José Mourinho was on hand to present licensee Simon Delaney with BT Sport’s Manager of the Month trophy at Manchester United’s Carrington Training ground.
United fan Delaney has managed community pub the Firbank in Wythenshawe, Manchester, for 22 years. He commented: “It was amazing to meet José Mourinho. It was a bit surreal, but he was incredibly warm and friendly and he gave me a big hug and a high five.
“Winning awards is great, but this was the icing on the cake.”
Under Delaney’s management The Firbank picked up Community Pub of the Year at the 2016 Great British Pub Awards. The pub and kitchen runs a wide variety of events - including weekly community lunches - hosts local group and school club gatherings free-of charge, and recently held a charity bungee jump in the pub car park.
BT Sport launched their Manager of the Month award to highlight the work of licensees across the country. Delaney was awarded the October prize because of his passion for sport and work in providing a welcoming atmosphere for both Manchester’s red and blue halves.
“The Man United fan in me says this should be a Man Utd pub, that’s what normally happens with publicans and I get some flak for flying the red and blue flags.
“That’s the landlord in me because it makes massive sense business wise. We want families coming in and we pride ourselves on the friendly atmosphere we generate.”
In addition to the BT Trophy and the chance to meet The Special One at Manchester United’s Carrington training ground, Delaney also bagged the Firbank a brand new £4,000 TV.
BT Sport director of commercial customers Bruce Cuthbert commented: “Pubs up and down the country make outstanding contributions to the communities they serve. Our Manager of the Month awards are a small way of recognising the work they do.
“Congratulations to Simon and the Firbank team on creating such a special pub and for being deserved winners.”
Nominations for BT Sport Manager of the Month for November are already open, with customers able to nominate their chosen licensee or manager by tweeting @BTSportBars using the hashtag #BTMOTM.