FA Cup Fever In Shepshed

With Russ describing Matlock Town’s 1977 FA Cup run in great detail in the comments section of my last post,  it proves the ‘magic of the FA Cup,’ is still alive and kicking…in Canada.

The Gladiators 5-2 win at Mansfield is still arguably the best win in the club’s history as they reached the FA Cup Third Round and Newport of Division Four League Two are certainly pulling up trees this year.

After last year’s exploits in holding Spurs to a draw, The Exiles have now beaten Leicester City in Rd 3 and were in the process of out-Pullising muscling Tony Pullis’ Middlesbrough in Rd 4.

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As I walked into 348 – Pied Bull LE12 9AA in Shepshed I couldn’t say cup fever had hit the locals hard in this Leicestershire town, but it was certainly on the box and the gaffer was keen for it to get an airing.

Of course, if this was 1982, the year that Shepshed Charterhouse reached the first round only to lose 5-1 at Preston, then it might have been different; but Newport did knock out the local boys and former Premier League winners so there may be an element of sour grapes in the air.

Even the LCFC dart flights were defiantly on show…

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…but the gaffer in this place didn’t bear a grudge as he was rooting for the Welsh underdogs.

I spoke recently about how a gaffer can make or break a pub in Swannington and this bloke was top notch.  He was very welcoming and happy to serve me an excellent half of Burton Bitter Saddle Tank (Marston’s) and when he saw me sit down near the TV turned it round and came over to chat about the game.

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The first thing I noticed was it was a classic FA Cup pitch. FA Rule #37 decrees all FA Cup tales must make reference to Hereford circa 1971 and this gluepot was up there with ‘classic pitches prepared for an upset.’

It was only the first half but it looked odds on as though Newport were going to win as mighty Middlesbrough decided the FA Cup is of no importance to them and stuck a huge two fingers up the fans who had travelled six hours to watch them play.

Not to worry, as I’m sure their fans didn’t want to play Manchester City anyway;  they much prefer seeing them slug it out with the likes of Ipswich, Rotherham and Reading.

sdr

The boozer was really tidy and had around 20 punters in on a Tuesday evening at around 8pm, so that’s not bad going.

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They sponsor Shepshed’s cricket team, have both Sky Sport and BT Sport but it’s not intrusive and there were pockets of conversation going on all around the pub with the two blokes next to me discussing the various merits of Silent Witness and Luther (got to be Luther all day long for me).

They had beer you’ve actually heard of and with loads of houses nearby it appeared to be a proper local on the edge of the town centre that is doing very nicely indeed.

dav

Due to the February gloom I can only tell you that it is a grade 2 listed pub, with a thatched roof and oak beams but you can always check their website if you don’t believe me

I was delighted to see that Newport had won when I returned home later after my parental taxi role and I reckon the gaffer at the Pied Bull was absolutely ecstatic.  No doubt he’ll be showing the fifth round game against Manchester City as well so I’ve already booked the seat by the dartboard for Martin to watch the drama unfold.

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It’s unlikely to be a pre-emptive tick though, as it falls under the Loughborough wing of the GBG and they have a huge amount to choose from but don’t seem to include solid local boozers from Shepshed, Whitwick or Coalville.

However, should Newport pull off the unthinkable and actually beat Guardiola’s boys then I reckon the whole of the Pied Bull clientele will be glued to the action.

23 thoughts on “FA Cup Fever In Shepshed

    1. That looks terrific and with a 37-year stint behind the bar i suspect they know their stuff…I’ll save it for a lighter day as I reckon there could be some serious genuine livery there…I’m thinking thimbles and I don’t know why!

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  1. Oh, forgot to say, I saw Shepshed Charterhouse play an FA Vase Semi Final replay in 1978 at Cambridge City. Never knew they made FACup 1.

    NB I fear for us on that pitch. Perhaps we should play the Northampton Town team in our place.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Are you on commission each time you mention Newport (on top of what I already pay you for Reading)? Plus finding grounds I haven’t been to rubs it in – Butthole Lane is the romantically named home of Shepshed, and still to be graced by my appearance. I haven’t been to this pub either. Apart from that all good!

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  3. I think that’s a first! A ground and a boozer you haven’t been too ⚽🍻 can’t speak for the ground but the pubs worth a visit just don’t expect the gaffer to wax lyrical 😉 yes I’m being paid by tiny Rebel so expect many more mentions…I’m assuming in reading I expect to be paid by Brakespear?

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  4. 20 punters in at 8pm, average spend? say £10 = £200, net profit? £60 if they are lucky, probably nearer £40 less tax … whoops they won’t be paying much tax on an income so low and we wonder why pubs struggle to survive. If you work out the profit margins on traditional village boozers like this you realise that taking one on is a vocation and not a commercial enterprise.

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  5. “With Russ describing Matlock Town’s 1977 FA Cup run in great detail in the comments section of my last post”

    Small confession. I have the Wiki page “List of Football Clubs in England” teed up when I read you lot and then start any research from there. 🙂

    “Even the LCFC dart flights were defiantly on show…”

    (chuckle)

    “and when he saw me sit down near the TV turned it round and came over to chat about the game.”

    Nice touch by him that.

    “and stuck a huge two fingers up the fans who had travelled six hours to watch them play.”

    Ouch!

    “(got to be Luther all day long for me).”

    Haven’t seen any of the episodes but if IMDB recommends Peaky Blinders or Stranger Things in the “More Like This” category it’s probably not bad. 🙂

    “so I’ve already booked the seat by the dartboard for Martin to watch the drama unfold.”

    (chuckle)

    “then I reckon the whole of the Pied Bull clientele will be glued to the action.”

    I bet the gaffer would love that!

    Cheers

    PS – Once again, woefully behind on posts by you lot. I blame car trouble, crappy weather and catering (sigh). Heck, I haven’t even been able to pen my annual Valentine’s poem for my darling wife yet! (but will be doing that right after at least one post on Martin’s blog).

    Liked by 1 person

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