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Away fans pub in Ipswich to serve alcohol from 6am on derby day

PUBLISHED: 08:16 24 August 2018 | UPDATED: 08:19 24 August 2018

The Station Hotel in Ipswich Picture: ADAM HWOLETT

The Station Hotel in Ipswich Picture: ADAM HWOLETT

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An Ipswich pub will serve alcohol from 6am next Sunday to cater for thirsty Norwich City fans travelling down for the big derby clash.

According to Landlord James Langan, the pub, opposite Ipswich Railway Station, has been an away fans pub for the last seven years and has been granted a 6am alcohol licence for the past two.

Mr Langan said he has never had any problems opening early.

“We get the fans coming off the early bird train, then we get some who have come down to Ipswich the night before,” he said.

“We have been the away fans pub for the last seven years and we’ve had no problems in the last six years that I have been here.

“We only do this for the 12pm kick off games. It just makes sense to everyone.”

“Whoever comes here, we will make them feel welcome.”

Mr Langan said the pub would be laying on a barbecue so people could grab a bite to eat before the big game.

An Ipswich Borough Council spokesman said the management of away fans is part of the pub’s Temporary Events Notice (TEN).

She said: “The police, ITFC, the council and other organisations work together to manage and protect public safety on game days. Locating supporters close to the station and football ground rather than at various locations across the town provides less opportunity for trouble and is much easier to manage by the police and stewards.

“The opening hours of the Station Hotel on game days as a designated away supporters pub has become standard over a number of years and based on previous experience and evidence from police the council has no reason to object.”

A police spokesman said all TENs are judged on their merits.

He said: “The Station Hotel facilitates all away teams throughout the year, has an experienced licensee and a previous record of good conduct, so there were no grounds for Suffolk Police to reject the application.

“It is up to individual premises to decide if they wish to cater for away supporters and no one can be, or is, compelled to do so.

“However, it is certainly of benefit to all parties concerned to have a venue for away fans to be able to meet in prior to matches, especially one which is geographically so close to both the railway station and the football ground.”

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