GBPA 2023

Meet the winner of the Best Pub to Watch Sport 2023

By The Morning Advertiser

- Last updated on GMT

Sporting focus: the Royal Dyche impresses judges with its dedication to all sports
Sporting focus: the Royal Dyche impresses judges with its dedication to all sports

Related tags Events Sport Great british pub awards

The Royal Dyche is an institution in Burnley – it’s where everyone goes if they’re a sports fan and, in particular, a fan of the town’s Premier League football side.

The pub is resplendent with memorabilia from the ground along with a multitude of items covered in the claret and blue colours of the football team that was managed by Sean Dyche – who was the inspiration of a name change from the Princess Royal in 2018 when he kept the team in the top flight of English football.

There are four rooms inside the site with high-quality screens plus Sky boxes and a matrix system that allows individual control over what is shown on each screen – whether it be a 72-inch 4K TV or a projector screen – and the ability to isolate different commentaries for whichever sport is being shown.

From shirts pinned to the ceiling to the claret and blue pool table, sport courses through the pub run by Justine Bedford but it is outside where the pub goes into extra time and penalties.

Outside offer

A large yard with screens and room for plenty of guests houses an additional bar next to four former Burnley FC directors’ chairs for ultimate comfort.

Murals of Sean Dyche adorn the interior and exterior walls and a balcony that has some of Burnley FC’s original pull-down wooden seating overlooks the garden.

Some people think all the outdoor zones are over… but a further area is home to an Astroturfed pitch with a goal and customers are encouraged to ‘bring a ball’ so they can use the facilities, which include a bar housed in a shipping container and more screens just yards from an aqueduct that gifts passers-by with a view of canal boats travelling past them on a higher plain.

The two outdoor bars house four lines of beer each and can be used as place to trial new brands while, inside, there are 16 lines at the main bar plus two for cask ale.

Football may be king but all sports are shown at the Royal Dyche. The cricket proved hugely popular – especially when The Ashes was in full flow this summer.

Well-known location

Rugby League is naturally a big hit along with horse racing during weekdays and the Rugby World Cup is expected to be a big draw throughout September and October.

The pub is well-known as a location used by Sky Sports with pundits Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher paying a visit for a broadcast made for the opening day of the season last month.

It is also proud to host and sponsor plenty of local teams from pool and darts to women’s football and grass hockey.

More screens for the garden is on a hitlist of plans for Bedford who also jokes about adding the Blackburn Rovers FC crest in the urinals to make sure no one misses the target!

Full list of 2023 GBPA winners:

Great British Pub of the Year 2023 – the Cholmondeley Arms, Malpas, Cheshire

Best City/Urban Pub – the Turks Head, Twickenham, Greater London

Best Country/Rural Pub – the Cholmondeley Arms, Malpas, Cheshire

Best Pub for Food – the Loch & The Tyne, Old Windsor, Berkshire

Best Pub for Dogs – the Bellflower, Garstang, Lancashire

Best Pub for Families – the Plough, Normanton on the Wolds, Nottinghamshire

Best Pub for Entertainment – the Kings Arms, Bexleyheath, south east London

Best Pub Garden – Gaggle of Geese, Buckland Newton, Dorset

Best Pub to Watch Sport – the Royal Dyche, Burnley, Lancashire

Best Sustainable Pub – Stroud Brewery Taproom, Stroud, Gloucestershire

Best Pub Chef – Charlotte Vincent, Candlelight Inn, Chard, Somerset

Best Young Pub Chef – Karl Quirante, the Cricketers, Ormskirk, Lancashire

Community Hero – the Old Abbey Taphouse, Manchester

Admiral Pub of the Year – Boot & Shoe, Ackworth, Pontefract, West Yorkshire

Stonegate Pub of the Year – the Woodman, Ruislip, north west London

Greene King Pub of the Year – the Stag, Lyndhurst, Hampshire

Marston’s Pub of the Year – Rose & Crown, Worcester, Worcestershire

Punch Pub of the Year – the Plough, Prestbury, Gloucestershire

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