Truckers Hit the Bullseye as Eric Bristow Opens Truckstop Near Cannock

May 23, 2013, 13:02 ET from Betfred

MANCHESTER, England, May 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

One Hundred and eighty truckers tackled five times darts World Champion Eric Bristow at the launch of a refurbished truck stop called the Road King.

The truckers got a shock when they turned up at the New Hollies Truck Stop near Cannock, Staffordshire, to find Crafty Cockney Eric, 56, waiting for a game of darts.

Eric, from Leek, Staffs, said: "I used to call in this place a long time ago with my driver - you wouldn't recognise it now."

"The truckers were queuing up for a game and I was dying for a big breakfast - I had the mega feast at £5.50 - not even I could manage the Belly Buster at six quid."

"Last year I was in the jungle for I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here and I was dreaming of breakfasts like this back then."

"It is far better than Rosemary Shrager's cooking in the jungle and she was a celebrity chef."

"One of the lads I played reminded me that his uncle Mike Tilsley - known as the Black Prince - beat me in a boozer about 30 years ago."

"It's been a real trip down Memory Lane with good value food and beer to go with the darts."

Among those to give Eric a run for their money was wagon driver Jason Foxall, 40, of Dalaston, Walsall, who said: "I've never played darts with a world champion before - this place is a lot better than it used to be."

Retired policeman and trucker Bob Hill, 69, of Kingswinford, West Midlands, beat Eric with nine darts and said: "I used to play football until I was 51, but darts clearly should have been my game. I've never beaten a world champion at anything else before."

And Northern Irish trucker Barry McGurgan, 36, of Amagh, said: "This place is my local - I am always in here as its right by the depot where I load. It's unbelievable having a game of darts with Eric Bristow before loading your wagon."

Bookie Fred Done, co-owner of the Betfred empire, took a gamble on buying the truck stop and pulled in his sporting pal Eric Bristow for a game of arrows with the truckers to launch it - in the first few months turnover has gone from £10,000 per month to £100,000 with up to 137 lorries parking up there overnight.

Fred, who took on the Bristow challenge, but failed to hit the bullseye, said: "I get the same buzz out of this place as when I opened my first bookmaker's shop in Odsall and I've got 1,365 of those now."

"We aim to give people good service, good surroundings and good value and the money usually follows from there. I'd hope to open up around 50 nationwide in the next five years."



SOURCE Betfred