Probably the best prize in the world.

Back in April I couldn’t believe it when I received an email from Greene King – I’d won their Facebook prize draw and would be presenting the Carlsberg Man of the Match Award after the England v Wales game in Lens. I was ecstatic – going to Euro2016 was top of my wishlist and being half Welsh, this was the match I was keen to see!

On Wednesday morning we hopped on the Eurostar for a short 90 minute journey to Lille with hundreds of other football fans. At our hotel we had welcome drinks (Carlsberg, of course) and special guest Ray Parlour told us some classic tales of his Arsenal days.


We were joined at our table by two hilarious blokes, Doncaster fan Mick and West Ham fan Barry, who soon became our new best mates…


In the evening we were all taken by bus to a restaurant called Mother (thankfully, nowhere near Lille station!) and served up burgers in blue buns. Later I realised they were probably meant to be Carlsberg green…

Mother Burger

That evening, France were playing Albania and the bar slowly filled up with locals singing and cheering. After a lacklustre performance, suddenly France livened up, scoring two goals in the last six minutes of the game and everyone went nuts! What an atmosphere. Thousands of English, French and Welsh were partying in Lille, with just a few idiots spoiling it (the ones you saw on the news!)

Thursday was the main event; we collected our match tickets in the morning and were preparing to leave the hotel on the coach when we got a panicked phone call asking where we were and that our chauffeur was waiting. This really was the VIP treatment! We were driven to the Carlsberg Club on the outskirts of Lens, which was a bit like being the first guests at a wedding, as the staff bustled around getting everything ready and a French duo sang jazz versions of Creep and Tainted Love. Soon, hundreds of guests turned up – including lots of pub landlords – and were welcomed with yet more Carlsberg. The buffet included oysters and snails, although most people were happier to queue up for sausage and chips at the van outside!


Driving to Lens stadium in the sunshine it was great to see English and Welsh fans laughing and drinking together. At the stadium we were taken into the hospitality area where we met Louise, the Carlsberg rep who was looking after our VIP Experience. An hour before kick off we were taken onto the pitch for photos and got to wave the Man of the Match award about – yes, it’s exactly the same as a Carlsberg beer pump!



Back in the UEFA Club we squeezed in a glass of wine before taking our seats for the pre-match dancing and shenanigans on the pitch. Check out all the McDonalds Player escorts – I bet they loved the experience (that’s a prize I’d like to win for Ryland next time!)


Sitting on the second row behind the England dugout, we had the most incredible view of the game. The sun came out, the national anthems were spine-tingling and the atmosphere was fantastic.

I’m English but with a Welsh father so I can’t deny I felt a little excited when Gareth Bale scored and the Welsh contingency went wild. ‘One nil to the sheep shaggers!’ rang out round the stadium and I hoped Roy would make some big changes at half time – England had to win this! We were all excited to see Vardy on the pitch for the second half and score the equaliser. Game on!

We had to leave our seats in the 85th minute to make our way ‘backstage’ into the quiet press area, where we watched the final moments on TV, desperately trying not to scream when Sturridge scored a 91st minute goal. I practised posing with the Man of the Match trophy.


After the final whistle it was a flurry of activity. Thierry Henry wandered by, then the players all came through . The press interview area was actually three separate backdrops, right next to each other, with Coleman, Hodgson and Rooney all being interviewed simultaneously!

I was waiting with the legend Ian Rush, ready to present the Carlsberg Man of the Match Award to Kyle Walker, but as he was injured we spent a good half an hour or so watching the hustle and bustle. We had to laugh when Jack Wilshere wandered into the room bewilderedly asking ‘is this the exit?’. I cheekily told him ‘Sorry Jack, this is the man of the match presentation. Maybe next time!’

Finally, Kyle limped in and we did our presentation and photos. I planted a kiss on his cheek, then before we left we were introduced to the team’s lion mascot (complete with security pass!).

MOTMLarge(photo courtesy of Carlsberg)


A quick glass of wine up in the hospitality area, and we were whisked off again by our chauffeur to Carlsberg Club for yet more free alcohol and food, and to celebrate Northern Ireland beating Ukraine. I was delighted to see that the rather dapper Chris Kamara had joined the party!


We enjoyed a wonderful bit of evening sunshine and more laughs with friends before heading back on the bus to Lille.

Mick and Barry

For our final day in rainy Lille yesterday we treated ourselves to a wonderful lunch at Aux Ephérites before posing for a few photos in the Fanzone and heading back home.



This experience is definitely up there with my best prizes ever. We were really spoilt and given the chance to see what goes on behind the scenes as well as meet some footballing heroes. A huge cheers to Carlsberg & Greene King for making our trip so special!


As part of our prize we received a pair of Carlsberg Euro2016 coolbags, bottle openers and of course the Euro2016 official souvenir guide, and I’d like to give away my set to a SuperLucky reader! If you’d like to win, simply leave a comment below telling me why you love the UEFA European Football Championship (no more than fifty words please!). Entries close at 11pm GMT on Monday 20th June and I’ll ask my son Ryland to help judge a winner based on originality! (Open to UK & ROI residents aged 16 and over, make sure you’re logged in before commenting as I’ll email the winner)


65 Responses

  1. Let me guess… did you call her Rooney? 😉 Congratulations!

  2. Lindsay Davies says:

    Absolutely enjoying this football lark especially when Wales won last night! Yes!! Was a cracking game that they played and felt so very proud to be a Welsh! ⚽️

  3. Carla J Collins says:

    I’s just so exciting! When England score I scream the place down and go wild with my Vuvuzela and live in hope that England will win now, that WOULD be Super lucky.

  4. PrizeDeck says:

    We don’t wish to enter but would like say this is a fantastic gesture from you to offer one of your readers a chance to win this. Well done Di! And blimey, you do win some prizes don’t you!

  5. alison clark says:

    Because it allows me to read articles like this and see there are green buns being served in Europe – what are in them ????

  6. Darren Rogers says:

    I am enjoying it as it gives me an excuse to let the kids stay up late so they can watch England (and Wales…)

  7. Amy Deller says:

    I’m really enjoying Euro 2016 because it’s the first tournament that my son has been interested in. He is 8 and has really got into collecting the Panini stickers so we’re watching the games together and comparing sticker books! (Yes I have one too!!!)

  8. Laura Barratt says:

    We love it because of the world class players, national anthems, skills, tricks and flicks, certain antics of players but most importantly of all seeing football fans from all the countries taking part coming together to enjoy the sport! That’s what it is all about!

  9. Jane McKenzie says:

    I love the Euros as it gives us man United fans the chance to watch decent attacking football for once.

  10. Ellie Jones says:

    I love the UEFA European Football Championship, eagerly egging England along everytime.

    This year it has brought me luck I finally get to move to house near to my family. I love it even more excited to have the family round to watch in the future.

  11. KieranWalsh says:

    European Football championship, reminds me of the great football matches Dad and i use to go too, not a sad memory, but a joyful celebration of his life, and i bet he is up there cheering England on

  12. Jane wilson says:

    I love the UEFA European Football championship as my son whose 9 loves watching and playing football so we can watch together and talk about the teams and players.
    He loves watching the tricks and moves of the players and practices them

  13. Jemma Amanda says:

    We love UEFA European football championship as it brings together lots of different countries and encourages young people to play football and keep fit! ⚽️

  14. Tracy Preissler says:

    My 12 year old son Trafford ( yes he is named after the football stadium) wrote a poem today about football that I believe shows his passion for the game. Looks like you had a fab time⚽️

  15. Carl Brewster says:

    Great pictures Di …. you are looking ‘all grown up’ 🙂

    What a fantastic experience.
    Up the Gunners …. er, I mean ‘The Lions’

  16. Donna Peters says:

    looks like you both had an amazing time something wonderful to share with your children and grandchildren loving watching the football havent missed a match yet fingers crossed for England ,,,,,,,,,

  17. Joanna Kasznicki says:

    Im half Polish and half English and dont really enjoy football, apart from the Euros. My sons support different teams and always argue so better for me not to watch it lol. I sit with my 2 boys and we always cheer for England or Poland, its the only event we can all enjoy as a family 🙂

  18. Linda King says:

    Love watching England play and hope they win tonight, and even though I’m not Welsh would love to see them beat Russia. Let’s hope the fans keep calm and it turns out to be a very joyous evening. Could probably be the best evening of Euro 2016!!!!

  19. hayley cooper says:

    I love the way it brings everyone together!! Friends & family arrange special BBq’s/ football parties and the atmosphere when there is a big game is amazing!! I come from a football mad family and married a football made bloke, I learn’t a longtime ago if you can’t beat them join them 🙂

  20. Becca Townsend says:

    Being football mad (Ipswich Town & England) makes the Euros unmissable for me. I love watching smaller, lesser known players give their all for their country with such passion. The noise, the atmosphere, the smells & the songs – fantastic!

  21. Amanda Letch says:

    I have always been a keen Football supporter, much to the delight of my husband!Love watching all the Euro matches but can never watch the penalty shootouts, especially the England ones! lol

  22. cakesphotoslife (Angie) says:

    apart from a few idiots who try to spoil things for others the UEFA brings a community together who otherwise wouldn’t meet, you have said in the post about new friends… a common link can form strong bonds xxx

  23. corinne wright says:

    In all honesty im not a big football fan although i do watch when England play but my 10 year old son is a huge football fanatic. He lives and breathes football.

  24. Alison Thackray says:

    My dad, a football fan/amateur football referee joked I better not be born Cup Final Day, 26/04/1969! Sure enough mum went into labour during the match and I finally arrived on Sunday – the child born on the Sabbath day is Bonny and Blithe, Good and Gay – FA CUP spoiler !!

  25. Peskey78 says:

    Used to watch with my dad and feel his passion for the sport, now I’m a huge fan. Love the banter between supporters and true fans getting behind whoever reaches final. Hoping to see England win in my life time 🙂

  26. rebecca beesley says:

    That looks like you had such an amazing time! I’m not a big fan of football so I tend to avoid the football themed comps but I can see how this really is a dream prize – such amazing experiences you had – well done! x

  27. JaynesDen says:

    This year it has been the number of surprise results ! Normally apart from the wonderful goals I really love to listen to the national anthems. I am praying of course that we will not have to endure another penalty shoot out !

  28. Monica Gilbert says:

    I love it because there’s no conflict of interests when cheering (American with British husband, met in Japan, so World Cup is interesting). And watching the big tournaments makes my husband happy. (I don’t mind good football/soccer, either!)

  29. marina parry owen says:

    I ❤️ the Euro’s because it’s the first tournament for me to see Wales playing in. The last time they were in a tournament I wasn’t even born. The kids had a party at school and were allowed to watch the Wales England match. Had to show the pic ⚽️

  30. Liz Martinez says:

    As a football fan’s mum,
    EURO ’16 spells FUN!
    Ryland, you should meet Jack,
    You boys keep us on track!
    Gunners fans poised for action,
    Each GOAL!!!! Great reaction.
    Huge cheers when we’ve scored,
    Football’s here, no-one’s bored,
    England’s bringing it back,
    For Mum, Ryland and Jack!

  31. Debra Etchells says:

    I am loving the Euro 2016 as it brings everyone together to join in the footy fun and excitement. great team spirit and one for the family to enjoy together. Come on England. You are so Lucky Di to have been there, done that and I bet you got a T. Shirt too.

  32. Michelle Clare says:

    Loving Euro 2016 because it’s the one time of year I can look forward to something good on tele! My evenings are full of tears screams and excitement much better then the bordom of Eastenders!

  33. Sarah Lewis says:

    I love this Euros in particular because it’s taken my beloved Wales over 50 years to get there!! After the heartbreak of watching qualifying matches over the years and never achieving our goal this tournament is a dream come true!!!

  34. Christine Caple says:

    I love football and love the Euros, especially this one as it is in France and reminds me of a prize visit to World Cup France 98 for me and my son where he was a ball boy….happy memories for ever. Something for Ryland to aim for!

  35. Lisa Williams says:

    We love the Euros as we are crazy footy loving family that love all the action, tears, laughs , oohs and ahhs that go with the game. And of course the goalsssssssss from out team

  36. Heidi Craske says:

    We love the Euros as it finally brings the family together. Even the teenagers leave their pit and join us in the living room (before skulking back off to their room afterwards to be anti-social once more!) Plus, it makes a pleasant change from Premier League, Dutch League, La Liga, and the Outer Mongolia League!!

  37. Penelope Hewitt says:

    I love the UEFA European Football Championship because it is a football overload for a few weeks and we love footie in this house, also I love the fact It doesn’t matter which individual team you support you can watch the game and everyone is supporting the same team.

  38. Annelies says:

    I love the UEFA Football Championship for one simple reason: because it unites. My family are absolutely obsessed with tennis; I’m talking spending weekends at tournaments and going out for matches in the evening so I have to babysit…. as the musician of the family, I find myself alone in my passion and with limited support. Having said this, the moment a football match is on we all sit around the TV and we all get really engaged; it’s a really nice “ambiance” and connection I feel it really unites us as a family. Other than that we lead completely separate lives which is unfortunate when all in the same house. I’d love to win this and show it off in the house as a reminder of how football connects us and makes us all happy 🙂

  39. marian fievez says:

    As an Arsenal fan I am used to the highs, and the lows!!!! of football. But as a Scot I can enjoy all of Euro 2016 without the stress and anxiety of waiting for my team to score. Loving the informal “get together’s” and the way football gives us all a common interest, and I don’t even mind cheering on England, Wales or Ireland 🙂

  40. Val Pownall says:

    Although my obsession with sport used to begin and end with F1, I’m surprised to admit that football has really grown on me. Perhaps it’s the way people get behind their country, supporting their team (apart from the idiot minority who try to spoil the fun) and there is definitely a feel of ‘togetherness’ in the air which makes a pleasant change! And, win or lose, there seems to be a collective sense of victory or exasperation and ‘we’re in it together’. Not forgetting of course the skill of our favourite football stars! Even stranger – I’ve stopped shouting at the TV when Corrie Street has been replaced by the footy! I’ve definitely got the bug!

  41. Julie Feathers says:

    I love this European championship in particular because Wales are in a tournament since 1958 a year before I was born, I am very proud we reached it, (a bit gutted about that late goal) and even if we do not progress I am immensely proud of Wales achievement

  42. Beverley Whitby says:

    E ven when we don’t win the English fans are amazing
    N ever give up
    G oal. that’s what we want to hear
    L ions roar
    A mazing atmosphere
    N inety minutes of hope
    D on’t ever give up. One day we will win!

  43. Tony Metcalf says:

    It’s an opportunity for the fans of each country to get behind their country, rather than abusing each other. It’s fun to watch team mates play against each other, the odd sly kick or nudge thrown in too. Must make interesting conversations when they get back to their clubs!

  44. jade rice says:

    Id love to win for my partner he’s a massive football fan hes jealous after reading your post a win would be great thanks di so generous hope you had a brilliant time x

  45. Evette Williams says:

    Wow what a fantastic prize. Great photos too. I love the UEFA. It brings family and friends together and enjoy all the food and drink whilst getting wrapped up in all the excitement.

  46. Amanda Fisher says:

    Oh and what a great prize!! Memories to last a lifetime, I’m sure 🙂 thanks for sharing your experience with us!

  47. Amanda Fisher says:

    I love the Euros because they hold so many memories for me – like watching my dad getting so excited that he managed to break our sofa jumping in excitement! It’s the only time the entire family watch football together & now my dad can introduce my son to it too!

  48. rosierowe says:

    I love the spirit of the Euros, watching class football and cheering on our Home Nations. I’m a secret Barca fan, so I love to see Spain play too! Every nation ups their game: It really can be a skills fest! Inspiration for the future.

  49. Elaine says:

    You trip sounds amazing! I’m football obsessed and love this tournamet. Euro 1996 helped me fall in love with the Croatian national team and now we holiday there every summer. Football opens many doors and is a thrilling sport. Oh and it’s an opportunity to drink great beer!

  50. Lauren Reed says:

    I love the euros, I love the excitement, how each country unites and the fun that can be had with family and friends whilst watching the matches (especially England!) X

  51. Lily Turner says:

    It’s a chance for the world to come together, and to inspire thousands of kids worldwide to play football and get involved

  52. Irene Howson says:

    Great write up Di – a prize to remember for sure 🙂

  53. Melanie Sarah Slater says:

    Football is my life as being a Geordie our football tradition goes way back, I love the euros as it shows u some amazing hospitality from different nations and brings us together as countries
    Apart from the minor few that use football to start fights which is sad

  54. Tracy Gibson says:

    Looks like a very exciting and fun prize. I saw you on TV hehe

  55. DB - Travel & Beauty says:

    Well done Di. Very pleased for you. The photos are amazing and looks like you had wonderful time. xx

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