Here's a sporting chance to meet your idols

Welcome to the club where members will brush up against stars from the world of sport.

IMAGINE this: you walk into a dimly lit bar, which hums with discreet chatter, and there sits heart-throb and rugby idol Lawrence Dallaglio - the England captain - on a bar stool, quietly sipping his drink. Turning, he invites you to sit beside him. You do. Then you begin to have a conversation.

Corny perhaps, but a dream for thousands of besotted fans, and, until now, not terribly likely. But thanks to the intervention of entrepreneur Patrick Cannon and a group of investors, who have spotted a new way to exploit that age-old desire for a brush with the great and the good, a lucky few will have a chance to develop at least a nodding acquaintance with today's top sport stars.

The International Sportsman's Club (ISC), the first branch of which is the successor to Terry Venables's former Scribes club on Kensington High Street, west London, is poised to become not just a hanging-out place for the rich, sporty and famous and their acolytes, but an accessible, trendy and world-renowned brand.

Mr Cannon and his colleagues, who have kept their project relatively low-profile until now, are negotiating with various top hotels and sports personalities to expand the club's remit and establish branches in major cities, starting with Paris, Edinburgh, and a location in the Middle East.

They are also preparing to host the World Cup season in style at Kensington, having recruited celebrity chefs Mick and Nick, the Nosh Brothers, as culinary advisers. They plan a series of culturally themed evenings at the club's 50-seater restaurant, with all matches shown on giant television screens, starting on 10 June.

"We will offer special menus for each country that's playing, and members can take tables of 10," said Margaret Wheeler, one of the club's consultants. "There are lots of people that can't go to Paris, but we'll have international players there as speakers, and when Austria is playing, for instance, we hope to have Austrian companies there. We'll put them at one end of the restaurant and the Tunisians at the other. It all adds to the fun."

Celebrities including Lawrence Dallaglio, Lennox Lewis, Peter Scudamore, Roger Black, Richard Dunwoody, Annabel Croft and Garth Crooks are on the club's committee, and the annual fee for ordinary members ranges from pounds 390 for "gold" membership to pounds 210 for those living more than 100 miles from London. Those under 28 can join for pounds 275. "The club intends to draw its membership mainly, but not exclusively, from the sporting, sports-related and professional worlds," said a spokesman.

Boasting conference facilities for 90 people, the club also hosts meetings of Amicus, a social club, as well as celebrity lunches: Jeffrey Archer is booked in for 6 May. "He's coming to speak to club members informally and he'll probably be talking about his bid to become mayor," said Mrs Wheeler. "At other clubs, business is forbidden, but at the ISC, you can go and meet colleagues and exchange business cards." But star-struck groupies needn't apply for membership, she warns. "If people just come to see the celebrities, it would be frowned upon. They [the sportsmen and women] need to be able to feel they can come in and talk as normal people, without being gawped at."

n For details about membership and World Cup events, call ISC on 0171- 937 3330.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Life and Style
Powdered colors are displayed for sale at a market ahead of the Holi festival in Bhopal, India
techHere's what you need to know about the riotous occasion
Arts and Entertainment
Larry David and Rosie Perez in ‘Fish in the Dark’
theatreReview: Had Fish in the Dark been penned by a civilian it would have barely got a reading, let alone £10m advance sales
News
Details of the self-cleaning coating were published last night in the journal Science
science
News
Approved Food sell products past their sell-by dates at discounted prices
i100
News
Life-changing: Simone de Beauvoir in 1947, two years before she wrote 'The Second Sex', credited as the starting point of second wave feminism
peopleHer seminal feminist polemic, The Second Sex, has been published in short-form to mark International Women's Day
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Finance Assistant / Credit Controller

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are an award-winning digit...

Ashdown Group: Senior VMware Platform Engineer - VMware / SAN / Tier3 DC

£45000 - £55000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior VMware Platform En...

Recruitment Genius: Purchasing Assistant

£10000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A distributor of specialist ele...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Ledger Assistant

£17000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A distributor of specialist ele...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable