Everyone Happy At The Cross Keys

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It’s the gift that keeps on giving but this will have to be my last World Cup related blog post – for about four years anyway!

As Vladimir Putin keeps up his charm offensive with Donald Trump he is basking in the glory of the fact that Russia put on a good show as hosts for 2018.

Mind you, before 2014, 2010, 2006 and 2002 there were scare stories about crowd violence, infrastructure, hotel prices etc. and nothing ever really materialises of any huge inconvenience but there was one difference this year and that was VAR.

I’m a MASSIVE fan as not only will it improve decisions more often than not it will also improve players and coaches behaviour in the long run. Hopefully the antics of Neymar or the Panama wrestling football team will improve over time.

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There were also some fantastic games full of attacking football and England actually managed to reach the last four so it was a winner from start to finish.

Whilst World Cup fever was still reverberating around The Jolly Potters later that evening,


I had earlier popped into 250 – The Cross Keys DE74 2NR to meet up with a pair of drinking pals.  The place had a happy but exhausted vibe as it was only half an hour on from that quarter final victory against Sweden.

(a reliable source!)

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The beer patio was packed but it was quieter inside for a Saturday at around 5.45pm, whereas only half an hour previously it had (according to my reliable sources) been standing room only.

I think a few people had gone home to recharge their batteries before returning and there was a nice lull but it was by no means empty.

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I like Castle Donington as it has a range of boozers but still finds room for the traditional local of which this is one.  My pal also turns out for Castle Donington CC and this is their base after every game and it appears as though a couple of the players had obtained a Neymar style injury (i.e. non-existent) on this occasion in order to watch the England/Sweden game!o

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It’s got Minton tiling and etched glass windows and a nice feel to it as well as selling decent beer and I plumped for the Pedigree (Marston’s) while my pals had the HPA (Wye Valley).

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The barmaid was friendly and someone put “Back Home” from the boys of 1970 on the jukebox and it was one of those moments where all was well with the world.

(Back Home, Ron’s 22, or World In Motion…decisions on the jukebox)

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Apparently there is also a rugby team attached to the pub who meet here and with fortnightly quiz nights and a husband and wife couple in charge for ten years then this is clearly a place that is entrenched in the local community.

It won’t be four years before I visit here again as I liked the atmosphere and the beer was also excellent…when do the Euro 2020 qualifiers start?


18 thoughts on “Everyone Happy At The Cross Keys

    1. Spice girls duet with echo and the bunnymen! What next fun boy three and bananarama! …..This Time is the best of the bunch and check out the totp appearance in either a red white or blue slazenger style jumper…class!


  1. You visit some cracking pubs. When you are out and about, you might mention to them that you know someone who would be able to advise on beer selection and improve their footfall massively?

    On the football issue, the FA, FIFA etc need to introduce RL style post match reviews of discipline where you can be fined or banned for incidents off the ball, or in play, that the ref did not see. I would include in that review, tackles where the player is not touched, yet feigns serious discomfort.

    If players knew their actions could be reviewed by a post match review panel then the incident with Salah in the Champions League final and Neymar’s antics would cease if they knew they risked a ban for several matches.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Totally agree on replays for discipline…I think that will be biggest benefit of VAR in long run…no need when the Pride is that good…to be fair one craft option and one maybe two cask is enough for any local


      1. Yes I would agree there, unfortunately most of the craft options in local pubs are a) not craft and b) poor examples from mainstream brewers. This only serves to perpetuate the argument from the Dinosaurs that keg/craft beer is bad. And if they are judging that on the evidence of Hophouse 13 or Thwaites 13 Guns then they would be correct.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. “(a reliable source!)”

    A man who wears shorts of that colour, you know he’s not afraid of anything. 🙂

    “and it appears as though a couple of the players had obtained a Neymar style injury (i.e. non-existent) on this occasion in order to watch the England/Sweden game!”


    “It won’t be four years before I visit here again as I liked the atmosphere and the beer was also excellent”

    Agree. It looks a nice place.

    And I agree that the ‘fake dives’ crap needs to be sorted out. But then, I say that every four years. 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

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