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Rugby's 'Mr England' stars in his first ever advertising campaign

01 February 2007

1st February 2007

Over a decade since he first sported his trademark St George's Cross top hat and coat, England's most famous rugby fan is to star in his first ever advertising campaign.

Peter Cross of Dawlish in Devon, the England Rugby Supporters Club's most recognised member and known as "Mr England" to thousands of rugby fans, is to star in an ad by Greene King IPA, the Nation's number one cask beer and the Official Beer of England Rugby�taking a drinks order from the entire England team on the pitch at Twickenham!

Cross stands opposite the imposing sight of the England Rugby team wearing his customary St George's Cross top hat and coat. Instead of leading the players and the crowd in a deafening rendition of the national anthem though, the ad has Cross repeating a drinks order from the players.

In his eleven years as the reigning world champions' number one supporter, Cross has never missed an England game at Twickenham, the Home of England Rugby. More recently, he has even been joined on the touchline by his bulldog mascot Billy. Never before though has he appeared in an advert and his debut has gained approval from the higher echelons of England Rugby.

Brian Ashton, England Head Coach, said: "I think it's great that one of our sponsors has recognised Peter's unique contribution to England Rugby over the past decade or so. He has played a big part in building a really terrific atmosphere for England games at Twickenham".

Peter Cross said: "I've travelled the world to watch England play rugby and I've not missed a match at Twickenham for years but this is the first time I've ever appeared in an advert. Normally my duties on match day revolve around singing the national anthem or Swing Low Sweet Chariot but maybe in the future one or two of the players will expect me to buy them a drink after the game too!"

Greene King IPA's adverts take an amusing look at the traditional link between rugby union and cask beer, combining real match day action with light hearted pub-style conversations. England squad members are shown in the thick of the action during international matches, but the advertisements' straplines suggest that some of them have a pint of Greene King IPA on their minds.

Justin Adams, managing director of Greene King Brewing Company said: "Anyone who has been to Twickenham on match days or even watched England's home games on the television at home or at the pub will recognise Peter Cross as one of the most patriotic of England supporters. Our new campaign reflects the natural link between rugby and the Nation's number one cask beer. During the Six Nations tournament, there will be nothing better than watching an England rugby match with a pint of Greene King IPA in your hand".

Last October, Greene King IPA, the Nation's number one cask beer, became the Official Beer of England Rugby in a multi-million pound four-year investment. Since then, Greene King IPA has become a major fixture at Twickenham, Home of England Rugby.

Fans are able to buy their favourite beer throughout the stadium and from a dedicated Greene King IPA cask bar, the Rose and Crown, in the West Car Park. The name of the bar reflects the emblems of both England Rugby and the Greene King IPA brand itself.

England kick-off their challenge against Scotland at Twickenham on Saturday February 3rd.

- Ends -

For further information, please contact:
Four Sports Marketing & Sponsorship:
Neil Hopkins/Charlie Caroe
T: 0870 420 3248/0870 626 0835
M: 07968 716 938/07887 935 654
E: neil.hopkins@fourcommunications.com
 charlie.caroe@fourcommunications.com

Greene King:
Joanna Kreckler
T: 01284 714 283
M: 07974 132 635
E: joannakreckler@greeneking.co.uk