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Cheltenham licensee wins BT Sport’s November Manager of the Month prize

By Stuart Stone contact

- Last updated on GMT

November star: Vicky Martin receives BT Sport's monthly award from Michael Owen
November star: Vicky Martin receives BT Sport's monthly award from Michael Owen
November’s award-winning licensee, Vicky Martin of the Sup & Chow, was recognised in light of her willingness to show sport at all hours and ensure her punters never missed a moment.

Receiving the monthly prize from BT Sport pundit, 2001 Ballon D’or winner and ex-England striker, Michael Owen, Martin commented: "Winning the award means a tremendous amount. It's an amazing accolade to win in the first place and then having Michael Owen visit is a great prize.

“The locals have really enjoyed meeting him. Everyone's turned out and taken an hour off in their lunch break so its been really busy here, which is fantastic."

Talking about the hectic past month of sport, Martin added: "Champions League games were always really busy on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings but also we were also busy during the Ashes, particularly when it was on in the morning and people were able to come in, have a bit of breakfast and catch those last couple of hours. It brought in the morning trade that we don't usually have.”

Speaking to The Morning Advertiser​, former Liverpool, Manchester United and Real Madrid forward Owen said: "Pubs play a huge role in a football fan’s match day experience given there's only a certain amount of people who can fit into stadiums.

“They're probably the next best place to go when you want to watch a football match; I certainly go down to my local when there's a good game on."

“My dad was always a sociable person that liked going to the pub so ever since I was a kid I was always dragged along.”

A successful racehorse owner and breeder, Owen has recently branched further into the world of horseracing, finishing second on his racing debut in the Prince's Countryside Fun Charity Race at Ascot. However, despite his attachment to the pub industry, he isn’t currently looking to make a similar leap into the hospitality industry.

"I think it's the age-old thing that a lot of footballers used to go into when they retired – they'd buy a pub and go into business.

“It’s always something I've looked at. Everybody likes investing in fun things and pubs, restaurants and the like have always captured my imagination."

Champions League chances

A regular pundit on BT Sport’s Champions League coverage, Owen is optimistic about the record-breaking English contingent​ of five knockout stage sides’ chances of going deep into the competition’s latter stages.

“I’d say this is the strongest set of teams we've had in the competition for a long time. It's great to have our game in decent health – as it should be given the amount of money that's invested."

"In general I think the English teams have been pretty well suited in the ties they've been given. Man City, Man United and Liverpool have all had really good draws. Tottenham, I'd say, are 50:50 in their tie with Juventus, and then Chelsea have got a really tough one against Barcelona, but they did come second in their group so they've only got themselves to blame for that one.

"Manchester City play a brand of football where they're very expansive. They certainly play a great brand of football rather reminiscent of Barcelona 10 years ago when they were really dominant. But they'll come up against many teams that know their players aren't as good as theirs and who’ll try to put a lot of men behind the ball and hit them on the break.

“We've got other teams in there that play different styles that could be suited to European football, it just depends what style of play works on a given year. I do think Manchester City are the strongest team player-wise – it’s just whether their style of play is conducive to the European game."

BT Sport launched its Manager of the Month prize in September to celebrate pub landlords across the UK who go the extra mile to create a unique sporting experience for their customers. Last month’s winner, Manchester United fan Simon Delaney of Wythenshawe’s Firbank pub received the October award from United manager Jose Mourinho​. 

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