Landlords at Stockport gastro pub The Midway have left punters welling up after sharing news of their planned retirement in an emotional tribute.
Posting on the pub’s Facebook page on Sunday, 30 July, married couple Paul and Pauline – who have been fixtures at the pub ever since 1999 – revealed they had taken the decision to retire this October in order to spend more time with their family.
The couple shared their heartfelt thanks to both customers and staff as they revealed their last day at the pub would be on 1 October 2023.
They also reflected on three decades spent serving the people of Stockport, 25 of which have been dedicated to The Midway.
In that period, the duo has taken the boozer from a dilapidated shell to one of the region’s best pubs – leading it to take home the North West Pub of the Year Award this year.
Reflecting on their time there, they told followers: “We are both so proud of what we have achieved at The Midway over the last 25 years.
“When we arrived in January 1999, the pub was closed and in disrepair and now, in our final year of trading, we were thrilled to win the North West Pub of the Year Award, which is something that we and our team are elated by and it is a perfect note for us to end on.”
They continued to thank their front-of-house and kitchen teams by name, before adding: “The Midway has built its reputation as a premium food destination in Stockport and that is as a direct result of all our team operating at the top of their game.”
Writing that it had been a ‘privilege’ to serve the people of Stockport for so many years, they added: “we are so thankful for the great number of you who have supported us during these years and who we now proudly call friends.”
As a testament to the landlords’ popularity, since being shared last night the post has been liked over 400 times and been inundated with comments from well-wishers – many of whom, it seems, have been there right from the start.
One person wrote: “I wish you both all the best in your new chapter. I loved working with you both at the Blarney, and also the Midway at the very start. I have some great memories, and i have made some great friends along the way.
“You have both put 100% into everything that you do, and it shows! What a fabulous place, you have built. From excellent food to friendly welcoming staff. I am sure your team will miss you both very much. Good luck and lots of love, Mr and Mrs T.”
Another person said: “Best of luck with whatever you have planned next, had some great times in the Blarney and the Midway. You both will be sadly missed. But all the best.”
A third added: “Was great being there in the early days of both pubs and having a good laugh ( usually at my expense) along the way…. Running down St Petersgate shouting after Deaf Michael has to be up there. Wishing you both the best of luck for the future and here’s hoping Paul and his brother don’t take up singing again”
A fourth wrote: “13 years ago I met a friend one evening for some tea & fudge cake & as the cake arrived I went into labour with my son! Luckily, I only lived opposite at the time ”
Owners confirmed their last day at the pub would be 1 October, adding that they “look forward to seeing The Midway go from strength to strength and continue to build in its next chapter.”
Featured image – The Midway
Manchester United issue response after banning Manchester Evening News and select journalists from press conference
The Manchester Evening News (MEN) along with a number of sports journalists have reportedly been banned from attending a Manchester United press conference after publishing a story on an apparent rift at the club, claiming that manager Erik ten Hag has ‘lost the dressing room’.
Citing the reason behind the ban as being due to Chief Man United Writer and well-known sports reporter, Samuel Luckhurst’s recent story, which claimed that ten Hag is “losing the confidence” of his players, he and at least three other journalists won’t be in attendance after Sky Sports went so far as to suggest as much as “50%” of the dressing room.
It is thought that Sky‘s chief reporter Kaveh Solekhol, David McDonnell of The Mirror and ESPN‘s Rob Dawson are among the other individuals to have been barred from joining this afternoon’s presser as per instruction from United‘s Director of Media Relations and Public Affairs, Andrew Ward.
Issuing a statement to The Manc and journalists across the country, the club said: “We’re taking action against a number of news organisations today, not for publishing stories we don’t like, but for doing so without contacting us first to give us the opportunity to comment, challenge or contextualise.
“We believe this is an important principle to defend and we hope it can lead to a re-set in the way we work together.” It is unclear how long the suspension is set to be upheld but it is likely they will only serve a one-match ban — pardon the pun.
The MEN reiterated that the initial story was “multiply-sourced”, adding that they had not been banned as a result of previous stories that were largely seen as critical of the Man United head coach and/or his squad, including prior claims players were starting to “doubt” his tactics and managerial style.
Furthermore, the outlet goes on to state that several other journalists have claimed they were prevented from asking questions in press conferences by Ward in the past “over perceived negative coverage”, adding that the club have expressed their “regret” over having to issue the ban. The move has been welcomed by many fans, with several saying it is reminiscent of Sir Alex Ferguson’s hardline approach to the media.
Man United have made one of their worst starts to a campaign in decades and, despite winning their first trophy in six years under the Dutchman with an EFL Cup win last season, have unfortunately been breaking all manner of unwanted records of late.
ten Hag’s team suffered another disappointing loss against Newcastle at the end of November and now face another tricky task as they prepare to face a Chelsea side who are starting to gather some semblance of form.
Countless Reds and neutrals alike will no doubt now be tuning in for his pre-match press conference at 1:30pm ahead of the mid-week Premier League fixture against the West Londoners on Wednesday night (8:15pm kick-off).
The former Ajax manager has made no secret of the troubles he faced when he first arrived at Old Trafford but is clearly keen to avoid others from airing any of their rumoured dirty laundry.
Featured Images — The Manc Group/Manchester United
Adult film star and LGBTQ+ icon Sophie Anderson dies aged 36
Adult film star and much-loved LGBTQ+ icon Sophie Anderson has sadly died aged just 36, as confirmed by colleague, influencer and friend Rebecca More.
The recognisable UK porn star and internet personality, best known for being one-half of the viral online duo ‘C*ck Destroyers’ alongside More, was announced dead on Tuesday, 5 December following reports from numerous media outlets before being confirmed by her former co-star.
Sharing the news on social media, Rebecca wrote: “I’m devastated hearing the awful news of Sophie’s passing. We shared some amazing times together and that’s how I’m going to remember her.
She signed off by adding, “This is so tragic but I know you are now at peace. I will always, always love you and hold a special place in my heart”.
Her heartfelt sentiment was echoed online as countless people on social media have paid tribute to the viral sensation who was an advocate for the LGBTQIA+ community and all things queer culture, as well as sex positivity in general.
As mentioned, it was only on 17 November that her ex-partner Spedding himself passed away, but the former footballer was also disturbingly found to be the one behind previous claims she had died that turned out to be a hoax earlier this year.
Regardless, the news unfortunately appears to be genuine this time and it’s clear from the reaction online how saddened so many people from all walks of life are to learn of her passing.