On Friday, 28th September Leeds Living was invited by the people at Tetley’s to join them in the Premier Suite at Headingley Emerald Stadium for the final Leeds Rhinos match of the season. Stan Graham was pleased to go along.
You might have thought that agreeing to cover this would be a no-brainer but I still hold the memory of my last VIP rugby league event which was nearly literally a no-brainer. It was the 2013 Rugby League World Cup Final at Old Trafford, Manchester. My friend and I had decided to push the boat out so we did the full hospitality and had a fine old time. I had booked a hotel room in Salford but Dave had to go home so we hopped in a taxi to Piccadilly Station to drop him off before taking me to the hotel. Unfortunately the driver was more interested in his mobile phone than the road and ran into the back of a line of stationary traffic, causing a huge gash in the top of my head and the need for me to spend most of the rest of the night in A&E to have more stitches than the Bayeux Tapestry. Working on the assumption that the driver of the 36 bus would be a little more conscientious than a Manchester cabbie, I agreed to go into Headingley on this occasion.
The object of the evening was to unveil the several new ways in which Tetley’s are reconnecting with their spiritual Leeds home. The first presentation was of their new premium bottled beer range which includes No.3, a beer brewed in conjunction with Leeds Brewery and produced on their premises. The other bottle on show was the Golden Ale, which had a more fruity taste than the hopper No.3. Both were excellent although obviously slightly different from their cask-conditioned varieties. Ocado, Nisa and Spar obviously think so too as they will shortly be on sale in their outlets and there is talk of one of the Big 4 supermarkets stocking the lines.
Tetley’s are also putting their money where their mouths are in that they have a new sponsorship deal with Leeds Rhinos and are refreshing Headingley’s Tetley Stand at not inconsiderable cost. It is good to know that they still have such an active involvement and investment in Leeds.
Finally, they are on the verge of reintroducing the Tetley’s Ale Trails to Leeds, which involves sampling their beer in various pubs to garner goodies. More details will be made available when the scheme goes live.
Hopefully, the new sponsorship deal between Tetley’s and the Rhinos will mark a change in fortune for the Club as they only just staved off relegation this year, and in this final game were beaten by just one point in a thrilling match against Toronto Wolfpack who hope to be joining them in the Super League next season.
In a final twist to the evening, the speeches and presentations went on a little longer than I expected so I had to get a taxi back to the City Centre to catch my last bus home. I am pleased to report that I reached home safe and well with no detour via the LGI.
Stan writes Let’s Do Lunch for Leeds Living. He also reviews special events for food and drink, which sometimes takes him beyond Leeds. He has also developed an interest in writing on culture, most frequently dramatic and musical theatre.