A Blackpool pub is flying the flag for England as football fans get set for the kick off of the European Championships.
As manager Roy Hodgson finalises his squad to take to France, the main man at the Castle Hotel on Central Drive is making the final preparations for the big kick off with a name change.
Dave Daly has seen new signs go up as the pub is renamed The Three Lions for the duration of the competition.
But Dave said despite the name backing the England team, he is set to welcome fans and visitors to support Ireland, Northern Ireland, Wales and even Poland.
He said: “It is very exciting and we are delighted to be one of the 27 pubs nationally to be chosen by Carlsberg to carry the Three Lions name.
“A big international football championship like this is very important for the pub trade. It comes just ahead of the school holidays and the full summer season so it is a welcome boost.
“All the pubs in Blackpool will be looking forward to this and are getting trimmed up inside and out for the games.
“We are very lucky. Carlsberg chose us because we are such a good pub to watch football in. We have 20 big screens over two floors and a capacity of 1,000. We don’t serve food so people can concentrate on having a drink and watching the matches.
“We are hoping England do well because that will give everyone a lift. They should play four games at least and then after that who knows.
“But the really good thing is that we have so many of the home nations taking part this time. The only downside is that Scotland didn’t make it. I hope our many Scottish visitors don’t mind too much!”
He said a big bonus for the pub on Central Drive was the significant Polish community in the area. He added: “It is wonderful. They are big football fans and regularly hire the upstairs for their football competition presentations.
“The Polish team are playing Northern Ireland and Germany and the Polish lads have taken the upstairs room. With the families there could be up to 200 people.
“People don’t realise how many Polish people are part of Blackpool , something like 70 per cent of the staff at the Pleasure Beach are Polish. We have a great, diverse community in Blackpool being a tourism town and we should be proud of it. I can’t wait for the kick off and I know many of the other landlords are the same.”
Carlsberg said the tournament, which runs from June 10 to July 10, was a “huge opportunity” for pubs, potentially generating an extra £60m.
David Scott, director of brands at Carlsberg UK said: “This year is particularly important with England, Wales and Northern Ireland all having qualified, meaning there are more matches and more opportunities for pubs.”
Who’s playing and when:
June 11: Wales V Slovakia 5pm
England V Russia 8pm
June 12: N Ireland V Poland 5pm
June 13: Republic of Ireland V Sweden 5pm
June 16: England V Wales 2pm
Poland V Germany 8pm
N Ireland V Ukraine 5pm
June 18: Republic of Ireland V Belgium 2pm
June 20: Wales V Russia 8pm
England V Slovakia 8pm
June 21: N Ireland V Germany 5pm
Poland V Ukraine 5pm
June 22 Republic of Ireland V Italy 8pm
Round of 16 knockout stage: June 25, 26, 27
Quarter Finals: June 30, July 1,2,3, all 8pm
Semi-finals July 6,7 both 8pm
Final: July 10, 8pm