IN an effort to ease the pain of England’s dead rubber with Costa Rica, The Swiss Chalet’s John Honeyman is offering punters pints for 10p if they pay it in cash from 1966.
If you turn up at the Chapel Street boozer with 10 pence in old money you will get a pint of your favourite ale or lager in return during the 90 minutes.
John, an experienced publican, is well aware England’s premature exit from the World Cup will no doubt affect footfall through his door this afternoon.
He is hoping this bizarre offer will have people digging in the back of wardrobes and rooting around in their attics for the old currency which hasn’t been used since 1971.
“We were on our way to a wedding in Liverpool at the weekend and we were brainstorming in the car on ideas to pick up custom for the England match,” he said.
“It just totally falls flat when England go out. We all spend a lot of money on staff t-shirts, bunting and stuff like that, hoping for a return.
“The biggest threat for us in our trade is from the supermarkets, who can offer huge crates of beer for £25, with pints working out at 49p.
“In today’s climate as well, it doesn’t help when the national team goes out.
“I was just trying to think of something from 1966, the last time we smiled about football. We have been listening to those stories for so long now, we just need some excitement back.”
Kick-off for this afternoon’s match is 5pm, when many punters will still be at work or just about to clock-off, providing another reason why pubs around the town might struggle to get bums on seats.
It may well be a challenge for those who do have the time to actually take advantage of the offer, with old money not so easy to come by nowadays.
“I should imagine somebody’s got a load of tat lying around,” said John. “I am sure people have got plenty of boxes in their attics waiting to be searched through.
“If we have anything worthwhile brought in, worth thousands for example, we will donate it to charity.”
The Swiss Chalet is not the only pub holding its breath ahead of the kick-off this afternoon.
The Steam Railway, in Newport Street, is hoping to capitalise on the interest in the other match in England’s group.
Uruguay and Italy will kick off at exactly the same time, with the winner qualifying from the group along with Costa Rica.
Howard Taylor, owner at the Steam Railway, said: “Obviously it’s disappointing to be in the situation we are in, but there are still a couple of reasons to come out and watch.
“There will be as much interest, if not more, in the other match in the group. And with the way we have got screens people will be able to watch both matches at the same time, side-by-side.
“The other thing, is that if we beat Costa Rica, we are likely to be beating the group winners, which brings a bit of pride.”