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Opinions divided after Hooters sponsors under-10s football team

‘How either the club or Hooters thought this was an appropriate partnership for an U10s football team is beyond me’

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Hooters at Nottingham / Facebook

Hooters has divided opinions this week after it revealed itself as the official sponsor for a local under-10s football team.

The American restaurant chain, which has been at the centre of a number of sexism and objectification allegations thanks to its scantily-clad waitresses, announced it had begun sponsoring the under-10s team of local Nottinghamshire club Burton Joyce earlier this week.

In a now-deleted Facebook post, Hooters of Nottingham shared photos of two of its waitresses with the team, writing: “Hooters Nottingham are proud to be the new sponsors of Burton Joyce U10s.

“We wish you all the luck this season boys. Go smash it.”

News of the controversial sponsor has divided opinions online, with many people questioning the intent behind the restaurant’s decision.

One person asked: “Why are Hooters sexualising kids and who on earth allowed them?”

Another commented: “How either the club or Hooters thought this was an appropriate partnership for an U10s football team is beyond me. If this were the Magic Mike brand sponsoring a girls netball team, there would rightly be uproar.”

And third added: “Could’ve gone [with a] more appropriate age range.”

Hooters of Nottingham / Facebook

However, others couldn’t see the problem with the restaurant’s decision, with one person writing: “Why are people getting so angry about this?! They’ve obvs [sic] never been to Hooters!

“A great bar, clearly with an excellent marketing plan and supporting a local team where the kids might not get a kit otherwise. People need to chill out and go get a beer in.”

Another quipped: “Wish my u10s team did the same.”

Hooters Nottingham are yet to comment on the backlash.

Hooters of Nottingham / Facebook

This comes after plans to open a Hooters restaurant in Salford Quays were approved by the council, despite backlash from MPs and women’s rights campaigners.

According to the planning permission, the restaurant and bar will be located at 3 Capital Quay, Trafford Road, and will open from 9am to 11.30pm seven days a week.

It also states that no unaccompanied children will be allowed on the premises at any time, and that the premises will have an ‘active and operational vulnerability policy’.

An opening date for Hooters Salford is yet to be announced. Follow the Hooters UK website for news and updates.

 

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Wetherspoons to sell pubs as it records £30m in losses

Wetherspoon’s sales are down 4.3% this year

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Wetherspoons has put over thirty of its pubs up for sale as it records losses of £30 million, something boss Tim Martin says is a ‘momentous challenge’ for the business. 

While the pub chain has seen a rise in sales compared to last year, its numbers are still below pre-pandemic levels.

In the year to July, Wetherspoon’s sales were down 4.3% to £1.74 billion. For comparison, the company recorded sales of over £1.8 billion for 2019.

The chain opened seven new pubs during the year, and sold, closed or ended the leases on fifteen others. In July, the business ran a total of 852 pubs across the country.

Wetherspoons

But in response to its revenue losses and pressures brought on by the cost of living crisis, Wetherspoons is now selling off thirty-two of its pubs from its estate, including nine in London.

Martin said in a statement: “During lockdown, dyed-in-the-wool pub-goers, many for the first time, filled their fridges with supermarket beer – and it has proved to be a momentous challenge to persuade them to return to the more salubrious environment of the saloon bar.”

He added: “The company has improved its prospects in a number of ways in recent financial years.

“We own an increasing percentage of freehold properties, the balance sheet has been strengthened, interest rates have been fixed at low levels until 2031, and we have a large contingent of long-serving pub staff and underlying sales are improving.

Wetherspoons

“However, as a result of the previously reported increases in labour and repair costs and the potentially adverse effects of rises in interest rates and energy costs on the economy, firm predictions are hard to make.”

Martin also slammed the tax advantages supermarkets have over pubs as a ‘competitive disadvantage’ when it comes to paying VAT on food.

He said: “This competitive disadvantage has had an increasingly debilitating impact on the hospitality industry and will undoubtedly result in long-term financial weakness vis a vis supermarkets – which will also be harmful to employees, the Treasury and the overall economy.”

The 32 pubs up for sale:

Barnsley – Silkstone Inn
Beaconsfield – Hope & Champion
Bexleyheath – Wrong ‘Un
Bournemouth – Christopher Creeke
Cheltenham – Bank House
Durham – Water House
Halifax – Percy Shaw
Hanham – Jolly Sailor
Harrow – Moon on the Hill
Hove – Cliftonville Inn
London Battersea – Asparagus
London East Ham – Miller’s Well
London Eltham – Bankers Draft
London Forest Gate – Hudson Bay
London Forest Hill – Capitol
London Hornsey – Toll Gate
London Holborn – Penderel’s Oak
London Islington – Angel
London Palmers Green – Alfred Herring
Loughborough – Moon & Bell
Loughton – Last Post
Mansfield – Widow Frost
Middlesborough – Resolution
Purley – Foxley Hatch
Redditch – Rising Sun
Sevenoaks – Sennockian
Southampton – Admiral Sir Lucius Curtis
Stafford – Butler’s Bell
Watford – Colombia Press
West Bromwich – Billiard Hall
Willenhall – Malthouse
Wirral – John Masefield

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Peter Kay has been doing some ‘top secret’ gigs in Salford

‘It was the weirdest but best experience ever’

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Peter Kay has been keeping busy this week with a string of ‘top secret’ comedy shows at a theatre in Salford.

People heading into the secluded shows at The Lowry were made to hand in their mobile phones prior to the gigs, and allegedly had to ‘whisper’ which show they were seeing when collecting their tickets.

Fans who were able to secure the tickets took to Twitter after the gig, with one person even saying it was the ‘best night of my life ever’.

Paula Bear, who admitted that she thought the gig was a ‘scam’ at first, wrote: “Omg just been to a secret gig with Peter Kay at The Lowry.

“Best night of my life ever, that guy is a legend. Phones in locked pounces, secret ticket collection, the lot.

“Still buzzing.”

Replying to someone’s question about the gig, Paula added: “It was the weirdest but best experience ever.

“He is just such a grounded fella. The gig was really raw and unpolished which was what made it so personal.”

The secret gigs have fuelled speculation that the Phoenix Nights star is preparing for a huge ‘come back’ tour in 2023.

A source close to the star said back in May: “He has lined up huge venues across the country including in Manchester, London and Birmingham and is hoping to announce it in September.

“Peter has not performed a live stand-up set on a big stage in well over a decade now but he could not be more ready to get back out there.”

Kay took a step back from comedy in 2018 after cancelling his live arena tour due to ‘unforeseen family circumstances’. 

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‘Lovely’ dad from Wigan died after struggling with mental health issues

The twenty-nine-year-old allegedly kept his emotions to himself in the wake of his mother’s death

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Gaz Lancaster / Facebook

A ‘lovely’ dad from Wigan died by suicide after a lengthy battle with mental health issues, an inquest has heard this week.

Dad-of-two Gareth Lancaster was found unresponsive at his home on Baytree Road, Beech Hill, at around 8pm on June 8th.

Emergency services were called and Gareth was rushed to Wigan Royal Infirmary, where he was taken into intensive care.

However, doctors suspected he had a severe brain injury, which was confirmed thirty-six hours after admission thanks to brain stem tests.

The decision was then made to withdraw life support.

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Gaz Lancaster / Facebook

Gareth, who worked as a plumbing and heating engineer, died on June 10th aged twenty-nine, with his cause of death recorded as hypoxic brain injury due to hanging.

According to his partner Tandia Constantine, Gareth – known among friends and family as ‘Gaz’ – was not the kind of person to seek help, and had kept his emotions to himself when his mother died from cancer.

Coroner Peter Sigee said a handwritten note was found at the scene, which he interpreted as ‘a statement of intent on Gareth’s behalf to end his life’.

He concluded that Gareth had died by suicide, saying he was satisfied that he intended to end his life.

During the hearing, Gareth was described as a ‘funny, hard-working and outgoing’ man who ‘doted’ on his two children and liked socialising with his family and friends.

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Gaz Lancaster / Facebook

After the hearing, Zena Ralphs, the mother of Gareth’s partner, said: “He was a lovely lad. He was the best lad you could ever meet, the hardest worker you could ever meet.

“His little ones have no daddy now.”

If you’re struggling with mental health issues, there are people out there you can talk to.

For confidential support the Samaritans can be contacted for free around the clock 365 days a year on 116 123. You can also email the Samaritans at jo@samaritans.org, write to Freepost RSRB-KKBY-CYJK, PO Box 9090, STIRLING, FK8 2SA or visit www.samaritans.org/branches to find your nearest branch.

You can also contact the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) at 0800 58 58 58 or via their website here.

Alternatively, you can find more mental health services around Greater Manchester on the NHS Foundation Trust website.

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