FOOTBALL fans can limber up for the World Cup in pubs around Chester, thanks to a Mickle Trafford man.

Chris Herbert is a director of Chester-based Foosball UK, which has Fireball table-football tables in six city pubs, with plans for more.

There are tables already in The Hangman in City Road, The Bouverie in Garden Lane, Saltney Social Club, The Headless Woman in Duddon, The Rake in Little Stanney and Telfords Warehouse in Tower Wharf, where a large amateur tournament is planned for Saturday June 12. The ‘Road to the World Cup’ tournament takes place on the same day that the England football team take on the USA in South Africa.

Chris, who met business partner Jamie Hoare at university in Liverpool, is confident that a new generation of Brits will soon take up the table sport.Š

He said “Like so many sports, Foosball was invented here but mastered elsewhere. It's absolutely massive in the US and Europe where it’s common to make a healthy living out of the sport.”

Foosball has already gained a cult following at universities in the south of England and Foosball UK is confident the North West and the rest of country will follow suit. The company ultimately aims to promote the sport nationally at all levels from students to players who enjoyed table-football in the 1970s.ŠŠ

Chris added: “The problem in the UK has been the quality of the tables, which were always poorŠ

“The playability of the Fireball table is far superior to its predecessors and at 50p a go players will soon see what skills are possible with a bit of practice.”

Table-football was first invented in 1922Šby Harold Searles Thornton and organised competitions can be traced back to the 1940s and 1950s in Europe