Manchester pub landlord Simon Delaney has been named as BT Sport’s Manager of the Month for October, and was presented with the trophy by the original Special One, Jose Mourinho.

     It made the win even sweeter for Manchester United fan Simon, who has been the boss at community pub The Firbank, in Wythenshawe for 22 years. He said: “It was amazing to meet Jose Mourinho. It was a bit surreal, but he was incredibly warm and friendly and he gave me a big hug and a high five. Winning awards is great, but this was the icing on the cake.”

     BT Sport launched the monthly scheme to highlight the great work of licensees up and down the country.  Simon beat nominees from across the land to the title because of his passion for sport and his ability to provide a warm and engaging atmosphere for all fans – including those of both Manchester United and Manchester City.

      He continued: “The Man United fan in me says this should be a Man Utd pub, that’s what normally happens with landlords and I get some flak for flying the red and blue flags. That’s the landlord in me because it makes massive sense business wise.  We want families coming in and we pride ourselves on the friendly atmosphere we generate.”

     Simon has gained a reputation for building a top-class venue – picking up the Community Pub of the Year title at last year’s Great British Pub Awards. He runs a host of community events, including community lunches every week for those who otherwise don’t get out much. The pub also provides a space for various groups and school clubs to meet for free. He also raises funds for various causes, recently holding a charity bungee jump in the pub car park.

     As well as the trophy, the title and meeting the Manchester United Manager at the club’s Carrington training ground, Simon also won a brand new 4K TV for the Firbank.

      Bruce Cuthbert, director of commercial customers BT Sport, said: “Pubs up and down the country make outstanding contributions to the communities they serve. Our Manager of the Month awards are a small way of recognising the work they do. Congratulations to Simon and the Firbank team on creating such a special pub and for being deserved winners.”

     The nomination process for the November BT Sport Manager of the Month is now underway. Customers can nominate licensees and managers they think are worthy of winning by tweeting @BTSportBars using the hashtag #BTMOTM.

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