Scrummy pubs join London Irish teamBy Alan Bunce
February 07, 2011
The pint before the match now has extra significance for London Irish rugby fans.
Dozens of pubs in and around Reading have signed up to be part of the official London Irish network so when fans gather for their pre-match tipple they can do so in officially recognised pubs that make special allowances for rugby fans.
The rugby club has approached several of the town’s venues and has now published a list of 25 which have agreed to be official London Irish pubs. More are expected to follow suit.
Those on the list sell match tickets from behind the bar, provide a meeting place for London Irish and other rugby fans before and after each match and a place to watch televised away matches.
Pubs further out will even lay on transport to and from Madejski Stadium.
There will be special events between matches, and competitions and promotions supporting London Irish. Some of the pubs also offer match day discounts and promotions on food and drink.
Others will even have a life-sized cardboard cut out of a player the pub has adopted as part of a competition for fans who can enter by text to try to win a meeting with the player in real life on a match day.
The prize is for 10 regulars from the participating pub who win match tickets, a group photo, a photo with the player and a signed shirt for the pub.
Felicity Greenland, London Irish marketing and events director, said: “We are delighted that so many great pubs in the Reading area have agreed to become Official London Irish Pubs.
“London Irish is renowned for the ‘craic’ and providing the local community with an enhanced and extended day on match days. With the services and initiatives that the pubs are offering, such as minibus transport to and from the stadium, this adds to our fans’ enjoyment and hopefully encourages new supporters to join us.”
Participating pubs will show a nameplate outside and a special website has been set up at www.londonirishpubs.co.uk
The next home match is on Saturday, February 12, at 12.30pm against Newcastle Falcons.
Full list of Official London Irish Pubs
The Bell, Waltham St Lawrence; The Bramshill Hunt, Arborfield; The Swan Inn, Three Mile Cross; O’Neills, Reading; The Cape Bar, Reading; The Bolton Arms, Old Basing; The Gateway, Reading; The Red Lion, Theale; The Three Guineas, Reading; The Great Western Hotel, Basingstoke; Reading Irish Club, Reading; The Crown, Swallowfield; The Frog and Wicket, Eversley Cross; The Moderation, Caversham Road; Mojo’s (Reading University Students’ Union); The Horn, Reading; The White Hart, Eversley; The Six Bells, Shinfield; The Shurlock Inn, Shurlock Row; The Six Bells, Burghfield; The Jazz Café, Reading; The Hatchgate, Burghfield; The Bull, Theale; The Bugle, Reading; The Fox & Hounds, Theale