Gallery owner puts women in the picture at her Suffolk pub

A landlady who has thrown her support behind her local women’s football team has won BT Sport’s Manager of the Month award.

Michelle Payne, licensee at The Ingate Free House, in Beccles, Suffolk, was quick off the mark to support Beccles Town Ladies FC when the side formed last year.

The move shows Michelle’s strong belief in the importance of women’s sport. It has also helped her attract new customers to her sports-led freehouse with players and supporters regularly visiting.

She explains: “Our pub was mainly male orientated, as is sports, so it was great to back the team and show the girls their worth by sponsoring them.

“The Ingate is changing attitudes to how a traditional pub has been in the past – as we strive to take things forward in a positive way.

“We don’t need to compete with gastro pubs or major outlets, we need to be inclusive, a friendly place to go to, and to show that as a female or a male you can just pop in and have access to what you have at home, only in a more sociable environment.

“We are so proud that BT Sport has recognised our achievements.”

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