‘The Royal Dyche’ – Pub to change its name in tribute to Burnley boss
Burnley fans will be able to drink in ‘The Royal Dyche’ near Turf Moor next season, with a pub to be renamed in the Clarets manager’s honour once they have qualified for Europe.
Sean Dyche’s side are now virtually guaranteed a top-seven finish in the Premier League and that will ensure they participate in next season’s Europa League – their first continental competition since they made the quarter-finals of the 1966-67 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup.
It also means that a local pub which vowed to change its name if Dyche took the team into Europe will soon begin filing the necessary paperwork.
A board outside The Princess Royal, one of the closest grounds to Turf Moor, had previously promised the Burnley boss free drinks after he kept them in the Premier League at the first attempt last season.
But a strong start to this campaign led to the stakes being raised.
"We wrote an A-board saying that he could drink here for free when we gained another season in the Premier League," landlady Justine Lorriman told Press Association Sport.
"We then beat Stoke at home [in December] and went fourth. We’ve never done so well, there was just a big high.
"At the time it was a little joke and next thing you know it’s all real. Everyone thought it was brilliant. Everyone’s excited. We really want to stay true to our word."
The man himself had laughed it off at the time and following the victory over the Potters an 11-game winless run followed from December to March.
However, with Burnley remarkably still seventh after that streak, Europe remained a possibility and it became closer to a reality when they won five on the spin recently.
Southampton’s FA Cup semi-final loss means another Europa League place will be reserved for the team that finishes seventh in the top flight and the Clarets, who were only promoted in 2016, have now more-or-less sealed one of the berths on offer to English clubs, given they have a six-point advantage and a far superior goal difference to Everton with two games remaining.
"It’s just a good feeling at the minute to be a Burnley fan," Lorriman added. "A lot of people are questioning whether they want to be in Europe but you never know when it’s going to come round again."
There is already a bottle bar at The Princess Royal named ‘Sean’s Shack’ in Dyche’s honour but planning is now under way for an even bigger tribute.
A picture of The Princess Royal that hangs outside the pub is set to be converted to an image of Dyche, who could be portrayed in a regal fashion after one fan mocked him up as Henry VIII.
Lorriman has been the landlady for five years and wants to keep ‘The Royal Dyche’ name even if the Clarets’ long-serving manager eventually moves on. And if he can emulate Leicester’s achievements and win the league with Burnley?
"I’d have to put a statute out of him," Lorriman said.
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