Burnley pub named Best Sports Pub in national awards

Burnley pub named Best Sports Pub in national awards

The Thornton Arms on Brownside Road in Burnley has beaten off competition from pubs around the country to be named Best Sports Pub in our national awards run this week.

The judges were bowled over by how The Thornton Arms caters for sports fans. They sited it as a major factor in the pub’s transformation from a rundown local to a thriving community hub by new licensees and sisters Jaimie and Lauren Hopwood with the help of Jaimie’s husband, Gavin Fernavs.

The judges were amazed by how quickly Jaimie and Lauren had put The Thornton Arms on the map for sports. Since taking over 18 months ago they have installed Sky and BT Sports, added three screens positioned to enable different events to be shown simultaneously, put in a state of the art sound system and launched a myriad of teams including darts, pool, netball, rounders and golf. Major sporting events are celebrated in style with the pub aiming to make the atmosphere the next best thing to being at the event.

The judges noted how Jaimie, Lauren and Gavin also work to benefit sports in Burnley as a whole. The Thornton Arms runs away coaches for Burnley FC seeing off supporters with breakfast, is an away supporters friendly pub for visiting teams giving them use of the pub’s function room and hosts meetings and fundraising events for Fulledge Colts. Gavin has even built an arena for the local Riding for the Disabled to enable them to ride year round and the pub provides Saturday morning snacks for users.

The pub was in a sorry state when Jaimie and Lauren took it over. Convinced of its potential and the need for a good local where the community could come together, they undertook a £20,000 refurbishment with the help of regulars and their dad, John, upgraded the cellar to serve cask ales, added barista quality coffee and launched a menu of home cooked pub grub prepared by their mum, Carol.

Jaimie, Lauren and Gavin received the coveted prize at a gala celebration night in Liverpool from football legend and broadcaster Chris Kamara.

“The Thornton Arms is proof of the enduring popularity of the great British pub. It’s focus on sports takes into another league offering local people the chance to watch events from all over the world in a brilliant atmosphere without even having to leave Burnley,” says Lawson Mountstevens, Star Pubs & Bars Managing Director.

Says Jaimie, “We’re delighted. We wanted to create somewhere the community could meet and have a great time and we knew that sports were important to them. They’ve supported us every step of the way. It’s great recognition of everyone’s efforts and hard work.”