What happened to August? What happened to summer? A whirlwind of two home games at Elland Road, the end of the transfer window, Leeds Rhinos winning the Challenge Cup and before you know it September is upon us, and it’s chilly mornings, nights drawing in and arguments about putting the heating on.
Last month saw us launch our new match day marquee in the Old Peacock beer garden and it proved to be a massive success. We managed to entertain and lubricate capacity crowds in the pub for both home games against Burnley and Sheffield Wednesday, and while there may have been two score draws on the pitch, it was two home wins for the Old Peacock punters.
The weather was pretty kind to us and despite the lunch time kick offs for both games, Leeds fans proved they have an insatiable thirst whatever time of the day it is. Thanks for all those who came along and supplied pics and videos of the crowds in the beer garden and marquee. We hope you agree that the marquee has added a new dimension to the legendary Peacock match day experience, and allows you all to get served much quicker and spend more time building up that special pre-match atmosphere.
September has arrived with a further two home games for Leeds United, this time in quick succession. This coming weekend we have our first 3pm kick-off of the season when Brentford come to visit, followed by our first midweek game against Ipswich Town on Tuesday 15th.
Every football fan prefers a 3pm Saturday afternoon kick-off - it is what generations of football culture was built upon - and there are precious few for Leeds fans in particular, thanks mainly to Sky Sports.
A 3pm kick-off allows you to do something worthwhile in the morning, definitions of which will vary wildly depending on your age, relationship status and Friday night antics. But you will maybe have a bit of lunch and still have time to get down to the Old Peacock for plenty of pre-match frolics. This is far more relaxing than dragging yourself out of bed, eating when you don’t necessarily want to and rushing down for a lunchtime kick-off, where everybody looks ill and miserable and would rather be feet up on the sofa and hence, the atmosphere within the ground is never the same. And that’s just for home games. Sky Sports; disturbing the football fan’s body clock since 1992.
Away from football, there is something unique and very special that we are looking forward to at the Old Peacock in September; the Rugby World Cup, with two games being played at Elland Road towards the end of the month, and every game live on our big screens.
Leeds has been chosen as a host city with Millennium Square staging the 'FanZone' throughout the tournament, which more than likely will be a pretty lively place during the six-week long extravaganza. But the weekend of 26th and 27th of September will see Rugby Union fans from various corners of the globe converge on Elland Road to taste some of the rugby heritage of Leeds, and most importantly, the hospitable match day experience of the Old Peacock.
Rugby was played on Elland Road long before football was on a regular basis, when Holbeck Rugby Club were residents between 1897 and 1904, prior to Leeds City’s formation. This was Rugby League of course, as the split of League and Union codes had occurred shortly before in 1895. Rugby Union has only actually been played once before at Elland Road, this was a friendly between England North and South Africa in November 1992. But Saturday 26th September sees Rugby Union return with the world watching, as Italy play Canada in Pool D, while Sunday 27th has more of a local flavour with Scotland facing the USA in Pool B.
Both games have a 2.30pm kick off and while Rugby Union has plenty of differences to football, one thing that unites fans of both, and particularly Leeds United fans, is a raging thirst on match day, so we are getting ready for a busy double-header of a weekend.
Throughout the tournament we will have the Greene King IPA Inflatable in the Old Peacock beer garden, to entertain fans seeking that unique photo opportunity pre and post-match. We expect the inflatable rugby posts and crash mat will be hard to resist even before fans have had a beer, so it is likely that dignity will be in short supply as kick-off approaches. But attempt a try-scoring swallow dive, share your photo and you may win some prizes.
Getting back to football, and we think it’s been a pretty good start to the season for Leeds United, with head coach Uwe Rösler appearing to get his ideas across and instilling the kind of organisation into the team that we expected he would bring. It’s taking a bit of time for the side to look really dangerous in an attacking sense but that will come, particularly with some of the signings made beginning to bed themselves in. Meanwhile, we have seen goals, and some of them have been absolute crackers.
The scenes in the pub when Chris Wood launched his 20-yard rocket into the net at Derby for the 88th-minute winner showed what a crucial victory it was, and hopefully there will be plenty more of that to come.
Before I go, just a quick word about Archies, the new bar opened by Ossett Brewery in Granary Wharf this month. Archies is open all day for breakfast through to dinner, and even for cutting a rug late into the night. There is definitely a merrymaking vibe to the latest venture, which joins The Hop and Candlebar to form a little something for all tastes along the scenic Leeds waterfront, and even a variable pub crawl for those of you who can handle a little slice of everything.
Hope to see you in the Old Peacock during September. Don’t forget we have our normal food menus and quiz nights in operation in between home games and you can keep up-to-date with what’s going on via our new and improved social media channels on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
See you soon,