After spending the past 14 years serving customers at the Dog and Donkey in Chipping Norton, landlord Bill Langley has decided the time has come to hang up his apron and follow in his father’s footsteps in becoming a full time professional footballer.
In a long and illustrious career that has taken him to some of the biggest pubs in Europe, Bill now in his mid thirties but still looking as fit as when he first turned out for The Hen & Chicks as a teenager, will be calling last orders at the end of the season.
Although Bill has lost none of the bar skills which made him a favourite with real ale fans all over the country, he admits to finding it increasingly difficult keeping up with the younger players in the pub trade and feels the time is right to move on. Despite receiving offers from several smaller pubs in the lower divisions Bill insists he will be changing the barrels for the last time following the FA Cup final on 5th May 2011
The decision has not been an easy one for Bill to make and he admits there have been times when he very nearly changed his mind. Turning his back on the trade he has loved since a young boy, growing up on the streets of Cheltenham was never going to be easy and he had at one time been tempted by the vacant manager’s job at a leading Premier Inn side but decided management could never give him the same buzz that being a barman had over the past 20 years. He said that although from now on Saturday afternoons would never quite be the same again, he was now looking forward to the new footballing challenges that lay ahead.
As a boy Bill had been torn between running a pub and opening a sports shop when he left school but said he had always toyed with the idea of becoming a professional footballer once the best of his landlord days were behind him. Although admitting he will miss the day to day running of a pub, Bill has told regulars at the D&D that this will be his last season in charge of the cellars.
‘It’s every kid’s dream, becoming a pub landlord and I’ve been lucky enough to have done it at the highest level’ Bill told the Evesham Gazette ‘but the pub trade is getting faster all the time and the old legs are just not up to it anymore.
It was a tough decision calling it a day, but I think the timing is right.’ Said Bill ‘I’ve really enjoyed being a pub landlord but I would like to get out while I’m still at the top.
Bill will not be the first pub landlord to have swapped the peace and tranquillity of village life for the hurly-burly of the big city but he was confident that with friends and family dropping by to see him play from time to time the transition from landlord to top flight footballer would not present too many problems.
‘I’ve looked after myself and could probably stay on a few more years pulling for a smaller pub but I’ve been in the pub trade since leaving school and it’s time to move on. The missus is well pleased, she says me becoming a professional footballer will give us chance to spend a bit more time together, though she is a bit worried about all the late night drinking that footballers get up to.
But if the move to Liverpool goes through there won’t be any need for her to worry too much about victory celebrations, not now Lucas has started being named man of the match on a regular basis’.
Pub landlord ‘calls time’ to become professional footballer
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After spending the past 14 years serving customers at the Dog and Donkey in Chipping Norton, landlord Bill Langley has decided the time has come to hang up his apron and follow in his father’s footsteps in becoming a full time professional footballer.Posted 4 years ago #
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