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Islington pub landlord raffling off shirt from every World Cup country

15:26 12 June 2014

Left to right: Iain Tillotson, 27, Matt Mitchell-Waite, 45 and Gary Curtis, 30

Left to right: Iain Tillotson, 27, Matt Mitchell-Waite, 45 and Gary Curtis, 30

Archant

A football obsessed pub landlord has been on a frantic search to find every World Cup team’s jersey to enhance his punters’ tournament experience.

Matt Mitchell-Waite, 45, who runs The New Rose in Essex Road, Islington, has ordered shirts from as far as China and Poland in preparation for the feast of football which begins today (Thursday).

The colourful kits have now been hung from the ceiling of the pub, which will be showing every single World Cup game, before being raffled off when each team is eliminated.

Mr Mitchell-Waite has already sealed 28 shirts, 
including a signed England top, but is desperate to get hold of the last four, which he is still waiting on to arrive with the first ball set to be kicked in Sao Paulo this evening.

He said: “It’s been going on for weeks, I’ve been constantly on the computer looking at retro and vintage shirts from all the different countries, seeing what I can get my hands on.

“The idea just came from a drunken brainstorm, we’re famous for being one of the best pubs to watch football in London and we wanted to do something special for the World Cup.

“I’ve been getting shirts from all over the place so far, I’ve managed to get hold of a Bosnia and Herzegovina jersey from China and a retro 1960s Japan shirt from 
Poland.”

Other destinations used to source shirts include Portugal and Germany, but the England shirt, which is signed by the 2012 European Championship squad, is the jewel in the crown.

“I won it myself in a raffle, but people kept telling me I should give it away as I haven’t hung it up or anything,” he said.

“I’m still trying to get hold of a signed shirt from this year’s players.”

Whichever shirt is auctioned off when England’s tournament ends, Mr Mitchell-Waite is hopeful that it will be the last he takes down.

“It’s got to be the Three Lions to win it, who else?

“Failing that I’m tipping Brazil, host nation, hungry and some lethal talent. Don’t bet against the samba boys.”

n The first World Cup game kicks off tonight at 9pm and raffle tickets will be on sale at The New Rose for £2 each.

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