Express & Star

Wayne and Coleen Rooney visit Brewood and 'put pub on the map'

A Staffordshire landlady says a visit from Wayne Rooney has helped boost her pub's trade during the Euros.

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Wayne and Colleen Rooney had booked their lunch at the Bridge Inn in Brewood under the name McLoughlin

England's record goalscorer and wife Coleen visited the Bridge Inn in Brewood with family and friends on Sunday during their narrowboat holiday across the region.

And landlady Helen Bannister had no idea who was visiting when she took a lunchtime booking for a party of eight under the name McLoughlin.

However when the pub received a phone call asking to change the booking, Mrs Bannister and her staff realised they were in for a celebrity encounter.

She explained: "They called us to say they'd underestimated how long it would take them to travel, so called to rearrange and book a Sunday lunch instead, so we rebooked them for 1.30pm.

"On the day, a woman called to say they would be delayed until 2pm and asked we could hold the table, then said she couldn't remember if she'd booked in under McLoughlin or Rooney.

"At that point, my barmaid and I had a sudden rush of realisation and started shouting 'Oh my God, Wayne Rooney's coming to lunch at the pub!', so we became very excited and just a bit nervous."

The couple have been travelling through the area on a narrowboat with their family, having stopped outside the Hartley Arms in Wheaton Aston on Saturday, ahead of Wayne taking charge of his first pre-season as Derby County manager.

Mrs Bannister, who has been the landlady since May last year, said it was the first time they'd had a celebrity in the pub, but tried to make the experience as normal as possible for the party of eight when they arrived.

She said: "We were speaking about whether we let everyone know in the village and I said no, because otherwise they won't enjoy their meal because they'll keep getting disturbed by people wanting pictures.

"We told people they were here on Facebook once they'd finished their meal and, of course, a lot of people came over and, after a while, I think it annoyed Wayne a bit as he went back to the boat.

"However, Coleen and her parents were still there, plus a few friends, and I will admit I was a little bit starstruck beforehand.

"They were just like normal customers though and came in, ordered their drinks and enjoyed their meal and they were just so totally normal."

Mr Bannister said that she made sure to get a photo with the couple while they were there and said their visit could help to welcome more customers to the pub.

She said: "A lot of people have been coming in and asking about Wayne and Coleen being here and I posted it on the Brewood Matters Facebook page.

"We've already seen more people coming in to watch the football since, so I think something like this is really going to put us on the map."

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