One in four football fans claim to have ‘encyclopaedic’ knowledge of the sport

A quarter of football fans reckon they have an “encyclopaedic” knowledge of the game – and can reel off facts about club history, stadiums, and pundits. A poll of 2,000 fans found 26 percent can list the players who have captained their team, and 24 percent can discuss random managers from back in the day.

Nostalgia plays a big part in the knowledge of football fans – as 23 percent are in their element chatting about players from the ‘90s, while 16 percent love reminiscing about retro kits from their childhood.

It also emerged 54 percent think football conversations are the best way to break the ice – and 52 percent have found themselves nattering to a complete stranger in a pub about it.

The research was commissioned by Budweiser Brewing Group, who alongside TNT Sport, are hosting a pub takeover in Newcastle, with former players Nolberto Solano and Andrew Cole, and presenter Will Brazier, as the Magpies take on Paris St Germain on Tuesday, November 28.

The study found 65 percent of fans have learnt their knowledge by sitting through hours and hours of matches over the years, while 41 percent have learnt from talking with other fans – and 37 percent attribute it to reading articles online.

However, 24 percent believe they have gathered their know-how because of the time they have spent in the pub watching games with other fans.

When it comes to catching a game at the local, 53 percent love the lively atmosphere it generates, and 42 percent enjoy the big-screen experience.

Nearly a third (31 percent) of pub-goers enjoy being able to watch the action unfold with their favourite pint, and the same percentage love being able to celebrate with other fans.

More often than not, 38 percent always try to catch the really big games at the pub, as 56 percent agree it is the next best place to watch football after being in the stadium itself.

On average, viewers arrive nearly 25 minutes before kick-off – with 58 percent of those polled, via OnePoll, wanting to get there early to grab a drink before the game gets underway.

Jean David Thumelaire, from Budweiser Brewing Group, which is inviting fans to watch the game at The Grove and take part in a Q&A with the former St James’ Park favourites, said: “We know that for football fans, pubs are among their favourite places to enjoy the beautiful game – and we can only imagine the excitement for Newcastle fans, seeing their club back playing European football.

“To celebrate our partnership with TNT Sport, helping pubs create memorable experiences for their customers, we can’t wait to open the doors for a night to remember – no matter the outcome.”

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