Horn Pub owner Adrian Bell, 53, claimed the team won the quiz’s £40 bar tab prize two or three times a month. Photo / Google Street View
Three friends have been banned from taking part in a weekly pub quiz – because they win it too much.
Nick Mepham, 49, Graham Deaves, 65, and Norman Hughan, 82, were told they could no longer take part in the Monday night event at The Horn Pub in St Albans, Hertfordshire in England so that someone else could have a chance at coming first.
Now the avid quiz-goers, who go by the name Storming Norman, plan to take legal action, claiming that they are being discriminated against because of their age.
The trio say they have only won the quiz 11 times since they started to take part in early May 2015.
They were turned away from the event at the end of February after taking part in the quiz, which costs £2 (NZ$4.20) to enter, every week since early May 2015.
Mr Mepham, from Luton, said: “It’s totally unfair. We turned up at the pub to take part and were told we were banned.
“They said it was because we keep winning but that’s not true. We’re often head-to-head with another team and we certainly don’t win it every week.
“In our eyes we were making the quiz more competitive. There had been no official complaints about us for winning too much and the ban wasn’t made because we had been cheating.
“Before we came along, another team had been winning lots. The ban hasn’t been justified.”
The school teaching assistant and his teammates Mr Deaves, a retired computer specialist, and Mr Hughan, a retired supermarket worker, were awarded a £40 bar voucher between them to spend on food and drink at the pub every time they won.
They also once won the £1,600 (NZ$3389) jackpot, which is given out every six months to the winners of a head-to-head quiz between the top three teams.
Storming Norman claim their closest rivals – Team Win – have almost as many victories as them.
The trio believe the decision to stop them entering may have been because of their age.
Mr Mepham said: ‘The other teams that take part in the quiz are younger than us, and we were referred to as “old boys”, so we believe the decision was made on discriminative grounds.
“We’re going to speak to a solicitor about what we can do.
“We know that we don’t fit with the vibe of the place as it’s quite a young person’s pub but it seems ludicrous to tell regular, paying customers they’re no longer wanted.
“We’re disappointed and it’s unfair. It’s insulting, and they shouldn’t be able to get away with it.”
Horn Pub owner Adrian Bell, 53, claimed the team won the quiz’s £40 (NZ$84.70) bar tab prize two or three times a month.
He said: “We started getting grumblings from other people about their constant winning and the attendance numbers started going down.
“People thought they were professional quiz goers because they were always so many points ahead.
“When we spoke to them, we suggested that it might be healthy for the quiz if they take a break for a little while, to get the numbers back up.
“When they wrote complaining they mentioned how some of the staff at the pub had described them as ‘old boys’.
“No offence was meant or intended by this. I’m 53 and I’ve been described as an old boy before.
“I’ve put a lot of time, effort and money into the pub for people to hear music and come and drink. I’m proud of The Horn. I’d never do anything to upset anyone.”
Mr Bell added that Storming Norman were welcome to come back to the quiz once attendance numbers were back up.