example of the power of sport and how much it can unite and encourage sociability.

This month sees the return of the Premier League season and, frankly, the team here at Pub & Bar can’t wait. The momentum of the World Cup has not only created new football fans across the country, but it has rejuvenated the love and passion of watching live sport surrounded by like-minded fans in pubs and bars (I’m sure you all saw the incredible scenes from Boxpark in Croydon every time England scored). It’s now up to you to capitalise on this adoration of live football atmosphere and retain those customers for domestic league fixtures and European nights.

As the new season kicks off, I’m now hearing all about the chances Nigel believes his beloved Millwall have this year. Please, for my own safety, don’t tell him I’m a Chelsea fan.

Tristan O’Hana - Group Editor