Rangers pub in Blackpool forced to close after receiving '1,500' booking requests from Scottish fans

A popular Rangers pub in the resort will close its doors this weekend amid a surge in demand for bookings.

Friday, 16th October 2020, 2:53 pm

The Gallant Pioneer in Station Road said it would not open for Rangers fans to watch this weekend’s Old Firm match after receiving more than 1,500 booking requests.

Explaining the decision, the pub’s owners said it was not an easy choice to make, but it was the correct one “with everything taken into account.”

Yesterday, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon urged Scots not to visit Blackpool after more than 180 cases of coronavirus in Scotland reported last month were linked to the town.

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The Gallant Pioneer will not open for Rangers fans to watch this weekend’s Old Firm match. (Credit: Google)

“Do not travel to Blackpool this weekend to watch the old firm match in a pub," she warned, “If you do that, you will be putting yourselves, and you will be putting other people at risk.”

But the pub’s management said Ms Sturgeon’s warning has had the opposite effect.

“We have the First Minister of Scotland advising everyone not to travel to Blackpool, which has led to another barrage of messages of people planning to do the exact opposite of what she has said.

“I am not exaggerating when I say we have had requests for over 1500 people for our wee pub since last week,” a post on the pub’s Facebook page told followers.

“With the new restrictions that people must be from the same household we feel it is impossible for us to police this weekend with so many strangers in groups coming to Blackpool.

“We have worked hard to have all measures in place and have complied with everything that has been asked of us since reopening on 4th July,” they added, “but feel it’s just not worth the putting the business at risk for us after the year we have had.”

Today, the SNP’s Westminster leader refused to rule out a ban on non-essential travel to Scotland from coronavirus hotspots elsewhere in the UK.

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