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Last Updated: Friday, 15 April, 2005, 13:31 GMT 14:31 UK
Man U stars make Welsh chip stop
England's Wayne Rooney scores a goal during Euro 2004

A north Wales chip shop can count the stars of Manchester United among its customers after they stopped off following a day's white-water rafting.

The first team spent 175 on chips, fish, pies and sausages at Y Badell Aur chippy in Bala, Gwynedd, on Thursday.

Owner Owain Williams and his brother Sin had been unable to open their la carte restaurant for the team because the Liverpool-supporting chef had gone.

The players, who stayed for half an hour, left a 30 tip for staff.

Old Trafford's biggest names, including Roy Keane, Rio Ferdinand, Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo, had been on a team-building canoeing and rafting trip on the Tryweryn River.

I didn't serve them in case I spilt some chips on them
Chip shop worker Diane Roberts

Wales International Ryan Giggs had not gone with them because of an injury.

Rooney opted for a jumbo sausage with his chips, Ronaldo picked chicken, while Paul Scholes, Gary Neville, Roy Keane and Wes Brown were among those who went for the traditional fish option.

The unscheduled stop was organised through staff at the National Whitewater Centre in Frongoch, who rang the Williams brothers at their restaurant to ask if they could accommodate some VIPs.

"At first they wouldn't tell us who they were but they eventually admitted it was the Manchester United team," said Sin Williams.

Rio Ferdinand - fish and chips
Roy Carroll - fish and chips
Roy Keane - fish and chips
Carlos Queiroz - fish and chips
Mike Phelan - steak pudding and chips
Liam Miller - fish and chips
Alan Smith - sausage and chips
David Bellion - chicken and chips
Gabriel Heinze - chicken and chips
Cristiano Ronaldo - chicken and chips
Paul Scholes - fish and chips
Wayne Rooney - sausage and chips
Gary Neville - fish and chips
John O'Shea - fish and chips
Darren Fletcher - fish and chips
Wes Brown - fish and chips
Tim Howard - fish and chips

"Initially we thought it was a wind-up but then we realised they were serious.

"We also run an la carte restaurant in the town but it was closed for the afternoon and there was no way the chef would have come in - especially as he is a Liverpool fan," he added.

"So we suggested the chip shop instead and they were more than happy with that."

Owain Williams drove the three miles from the shop to the rafting centre to take the players' order, ready for their arrival at 1630 BST.

Diane Roberts, who works in the shop, said she thought her boss was winding her up when he told her he was closing for the team's meal.

"Because I'm a Manchester United fan, I was gob-smacked," she added.

"They were lovely and (Rio) Ferdinand was very nice as well, he had a lot to say.

"I didn't serve them in case I spilt some chips or something on them. I was there doing the teas."

About 50 people gathered outside the shop while the team ate and then signed autographs for staff.

The stars are now likely to be back on their usual low-fat diets ahead of Manchester United's FA Cup semi-final clash with Newcastle United on Sunday at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

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