They’re Pompey-mad at The British Queen

David and Tina Place who run The British Queen public house in Portsmouth.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (13784-1)
David and Tina Place who run The British Queen public house in Portsmouth.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (13784-1)
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Pompey might have had their troubles – but that doesn’t stop staff at The British Queen supporting their beloved club.

A huge Pompey scarf hangs above the bar and shirts collected by landlord David Place’s eldest son Richard, 32, hang on the walls.

There are also flags from the club’s two FA Cup Final appearances in 2008 and 2010.

David, who has run the pub, in Queens Road, Buckland, Portsmouth, for 13 years, said: ‘Richard is a Pompey fanatic.

‘He has collected shirts over the years and that’s why we’ve got them around the pub.

‘I have been a supporter and followed them through and through because I’m Portsmouth born-and-bred.

‘We’re not as busy on match day as we used to be but all our locals are strong supporters.

‘When Pompey were in the Premier League it really used to come alive in here.’

Aside from sport the pub also focuses on its charitable work.

Each year it holds fundraising weekends for different causes where customers enjoy karaoke and a barbecue.

And there are plans this time around to do something special in memory of regular Richard Tanner, 41, who died on March 5.

David said: ‘Richard was a great Tottenham Hotspur supporter so we used to give him a lot of stick.

‘But he was a lovely man; he wouldn’t have said boo to a goose.

‘Though we still don’t know how he died we know he suffered from diabetes.’

Raymond was the manager of a Clarks Shoes store in Chichester.

David, who celebrated his 59th birthday yesterday, said: ‘He was very close to my wife Tina, 52.

‘He used to joke and say that he was going to take over the pub one day and run it with her.

‘The locals support the pub so we support the locals in whatever way we can.

‘It’s satisfying spending the money on events for local charities because they heavily rely on people’s donations.’

The pub has darts and pool teams.

Tina, who is from Newcastle, helps out behind the scenes, making sure all the paperwork is filed and arranging charity events.

‘We’re a locals’ local,’ she said. ‘Over the years some of our customers have been diagnosed with illnesses like cancer and MS and we do our best to help them.

‘Once people find us we tend to keep them because they become part of our family and the fittings.

David added: ‘We’ve always had what we like to think is a trouble-free pub.’

‘We got attached to it’

DETERMINED David Place refused to give up on his pub when the recession hit.

He took out credit cards to cover running costs – and though it led to him nearly going bankrupt, he said it was all worth it.‘We didn’t want the pub to go,’ he said.

‘We got attached to it and the locals.’

David has two step-sons, Dean and Carl, which are from Tina’s previous marriage, as well as his own, David and Richard.

‘We’ve tried all we can to keep it going.

‘So many pubs have closed up and down the country and we didn’t want to be one of them.

‘Working here has certainly been an experience.

‘We’re amazed we’ve come this far.

‘It’s the customers that make a pub what it is.’

David is a keen golfer and prior to being a pub landlord was captain of Southsea Golf Club. He was also its bar manager for two years.

David and Tina decided to go into business together after they went on holiday and met a couple who told them how much they enjoyed running one.

Tina was working for an insurance company at the time.

‘We told them we had been thinking about doing something together,’ David said. ‘They said to us, “why don’t you get a pub?”

‘So we contacted Enterprise Inns, which owned The British Queen at the time, and put in an offer.’