From The Calf to Cardiff: Britain’s “most remote workers” make epic journey for UEFA Champions League final

By in News

Tuesday 6th June 2017

In a quest to ensure that all British football fans enjoyed the UEFA Champions League Final, Heineken® gave two of the nation’s most isolated football fans an unforgettable journey; taking them from the remote island of the Calf of Man to Cardiff to see the match live from the best seats in the house.

The premium beer brand selected the isolated duo for this epic experience to demonstrate that no barrier should stand in the way of match night. In making the incredible journey possible, Heineken® wanted to motivate people across the UK to make their own epic plans with friends to enjoy the biggest night in the annual football calendar.

For nine months of the year Aron Sapsford and Nathan Wilkie are the only inhabitants on the Calf of Man. Working as estate wardens they have to run a bird observatory, maintain dry stone walling, shepherd livestock and monitor the wildlife population. Cut off from the mainland for weeks at a time, the island is just one square mile in size and has no mains water or electricity, making watching football an almost impossible task.

Heineken® enlisted a suite of planes, trains, automobiles, and a fishing trawler to enable Aron and Nathan to make the 836-mile round trip from The Calf to Cardiff.

The pair live a fairly basic existence on the island; they fetch their own water, use a generator to provide electricity and are limited to one shower a week. So in the build-up to the biggest sporting event in the world, the pair had pre-match grooming treatments and new suits help them get match ready. Upon arrival at the Millennium Stadium they were given a UEFA guided tour of the media and flash zones and commentator stands, a pitch side visit during warm up, and watched the match from a hospitality box, cold Heineken in hand.

Talking about the incredible experience, Nathan Wilkie said: “I’ve been a football fan my whole life, and having taken up this new job on The Calf in March, I’ve missed out on most of the Champions League this season. For Heineken® to take us to Cardiff to watch the Final live is a dream come true.”

Cindy Tervoort, Head of Marketing HEINEKEN UK, added: “As a long-time sponsor of the UEFA Champions League, Heineken® aims to inspire football fans everywhere to champion the final. By bringing Nathan and Aron from The Calf to Cardiff to enjoy the Final, we hope to demonstrate that Heineken® will let nothing stand in the way of final night.

Nathan and Aron’s epic journey was inspired by the new Heineken® film, The Final Excuse, in which Jose Mourinho finds one of the world’s most remote men working in Antarctica and charters a helicopter to get him to the game.