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Builder from Wigan crowned new winner of World Pie Eating Championships

Well done Ian!

Jamie Roberts

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Harry's Bar Wigan / Facebook

As you may or may not be aware, the 27th World Pie Eating Championships recently played out in Wigan – I mean, where else would it be?

The event saw some stiff competition, with a new winner taking the pie-crust crown home.

Harry’s Bar in the centre of the town saw dozens of athletes in peak condition step up to the challenge, with local Wigan lad Ian Gerrard taking the coveted top spot.

Harry’s Bar Wigan / Facebook

The builder managed to beat five-time champion Martin Appleton Clare to win the competition, in what was billed as a ‘heavyweight score-settler’, Wigan Today reports.

It was a close call, with only one second between the two challengers – 24 stone 4lbs Gerard managing to put away a meat and potato pie in 35.4 seconds.

This comes as he almost managed to beat 20 stone 5lbs Appleton-Clare last year, with Gerrard coming within milliseconds of toppling him in 2018 (Appleton-Clare scoffed a chicken and veg pie in just 19.58 seconds that time round).

Harry’s Bar Wigan / Facebook

Gerrard told Wigan Today: “I’m made up. I was close last year and this year I’ve won it. The trophy will be a pride of place in my local club on the top of the bar. I’ve had no training for this, it’s just natural.

“My favourite pie is meat and potato which I had today. Now I’ve won, first of all, I’ll go back to work and then I might do some training tomorrow. To celebrate winning, I might have a pint or two, but I’m not sure about a pie or two.”

He also had some strong words for anyone who thinks it’s not a true sport with proper athletes, saying: “It’s a bit of fun and a proper sport with proper athletes and it’s good for Wigan. I’ll be back next year and we’re 1-1 now, so I’ll try and beat Martin again.”

Harry’s Bar Wigan / Facebook

This time round the format changed a bit, with weigh-ins taking place first, followed by the general competition, before the heavyweight clash to finish things off.

An official World Pie Eating Championships pie comes in with a diameter of 12cm and depth of 3.5cm – reckon you could take one on in a quicker time?

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Manchester’s All Star Lanes is closing its doors permanently

JUST IN.

Alex Watson

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All Star Lanes / Instagram

All Star Lanes in Manchester’s Great Northern is set to close for good.

The general manager of All Star Lanes Manchester took to social media yesterday to announce the news stating that the venue will close, meaning the staff are ‘all being put under consultation to be made redundant’.

The venue had been open serving food and drinks, however, the local restrictions put in place in Greater Manchester meant bowling could no longer reopen as planned.

The All Star Lanes opened up in Manchester in 2013 with a £2.5 million investment.

Hi all,It's with a heavy heart to say that All Star Lanes Manchester has closed its doors for the last time! This…

Posted by Matthew David Powell on Tuesday, 11 August 2020

Manager of All Star Lanes, Matthew Powell, made a public statement on his personal Facebook with the news. 

He called out for anyone who is currently taking on staff of all levels to consider his team, which he describes as a ‘record-breaking’ and ‘target smashing bunch’. 

The news comes after the UK officially entered a recession this morning, and despite persistent efforts from All Star Lanes to abide by the new social distancing measures and cleaning schedules they have sadly had to close.

Many people offered love in the comments of Matthew’s post, with one user writing ‘keep positive’ and another saying ‘stay strong’.

 

 

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What’s next for the Trafford Centre as it goes up for auction

Everything you need to know…

Alex Watson

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Seth Whales

Two months after filing for administration, Intu Trafford Centre is seeking a buyer for the £1.7 billion shopping centre. 

The Trafford Centre is set to be put up for auction after pressure from its biggest lender. 

It comes two months after the parent company, Intu Properties, collapsed into administration. The board of the entity which controls the Trafford Centre has appointed PJT Partners, the investment bank, and the property agent CBRE to market the site, according to Sky News.

The Trafford Centre was last publicly valued by Intu at just under £1.7billion, however, analysts are expected it to be sold for at least 20% less than that. 

TOOEDDD/Flickr

In a statement issued to Sky News, a spokesperson for the joint administrators of Intu properties said: “All parties are working constructively together to maximise value for this highly attractive asset.”

PJT is said to be have been advising the Trafford Centre’s single-biggest lender of capital, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), for some time before the administrators were called in back in July. 

CPPIB is one of the world’s largest pension funds and reportedly wants a quick sale of the Trafford Centre. 

Appointing advisors is set to kick off a formal sale process, and is also expected to attract the property tycoon who sold the Trafford Centre to Intu in 2011, John Whittaker, according to Sky News.

Jonathan Palombo / Flickr

The auction will provide a crucial test to investors at a time when the Trafford Centre, like many retail outlets, has suffered due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Intu directly employs 3,000 people with a further 102,000 working in its shopping centres across the UK. There are a further 30,000 people employed in its supply chain.

The administrator, KPMG, appointed earlier this year, has secured funding to continue managing Intu’s portfolio for six months.

Property sources and insiders have said the Trafford Centre will attract substantial interest in the UK and international investments. One source added that ‘assets of Trafford’s quality and lot size do not come to market often’.

While we’ll have to wait a bit longer to discover the outcome of the auction, it’s good news for fans of the shopping centre and people who work there, as it looks unlikely it’ll have to close at this point.

 

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Ed Sheeran is ‘expecting first baby’ with wife Cherry Seaborn

This is amazing news!

Alex Watson

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Ed Sheeran/Youtube

Ed Sheeran and wife Cherry Seaborn are expecting their first baby in a matter of weeks, according to reports.

This is amazing news for the Perfect singer and wife of two years, who are reportedly ‘over the moon’.

A source told the Sun that ‘Ed and Cherry are over the moon. They’re very excited, but have kept things very low key’.

They added: “Lockdown was a perfect excuse not to be seen out and about too much, but things are getting closer and the excitement has been building so they have started telling friends and family.”

The exciting news comes after Ed Sheeran took a break from his music career on Christmas Eve 2019, announcing the break on social media. 

He wrote: “Hello all. Gonna go on another break again.

“The Divide era and tour changed my life in so many ways, but now it’s all over it’s time to go out and see some more of the world.

“I’ve been a bit non-stop since 2017 so I’m just gonna take a breather to travel, write and read. I’ll be off all social media until it’s time to come back.

“To my family and friends, see ya when I see ya, and to my fans, thank you for always being amazing. I promise to be back with some new music when the time is right, and I’ve lived a little more to actually have something to write about.”

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Brb x

A post shared by Ed Sheeran (@teddysphotos) on

And it looks like he will have plenty to write a new album about!

Ed, 29, and wife Cherry, 28, tied the knot in a secret ceremony in January 2019 following three years of dating. The source said they are making the last preparations at home as the baby is expected late this summer.

They added: “It’s a really happy time and their families are all totally delighted for them and cannot wait to meet the new arrival.”

Congrats Ed and Cherry!

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