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World Cup 2014: Borstal pub the White Horse cancels night with Chelsea legend Ron ‘Chopper’ Harris after England get knocked out of tournament

By Lynn Cox

Downbeat pub landlords say England's early World Cup exit is bad for business - and one has even cancelled a football party featuring a former top player.

Chelsea legend Ron "Chopper" Harris was due at the White Horse pub, in Borstal, near Rochester, for an event built around England's final group game against Costa Rica tomorrow.

But landlord Peter Darling said: "We were staging a special event and were having Ron 'Chopper' Harris come along to watch the match with our customers. We were putting on a buffet too, but now unfortunately we've had to cancel the event as no one will come and watch it now England are out."

Chelsea football legend Ron 'Chopper' Harris
Chelsea football legend Ron 'Chopper' Harris

England's faint hopes of qualifying for the last 16 of the tournament in Brazil ended on Friday evening when the Costa Ricans scored a surprise victory over Italy.

Mr Darling, 43, said: "We've forked out a lot of money to stage our World Cup events here. We've not made that money back on alcohol sales because of the early exit, but I guess that's England for you.

"But of course we will be open for all the other matches and we hope families will come here to enjoy the World Cup final with us."

The White Horse pub in Borstal
The White Horse pub in Borstal

The pub industry has been suffering following the recession and the smoking ban and landlords across Medway and the rest of Kent were hoping England would stay in the tournament for as long as possible to give business a boost.

Stephen McNaughton, 37, manager of The Cricketers, in Sturdee Avenue, Gillingham, said Thursday's game against Uruguay saw his pub packed with fans.

Stephen McNoughton, landlord at The Cricketers in Gillingham
Stephen McNoughton, landlord at The Cricketers in Gillingham

Mr NcNaughton said: "Pubs like mine wait four years for this sort of event so we can boost sales and we are out after two games, it's a bad result. You wait so long for it to come around and then this happens.

"I am hoping fans will still come in tomorrow but the match is at 5pm so many people will be just finishing work and may chose to watch it at home."

"This is the end of the World Cup for us now England are out..." - landlord Steve Kray

The Cricketers is still showing every game and Mr McNaughton thinks some of the bigger matches, such as those featuring home side Brazil, may attract a good crowd.

He added: "It's hard to say how busy we will be, but I'm not expecting us to be as busy with the smaller games."

Licensing laws have been relaxed during the tournament to allow for the late kick-off times.

Steve Kray, 53, from The Crown in Rochester High Street, said: "I don't expect many people in on Tuesday, as they've not got the time off work. This is the end of the World Cup for us now England are out.

"People just lose interest and I'm not expecting many people in for the other matches."

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