Stoke City fans could see butties and beer on the menu for early away-days
STOKE City fans could soon be enjoying an early morning pint before embarking on their travels to see the Potters if a landlord wins permission to serve alcohol from 7am.
Debbie Stringer, who runs The Sutherland Arms in Stoke, has submitted an application to vary the times the venue is allowed to sell booze.
The 48-year-old provides away-day travel for Stoke supporters but wants to be able to offer breakfast and a beer.
She said: "Any time we want to change the times we have to apply for an events licence but you can only have 12 per year.
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"So we have decided to ask for a permanent change to allow us to serve alcohol to fans before an away game.
"We would only want to serve at 7am before a fixture in somewhere like London where supporters are setting out a lot earlier.
"It wouldn't be a case of it being noisy or anything like that. Fans would just come in to the pub, have a beer and a bacon sandwich before they got on the coach."
Mother-of-two Debbie, who runs the pub with daughter Sammie, aged 21, began running a coach from the venue at the start of the season.
The pub can currently serve alcohol from 10am until midnight Monday to Saturday and on a Sunday from noon to midnight.
If the application is approved by Stoke-on-Trent City Council, Debbie could serve alcohol from 7am Monday to Thursday and between 7am until 1am on a Saturday. On a Sunday the pub could open at 10am.
Debbie, who took on the pub in January last year, said: "We don't have any reason to stay open later than we do, but it would cover us if fans come back late from a long away fixture.
"You never know when Stoke might next go to Wembley!"
Daughter Sammie believes interest in the Potters is high after the club swooped for the likes of Michael Owen and Charlie Adam this summer.
She said: "I go to as many of the away games as I can afford.
"There is a good atmosphere on the coach. It takes away the pressure of having to drive or get the train."
Simon Carlin, of Stoke, who organises the coach trips, said: "The official coaches just go straight to the ground, whereas we try to make more of a day of it.
"It isn't just lads, we have children and families as well."