World Cup fever has reached boiling point with the World Cup final tonight, we have enjoyed a month of tantalising football action. (Ignoring England’s woes of course). And as the pinnacle of one of the greatest sporting event closes for another four years, we wanted to share some of Best Western’s football stories.
On the playing fields of Welwyn
Some of the best football players of the 1960’s and 1970’s have stayed at BEST WESTERN Homestead Court Hotel in Welwyn Garden City. The German team stayed here before losing at the 1966 World Cup; and the England squad regularly used as its base before matches at Wembley. With a sporting heritage as proud as this, it’s no surprise that guests should sometimes be inspired to take a spot of exercise. The adjacent George V Playing Fields are just the thing for a casual kickabout, while guests also enjoy free access to the Gosling Sports Centre. The centre, less than a mile away, has a gym and fitness studio, saunas and Jacuzzi, various courts and even a dry ski slope.
BEST WESTERN PLUS Pinewood Hotel on Wilmslow in Handforth plays an active role in the local community and sponsors local football team Hazel Grove United Junior FC. The team’s history reads like a Roy of the Rovers story. It was formed in 1958 after a group of lads made house-to-house calls to raise money – and the under-16s team won a local league and cup double in its first season. The club’s teams now compete in the Stockport Metro Junior League while it recently formed an under-11 girls team to compete in the South Manchester Girls League.
Chippenham Town FC Supporters Club Norway
Among BEST WESTERN PLUS Angel Hotel’s more unlikely regulars is a group of die hard Chippenham Town Football Club fans. No surprise there, you might think, given that the football grounds are just a short walk away – but these fans are from Stavanger, Norway. The most ardent is Bjorn Hersdal, who first saw the Bluebirds by chance at an away match in Weymouth, and has never looked back. Bjorn regards Chippenham’s Hardenhuish Park, the West Country’s oldest football club, as ‘a friendly place, full of pride and passion’. He tries to get over from Norway at least six times a season, and says he always has a good time.