Best Sports Pub prepares for first East Anglian derby in 15 months

By Liam Coleman contact

- Last updated on GMT

Family-friendly sports: Philip Cutter of the Murderers
Family-friendly sports: Philip Cutter of the Murderers

Related tags: Sky sports, Premier league, Norwich

Norwich City and Ipswich Town are preparing to reignite their fierce rivalry for the first time in more than a year. Meanwhile, the landlord of 2015's Best Sports Pub at the Great British Pub Awards, Philip Cutter, is preparing to welcome both sets of fans to his Norwich pub, the Murderers.

The last East Anglian derby was more than a year ago when Norwich and Ipswich played each other in the Championship play-offs, which Norwich ultimately won promotion off the back of. Norwich have since been relegated back to the Championship and are ready to resume their rivalry with Ipswich.

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Cutter is happy to see Norwich return to the Championship on two counts. Not only is he an Ipswich fan, but he also believes that having them regularly playing Ipswich is better for business than having them playing in a higher division.

"From a business point of view, Norwich being in the Championship is better for us than them being in the Premier League," he says.

Under Cutter's ownership, it has always been the policy at the Murderers, officially known as the Gardeners Arms, to welcome fans of all clubs. "We want to be a sports venue, not a Norwich City supporters club," Cutter says. "We've always said that if you come to our pub, you can wear whatever football shirt you want, but you just have to play by our rules: it's a family-friendly pub."

How does it facilitate this family-friendly nature even when derbies are on? "Good humour," Cutter says before adding: "Most of the Norwich fans know that I’m an Ipswich supporter so that negates a lot of the friction that is caused". 

The match kicks off at noon on Sunday and Cutter expects to be "really really busy" for not only the Norwich match, but also the sporting action elsewhere on Sunday. "If there's a way to facilitate showing more than one match then you will do," he says.

"If you have a venue like mine where there are multiple televisions, you can show different sports at the same time. We are quite lucky in that we have a Sky system that gives us three boxes, so we can show multiple events."

It is still early days in the 2016-17 season, but both Norwich and Ipswich will be eyeing promotion to the Premier League this season and Sunday's lunchtime match should be a fiery encounter. Cutter reflects on not only the derby, but also Sunday's action generally: "It will be a good day for us".

Related topics: Sport

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