Join us in Edgbaston’s Banqueting Suite as England take on Belgium in what we hope will be the showdown to decide the group winner! When the draw was made in early December, many England fans breathed a sigh of relief when the Three Lions were drawn alongside Panama, Tunisia and Belgium, avoiding the biggest guns in each pot. Your clients and colleagues will enjoy a welcome drink, three-course dinner, and the match shown live on our giant screens. We are thrilled to welcome four Midlands football legends to help analyse the match, who will join our BBC host Mark Clemmit for what promises to be an epic day!
England v Belgium: If things go to plan for the two European sides against Tunisia and Panama, then the match between England and Belgium should be the decider for who wins the group, and the distinct possibility of avoiding one of the top seeds in the Second Round! The Belgians are replete with world class players, many of whom are based in the Premier League, with the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku, Eden Hazard, Thibaut Courtois, Vincent Kompany, Jan Vertonghen and Marouane Fellaini all playing for the big guns. Historically the Belgians, like England, have often underperformed on the biggest stage, and it will be fascinating to see who comes out on top! Can the likes of Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Gary Cahill, Jordan Henderson and the squad overcome the challenge and lead England safely into the knockout stages?
Kevin Phillips: One of the most prolific Premier League goal-scorers of his generation, Kevin scored an amazing 282 goals in 660 appearances in all competitions. His most prolific season saw him score an incredible 30 Premier League goals for Sunderland in 1999/2000 season, becoming an England international in the process. After cementing his status as a Mackem legend, Kevin went on to represent three Midlands clubs in succession, beginning with an injury hit spell at Aston Villa. After moving to The Hawthorns, he rediscovered form and fitness, banging in 46 goals in just 81 appearances, before a move to Birmingham City, where he became a key player in the Blues’ side which returned to the Premier League in the 2008/09 season. Not just a great goalscorer, Kevin was also a scorer of great goals, and he now passes on his wealth of knowledge as assistant coach at Derby County.
Alan McInally: Known as ‘Rambo’ during his playing days, Alan was a classic “target man” centre forward of the old style, strong and great in the air. After starting out his career at Ayr Utd, Alan enjoyed a successful spell at Celtic before moving to Aston Villa in 1987. Although he only spent two seasons at Villa Park, he is fondly remembered by the faithful, being a key player in the side which achieved promotion to the top flight in 1988. Playing the best football of his career, German giants Bayern Munich then came calling, where Alan spent four seasons, before retiring following a brief spell at Kilmarnock. Alan can now be seen regularly on Sky Sports football coverage alongside Jeff Stelling and the boys!
Matt Murray: Former England U-21 international Matt Murray spent his entire career at Wolves, before a succession of injuries brought his career to a premature end at the age of 29. Matt made over 100 first team appearances at Molineux, and was named in the Championship Team of the Year in 2006-07, as well as picking up the PFA Fans Player of the Year in the same season. Always a fans’ favourite during his playing days, Matt now works as a match reporter and in-studio summariser for Sky Sports News, alongside the likes of Alan McInally, Paul Merson, Charlie Nicholas and Phil Thompson.
David Stockdale: Current Birmingham City goalkeeper David Stockdale started his career with York City, moving to Darlington, where he was Player of the Year. He then moved to Fulham, as understudy to Mark Schwarzer, featuring in 39 Premier League matches, whilst also making loan appearances for 6 other clubs totalling 139 appearances, during his spell at Craven Cottage. Most of these were in the Championship, so it was no surprise when he signed for ambitious Brighton in 2014. He soon became a key player, culminating in Brighton’s promotion to the Premier League last season, making the PFA Championship Team of the Year. After rejecting Brighton’s contract offer as too short, David signed for the Blues, where he has made a great start to his career at St. Andrews.
Mark Clemmit: Over the past two decades Mark Clemmit has become one of the most recognisable faces & voices covering English football. He is best known for his relaxed access all areas features on BBC One’s Football Focus. He is also a regular part of the channel’s studio presentation team on the country’s most watched results programme Final Score, a regular contributor to BBC Radio 5 Live & an occasional reporter on BBC One’s topical daily magazine programme The One Show. An immensely popular event host, he has worked extensively for football’s main organisations & sponsors.
Edgbaston Stadium: We are delighted to be holding our event in the Banqueting Suite at Edgbaston Stadium, which is a fantastic large facility, perfectly suited to our event. This is the stadium’s premium pitch-facing facility, enjoying magnificent views over the middle, and plenty of natural light. Our guests will enjoy quality dining and service for which Edgbaston is rightly renowned, with ample complimentary parking for all attendees.