London pub The Gun wins BT Sport Pub Cup Final
4th June 2018
London pub, The Gun, have won the BT Sport Pub Cup beating reigning champions The Liver Vaults, of Liverpool, 5-3 on penalties after a 1-1 draw in normal time at Leicester City’s King Power Stadium in a hard-fought encounter.
The victory sees the team, based in Hackney, who were managed on the day by former Foxes and Wales midfielder, Robbie Savage, win £5,000 worth of TV and entertainment equipment, and a year-long BT Sport subscription.
Jamie McDonald, who scored the match-winning goal for The Liver Vaults in last year’s Pub Cup final, opened the scoring for the Merseyside team to take the lead into half-time. After the break The Gun bagged an equaliser shortly after having a man sent off. Last year’s hero McDonald also saw red before the end of the 90 minutes and the contest was sent to penalties. The Hackney pub held their nerve, scoring all five of their spot kicks, to claim the 2018 title.
BT Sport pundit Savage said: “At half-time I told them to believe in themselves, that they were the better team in the first half, they just didn’t take their chances but we played the better football and were on top. Going down to 10 men, they showed immense character, heart, desire to get back in the game and then win it on penalties. They showed great guts to step up and take a penalty, and I think on the night they deserved it.
“Next time I’m in London I’ll definitely be going to The Gun for a drink, the BT Sport Pub Cup winners!”
Hartson, who was managing The Liver Vaults, said: “Sometimes you can underestimate Sunday league, grassroots, pub football but there are some players that only narrowly missed out on the professional level and still love the game and they take pride in winning still and keep themselves very fit. It’s a great advert for all the pubs across the country and fair play to BT Sport Pub Cup for putting something like this on.”
This year’s BT Sport Pub Cup saw 64 teams take part in regional heats at seven iconic football grounds in England and Scotland, including Goodison Park, Easter Road and Hillsborough. The eight regional heat winners earned a place in the semi-finals at the National Football Centre at St George’s Park where they were split into North and South divisions, with The Liver Vaults and The Gun winning each league respectively.