We are celebrating the incredible work and stories that happen in pubs across the country by launching the BT Manager of the Month Awards.
To kick-start the campaign we visited three pubs and landlords that are renowned for doing amazing things. We recognised their efforts with a celebrity visit…and by unveiling their very own statues.
The Tollington, Holloway, North London
#BTMOTM Martin Whelan
The Tollington is a home-from-home for Arsenal fans, providing a warm and inviting welcome before, after and during matches. Martin has built his business over a decade and reaches out far and wide to connect with customers on social media. His knowledge, passion, staff and top notch audio-visual set-up helps him create a memorable atmosphere on match days and for the rest of the week.
Arsenal legend Martin Keown, who unveiled the statue of his namesake, says: “It’s a great pub and it shows what a fantastic community there is. It’s a great initiative and the statue is very well deserved.”
The Chequers, Swinford, Leicestershire
#BTMOTM Brian Priest
When Leicester won the Premier League there were plenty of fans painting the town red – but there was only one pub that was painted it in the colours of the club. Brian Priest and 16 regulars gave the pub an amazing new look to celebrate the football miracle that was Leicester’s title win. A solitary complaint led to the pub being ordered to its original state but the passion for Leicester City and football in general remains.
Foxes season-ticket holder Brian, who has run the pub for 30 years, said: “I thought I was going to get an ASBO but I’ve ended up with a statue! It’s not done for that, you just do what you do and foster a community spirit.”
Robbie Savage, who unveiled the statue, added: “Coming to Swinford this shows what a local pub can do for 586 residents of the village. It’s a community, it’s a hub and you can see that everyone knows Brian. It’s such a friendly place. BT is recognising a football fan and a pub landlord, it’s fantastic.”
The Gardeners Arms, Norwich
#BTMOTM Phil Cutter
Norwich landlord Phil ensures fans will never miss any of the action by having TVs in the toilets of his famous pub. This quirky addition is another sign of a pub that continues to evolve and give its customers what they need.
Phil said: “I have been immortalised in bronze by BT Sport for bringing people together – I didn’t realise I was as handsome as I am! Sport is a great way to get people coming back to pubs and through having TVs in our toilets our customers don’t miss a moment of the action.
Jake Humphrey, who unveiled the statue, added: “Phil is using sport to make his pub a very special place and we have come to celebrate that with him.”
So, have you got what it takes? Or do you know somebody else who deserves to be celebrated?
Tell us who you think should be next in line for a #BTMOTM award and why they should win. Each winner will receive a 4K TV for their venue and a visit from a sporting celebrity.
Just tweet us @BTSportsBars using #BTMOTM
For more information: www.twitter.com/BTSportBars