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BT Sport to celebrate sporting pub landlords

First London winner from Holloway gets visit from Arsenal legend Martin Keown
First London winner from Holloway gets visit from Arsenal legend Martin Keown

BT Sport is celebrating pub landlords across the UK who go the extra mile to create an amazing sporting experience for their customers and are rewarding them with their very own life-sized statue. The BT Manager of the Month award celebrates landlords who make their pub more than a pub, highlighting their role in connecting sport with the community.

To kick-start the awards three statues were unveiled across the UK, including one at The Tollington (London), which Martin Keown unveiled. Martin Whelan, the pub landlord is the first London winner of the BT Sport Manager of the month. A statue now stands outside Martin’s pub and he is set to receive a big screen TV prize too. The Tollington pub stood out from the competition as Martin Whelan came up with the idea of getting the players from their local team in the pub after the football games.

Martin said: “It was great to meet Martin Keown. He arrived at our pub to unveil the manager of the month statue and signed lots of autographs for the fans. There’s been a lot of banter with the pub regulars and social media went crazy with lots of photos. I think one of the highlights was the crowd singing their version of the famous Bergkamp chant, which is still ringing in my ears, ‘Walking in a Martin Whelan wonderland’ ”.

All the winning pubs stood out from the competition thanks to the uniqueness of their venues, whether it be painting the pub to match the local team’s colours, TVs in the toilets, or getting the players from their local team in after the game. The search for the next winners is already underway, with BT Sport inviting people to nominate their landlords, or for landlords to nominate themselves by tweeting @BTSportsBars using #BTMOTM. BT Sport will be looking for landlords that go above and beyond to bring sport to their customers. This could include the viewing experience or wider community projects that get people involved in sport.

BT Sport will select one landlord a month until June 2018 and each will be presented a trophy by a local sporting personality and a brand new 4K TV for their venue. Bruce Cuthbert, Director Commercial Customers, said: “Pubs are at the heart of their communities and sport is a fantastic way of bringing people together. The BT Manager of the Month gives us the opportunity to recognise the landlords up and down the country who go that extra mile for their customers and their community. If you have a landlord who you think deserves recognition then get tweeting @BTSportsBars using #BTMOTM.”

For more information: www.btsport.com/business