Birmingham Gold Cup Lunch 2019View 32 photos
John Hartson & Chris Sutton
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The Banqueting Suite at Edgbaston welcomed over 350 guests to our long-established annual Gold Cup Lunch at which our very special guests this year were two former Premier League and international strikers, Chris Sutton and John Hartson. With our live Irish band providing the tunes, a three course lunch, bookmakers in the room and all the action on our giant screen, it’s easy to see why this action-packed afternoon is so popular!
After enjoying a typically excellent Edgabston lunch, guests heard from our speakers between races with the atmosphere building towards the big one – the Cheltenham Gold Cup! It was great to hear from Chris and John who both scored prolifically in the Premier League, before forming a lethal partnership together at Celtic, where they won multiple trophies. Chris discussed the famous “SAS” partnership with Alan Shearer at length, including what it was like to play alongside the man who many regard as the best striker of his generation. The famous Blackburn Rovers title-winning season of 1994-95 was built on this incredible partnership with the pair bagging an incredible 49 goals between them!
A precocious teenage talent, Hartson became the UK’s most expensive ever teenager when he signed for Arsenal from Luton Town in 1995, where he spent the next two years, including scoring in the 1995 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup Final. His time at Celtic was a glittering one, playing a key role in winning six major trophies at a time when Rangers and Celtic battled perenially for the honours. As well as discussing football matters, John spoke movingly about his biggest battle of all in overcoming testicular cancer which almost killed him. It was inspirational stuff, which brought a tear to the eye of many a grown man in the room!
There was a real buzz in the room as the Cheltenham races came and went with plenty of winners being backed by guests and the bookies looking glum! By the time the big race came on most people in the room were in “high spirits” with everyone in the room cheering on their fancy for the Cheltenham Gold Cup. In the event the result was something of a surprise as 12-1 shot Al Boum Photo powered up the hill to take victory against the hotly fancied big three of Native River, Clan Des Obeaux and Presenting Percy. That didn’t stop a few wily punters in the room from backing the winner, with a fair few each way backers coming up trumps!
With many guests enjoying more than a few beers there were some bleary eyes by 6pm and plenty of good-natured banter. It was another excellent afternoon of sport, with Edgbaston delivering it’s usual excellent service. Thanks to everyone who attended, to our Sky Sports host Adam Leventhal and to Chris and John for being such great sports.