The supply of free pints, tuna paninis and candy is piling up from local businesses who are delighted that Raheem, the village’s most famous resident of Cheshire, has done so well for England in the tournament .
The people of Goostrey are set to roar against the Lions on Sunday night, especially in the village’s two pubs, The Crown and The Red Lion, which will be broadcasting the game.
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And locals will line up to offer striker Raheem a pint and handshake upon his return to Goostrey.
Deputy Crown Director Haydon Browne said Raheem already had local legend status in the village.
Haydon said: “Everyone is getting into the spirit of football now and we have a good group of people, a real community here.
“Raheem has frequented the pub a few times in the past, he’s a local celebrity here, so if he comes back as a winner, we’d all love to have a pint together.
“People are good to be fair, they don’t bother him, even though when he’s around people all try to buy him a drink. He also bought everyone in the pub a tour! “
His kindness is well known in the village, with cafe assistant Milly Percy, 17, recalling a special moment for a Manchester City fan.
She said: “I saw him at the pub and he’s a really nice guy. I know a lifelong City fan who goes to the pub and Raheem got him a box to watch the last game of the season a few years ago, he was so happy. “
Remember, July is usually another tournament that dominates local attention in this Cheshire village – when the annual Goostrey Gooseberry Show takes over from the Crown pub as producers vie for the title of ‘Premier Berry. “.
Even the gooseberry growers are happy to let football seize its moment this weekend, with English flags sticking out to grab attention with the traditional banner adorning many of the pretty cottages, period townhouses and mansions of the town.
In the small Main Road shopping district there is also the enthusiasm of local newsagent Nigel Fallon, who has met Raheem a few times in the past.
He posed for a photo on a previous visit, after buying drinks and candy on his way to a training camp in England.
Nigel, 64, said: “Raheem has been here a few times now, he brings his dog for a walk and he has signed autographs – a lot of people are supporting Manchester City here as well as Man United and Liverpool of course.
“He looks like a lovely regular guy, and it’s great that he’s getting all the accolades he deserves for England. “
Nigel says he’s seen quite a few famous faces in his shop over the years, including David and Victoria Beckham during his United years, as well as Cristiano Ronaldo.
Nigel said: “When Ronaldo lived on the streets I would talk to him sometimes, and I remember once he had a hot tub installed in his backyard and the builders, who were all Man City fans, s ‘were having a little fun. kick.
“Some of the United squad came to see Ronaldo that day and these guys asked them if they fancy a game – and they ended up playing an impromptu five-on-five game in the garden ! “
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Next to the newsagents is Cafe Pastimes, where owner Wendy Lingard would like to see Raheem back in the village after the tournament – with the offer of a free tuna panini (her favorite apparently) upon her return.
Wendy said: “I don’t really know footballers, but he came to the cafe with someone else quite famous, I think.
“He goes to all the stores around here, he’s really good like that and it’s always very nice to see him.
“The last time he was here he ate a tuna panini and he can have as many as he wants if England wins on Sunday!” “
Goostrey is further south than the traditional football belt in Cheshire’s ‘Golden Triangle’, the affluent neighborhood around Alderley Edge, Wilmslow and Prestbury.
But Goostrey has a wide appeal to owners as the village has a station on the main line between Manchester and Crewe, and is just five minutes from junction 18 of the M6 at Holmes Chapel.
Raheem and his partner Paige Milian first moved into their £ 3million mansion in the region when he moved from Liverpool to Man City in 2015, and it is now home to their two young sons Thiago and Thai-Cruz.
Newsagent Nigel said: “We might be at the bottom of the Golden Triangle here, but Goostrey is a great place to live because we are so close to the M6 but still in the countryside. “
Many of Goostrey’s properties also offer some of the best views of Cheshire from Jodrell Bank’s Lovell Telescope – the science observatory and the local landmark.
In the imposing local St Luke’s Church in the heart of the village, Raheem and the England team will be in the thoughts and prayers of parishioners on Sunday morning.
Vicar Heather Buckley says Raheem will certainly be mentioned in her Sunday sermon.
Reverend Buckley said: “It is an exciting time for the England team and all the supporters.
“We have our informal worship for all ages this Sunday, the theme being adventurous travel as I just returned from vacation and I will mention Raheem in the service in reference to his footballing ‘trip’.
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