Barred Wetherspoons customer responds to online critics: 'don't judge a book by its cover'
A Worthing man barred from The Three Fishes pub has responded to the online backlash against him.
Kevin Long, 55, from Markwick Mews in Worthing, said he was barred with no explanation from the pub in Chapel Road, Worthing, in October last year - and just wanted to know why.
The original story was widely read and shared yesterday, with hundreds of readers commenting on Facebook.
Many people criticised his lifestyle - and now, Mr Long has defended himself. He said: "Basically, if you don't know me, don't judge a book by its cover.
"People should get to know me; I am quite well-known from the karaoke scene around the town.
"My repertoire is over 60 songs; An American Trilogy by Elvis is my party piece, and Live and Let Die by Wings."
Some questioned why he was in the pub at 10.30am on the day he was banned. He explained: "The reason I went in there when we got back from our holiday was that we had no electric or gas. We had to get someone out that we knew to sort it out."
While he acknowledged some people had 'gunned [him] down' online, others had come forward to stick up for him.
He said: "I got quite a few people supporting me, and these were people that know me - saying that I am not a troublemaker, and stuff like that."
In the original story, a Wetherspoons spokesman confirmed he had been barred for 'rude and abusive behaviour' towards staff' - but Kevin said they had misunderstood his sense of humour.
Since the story was published, Kevin said he had not heard from Wetherspoons, nor had he tried to go back into The Three Fishes.
He has also changed his mind about wanting to be allowed back in, saying he will stick to The Warwick and Thieves Kitchen in Warwick Street, Worthing. He said: "Me and my wife won't be going back in there at all.
"The two pubs I go into now are much friendlier - they know exactly how to treat people."
A spokesman for Wetherspoons declined to comment further on Kevin being barred.