THERE'S not much you can teach Barrie Kelly about the Commonwealth Games and he knows a thing or two about good ale, as well!

The former Bury & Radcliffe AC international sprint star is free trade sales manager for Manchester brewers Joseph Holt and when his company needed a name for their new beer on sale for the duration of the Manchester 2002 Games he knew just where to go.

He turned to one of his regular Friday night drinking buddies Phil Thorp, the Bury Times sports editor!

"We were talking about the new product one evening and I thought it would be a good idea to ask Phil to come up with several suggestions for the beer as his job involves both words and sport," explained Barrie.

"An advertising agency came forward with some ideas and our marketing men threw a few suggestions in, too.

"We then put them to the brewery's executive to see what they thought."

After much deliberation the 'selection committee' opted for Phil's Baton Gold offering and he was duly rewarded with a trip to Holts' Derby Brewery at Cheetham Hill and the honour of sampling one of the first barrels with head brewer Keith Sheard.

"Baton Gold is a little stronger than our regular beers at 4.3 per cent and is doing very well all over the country," added Barrie.

"We have distributed it via agencies from Sunderland to Bodmin so it's a real 'national' drink."

For the record, Barrie, of Galgate Close, Bury, competed in the 1968 Mexico Olympics, the 1966 and 1970 Commonwealth Games in Jamaica and Edinburgh and two European championships, Budapest in 1966 and Athens in 1969.