BIG screens and beer towers will be on show as football fans rush to our pubs as they cheer on the Three lions in the European Championships.

The long-awaited football tournament kicks off on Friday after a year’s delay due to the Covid pandemic.

Pubs are busy ramping up preparations for the start of the tournament, with landlords banking on England have a successful summer to help revive the industry The White Horse in Ramsden Heath, is opening for the first time since lockdown for the start of the tournament.


Owner Steve Haslam and staff are busy installing hundreds of seats outside to allow fans to enjoy the tournament from the pub garden.

While at Mr Haslam’s other pub, the Bread and Cheese Pub in Benfleet, a huge five metre by five metre screen is set to be installed.

He said: “England doing well and pubs doing well go hand in hand.

“If England have a good tournament, the whole of the industry will be so grateful.

“Nobody has been able to go the football in a long time, so the pub is the next best thing.

“It would be fantastic if we could go a long way, the industry needs it after the year we’ve had.

“The capacity of the pub won’t be any different, but we’re seeing a lot of interest in outdoor and indoor seating already. Customers will need to book if they want to come and watch a match.

“Nothing will change as to how we’ve been running in the pandemic.”

At both pubs, four 65 inch screens will also show matches.

The Bread and Cheese recently underwent a major transformation, with hundreds of seats installed outside on a new decking.

The weather is also set to be scorching as the tournament gets underway on Friday.

England’s first game against Croatia kicks off at 2pm on Sunday, with punters set to bask in 24 degree heat in south Essex during the match.

Several pubs across the region have teamed up with Heineken, with state-of-the-art sound systems, large screens, all being installed in time for kick off.

The partnership, between Stonegate Group and Heineken, will see punters offered beer towers to offer cheaper deals.

The pubs include The Alex in Southend, the Beehive in Basildon, the Half Crown in Benfleet, the Lobster Smack in Canvey, and the Oakwood in Leigh.

Landlords are urging keen punters to book in advance.

Nicola Tinney, 42, the manager at the Borough Hotel in Southend, said: “We’re going to change how we do things here, we haven’t got the space.

“We’ve got three 55 inch screens inside for people to watch the games. We’ve got the front and the beer garden for the non-footie lovers like myself.

“I haven’t time to fully prepare for the Euros where we’ve been so busy.

“With the nice weather we’ve been rushed off our feet, which has been mad but really nice.

“All I would ask is that people stick to the rules when they come to watch the matches, “We’ve had a few people trying to get away with it recently, and we’re probably going to see people coming for the games.”

During the matches face coverings must be worn when not at a table and there is no ordering from the bar allowed.

Social distancing will be in place, but there is no curfew on drinkers at the moment.

Essex Police was contacted for comment on plans during the championships but had not responded at the time of going to press.