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?
Alan Curbishley: After a lengthy playing career spanning almost 20 years with the likes of Birmingham City, Aston Villa and Charlton, Alan turned his hand to management with the Addicks as his playing career wound down. A huge success at the Valley, and a bona fine Charlton legend, he managed the club for an incredible 15 years, mostly in the Premier League. After leaving the club in 2006, he worked briefly as a TV pundit, before returning to management with West Ham later that year. Despite his success at Upton Park, Alan left following a dispute over transfer policy, and despite numerous offers has not returned to management, but remains in demand as a TV summariser.
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.
Geoff Horsfield: After making his name at Halifax Town, Geoff signed for Fulham, where he enjoyed a successful spell, winning promotion in his first season. In July 2000, Geoff was signed by Birmingham City for a club record fee of £2.25M, where he soon made his mark. He was their top scorer in his first season, finding the net on twelve occasions, and his two goals in the second leg of the League Cup semi-final helped the club reach their first major final for nearly 40 years, losing on penalties to boyhood idols Liverpool. The following season Geoff was a key part of the side which attained promotion to the Premier League, where he formed a memorable late season partnership with Christophe Dugarry. Geoff went on to have a period at the Hawthorns, where he is fondly remembered, and finished his career with 140 goals in 477 appearances.
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.