AN artificial football pitch has been laid in a Royton pub as its landlord bids to net locals keen to cheer England on in the FIFA World Cup which starts next Thursday (June 14).

Nick Wells, the football-mad manager of The Summit Inn in Rochdale Road Nick has installed the ‘turf’ and a goal for youngsters to take penalties ahead of the big matches at the festival of football taking place in Russia.

The family-friendly Greene King pub underwent a major refurbishment 10 months ago before Mr Wells took over.

But ahead of the big tournament Mr Wells taken advantage of The Summit’s large floor area to lay the pitch for the children of regulars to shoot for glory themselves ahead of the big matches.

“I thought of it as a way of creating an atmosphere for matches,” said Mr Wells, a keen Manchester United fan. “We are the only pub in the area that has an ultra-high definition 4K screen and the pitch is to add to the enjoyment of the competition.

“The pub is split 50-50 between eating and drinking and there is plenty of space for people to enjoy our facilities.

“I wanted to do something to make the pub stick out from the rest in the area. We are already a football pub and the pitch is something a little different to underline how into the World Cup we are.

“Let’s hope England have a good run in the competition.”