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Manchester United footballers Ryan Giggs (pictured, right, holding trophy) and Gary Neville will launch the first of a chain of hotels and cafés this autumn.
Café Football will make its debut in Westfield Stratford this November, with Hotel Football testing the waters in Manchester in 2014.
The pair are working with key industry figures to make their plan work – including chef Michael Wignall (head chef at two-Michelin-starred The Latymer at Pennyhill Park), who will oversee the food-and-drink offering of both the hotel and the café. Further expansion is planned to cities including Birmingham and Liverpool; if all goes well, the pair will take their brand abroad.
Neville, who is retired from professional football, has been planning his next career move with Giggs for almost five years; the pair have been closely involved in planning and funding the project.