If a good view of the match is important as a good pint in the glass here’s a Royal show
Sports. Love ‘em. Loathe ‘em. Quite like some (athletics, association football, darts) of ‘em. Utterly indifferent to others (anything that involves sliding about on various forms of frozen water).
Whatever, they’re here to stay. And pubs remain in the vanguard of laying said endeavours before those who care to view and can’t afford the posh telly.
That, of course, or they enjoy the communal watch.
No serious rival for attending a live event, of course, but some of my most fondly remembered pub nights had at their heart a sporting contest watched amid a boozy, enthralled crowd.
Saw Arsenal swipe the 1989 title off Liverpool in a crowded, raucous, enthralled saloon. Winced through Ricky Hatton’s brutal 12-round 2002 defeat of Eamonn Magee in a snug full of baying bikers. Watched big Frank finally bag a world belt in an inn rammed with humanity, all focussed on the one screen, plastered punters perched precarious on every tabletop or otherwise raised surface.
The landlord of The Queen’s at Leyland would probably hope to witness many such spectacles in the coming weeks – although possibly without the hooves on the furniture – as the football season approaches its climax, and this pub is certainly geared to satisfy every appetite for action.
The early evening I popped past for a jar was a case in point, with the screens in each room beaming out both that night’s big games “Villa in here, Chelsea through there and in there,” and some tennis match or other (one to file with the aforementioned sliding about, for me) tootling out to nobody in particular down a nook near where I sat to sip.
Good sipping too, Burscough Brewery Ltd’s Priory Gold. Light and sweet, disturblingly brief in the glass – the top half evaporated before my seat got warm – with a soft bitter tang at the last.
There’s more to the Station Brow pub than sport, it must be said. Live bands most weekends, and while I can’t vouch for the quality of these unheard turns, I can confirm The Queens tends to book good musicians. Strolling by one Friday heard some make a cracking fist of Fleetwood Mac’s Green Maharishi – an oldie but a Priory Goldie.
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