2020 Deserter World Cup of Pubs


Congratulations to the Old Nun’s Head on a magnificent campaign. They are the 2020 World Cup of Pubs winners!

Big thanks to all 40 pubs who took part for reminding us that we have won life’s lottery living right here in South London. We literally love you all.

And thanks to you, dear voter, for getting behind your favourite pubs in this grand old competition.

Winner 2020


It’s time for the Greatest Show on Earth – the 2020 Deserter World Cup of Pubs. Once more, 40 of the finest pubs in South London will enter the theatre of daydreams and do battle in the cauldron of, erm, Twitter polls. Out of the throng will emerge a hero, a pub for the ages, a World Champion boozer.

Who can forget where they were during the thrilling 2018 World Cup Final between the Dog & Bell and the eventual winner, the Blythe Hill Tavern? Many of us, as it turns out, due to all the booze. But our point, whatever that was, remains.

The Tournament

Each ‘match’ in the tournament is a knockout 24 hour poll. We kick off with the qualifiers, where 8 groups of 4 pubs fight for a place in the Round of 16, where they will meet one of the 8 seeded pubs. They will then do battle, mano a mano until only two pubs remain.

The final will take place over the weekend commencing January 11th. May the best pub win.

The Pubs

Blythe Hill: 2018 Winner

The World Cup of Pubs is made up, quite simply, of pubs. We have excluded taprooms and bottle shops, as much as we love them, as they tend not to be open daily, despite our remonstrations.

Of the 2018 seeds, only the Catford Constitutional, is no longer with us (RIP). You can see the seeds in the grid below, which will be updated as the results come in.

As usual, it’s been a terrible and wonderful task whittling down South London’s wealth of great pubs down to 40. Inevitably, some fine institutions didn’t make the cut. We have included all of 2018’s Round of 16 that are still open, our qualifying round runners-up and several that put in eye-catching performances at the group stage.

In addition we would like to welcome 12 pubs to the fray, some new, some re-opened and all well-deserved: The Chandos, The Fellowship & Star, The Gowlett Arms, The Great Exhibition, Hootananny, The Junction, Ninth Life, The Old Nun’s Head, Plume of Feathers, Rose & Crown, SE1, The Rusty Bucket & Suttons Radio.

Follow the matches live on Deserter Twitter from December 16th to Jan 12th, instead of working.


2016: The Ivy House (runner up, Blythe Hill Tavern)

2018: Blythe Hill Tavern (runner up, the Dog & Bell)

2020: The Old Nun’s Head (runner up, The Ivy House)


Listen to our 2020 World Cup of Pubs companion podcast. Please enjoy responsibly.

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Photo credits: Blythe Hill Tavern by @photodunc