Acting legend Stephen Graham dons a face mask and stops off for supplies at Central England Co-op store

Colleagues at a Central England Co-op store in Leicestershire were given a boost in their efforts to encourage all customers to wear face coverings when acting legend Stephen Graham stopped off for some supplies wearing a mask.

The star of big and small screen hits that include Line of Duty, This is England and Pirates of the Caribbean nipped in to Ibstock Food Store, in Ashby Road, for some supplies and donned a face covering in line with new guidance that came into force from today.

The 46-year-old, who lives in the area with his family, chatted with staff and customers and even posed for a photograph with Team Leader Julie Marlow.

She said: “Stephen is a really nice guy and was happy to chat with colleagues and customers and have his picture taken.

“It was also great to see him wearing his mask and is great that someone so high profile is setting a good example for everyone to follow.

“I would also like to say a big thank you to our customers with regards to wearing face coverings. Although it is early days they have really embraced and, alongside our team here, have come together to support each other in an effort to stay safe.”

The star is widely regarded as one of the greatest actors of his generation and further credits include working with director Martin Scorsese on Gangs of New York and The Irishman, playing Al Capone in HBO series Boardwalk Empire and most recently stealing the screen in Sky One show Save Me.

This came in the same week that former England star Paul Gascoigne chatted with staff at Overseal Food Store, in Burton Road, after nipping in on a couple of occasions while doing business locally.

Store Manager Kim Grice said: “It is not very often you get a living legend shopping in your store so it has all been quite amazing really. His surprise shopping visits have really created quite a buzz among the entire community.

“It is great to think that a superstar like Gazza has given our little Central England Co-op a thumbs up by shopping with us and then coming back for more.”


Notes to editors

About Central England Co-operative


Central England Co-operative is one of the largest independent retail co-operative societies in the UK with interests in food, funeral, floral, travel and property investment.


Co-operatives have always been there for their communities; they were formed to protect them and help them flourish. 


Our 7,900 colleagues who serve Members and customers work hard to ensure that co-operative values, principles and spirit flow through everything we do to help support and improve our local communities.


Owned by hundreds of thousands of Members, we have over 430 trading outlets across 16 counties including West Midlands, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland, Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire. 


We are proud of our reputation for ethical business practices and corporate responsibility.


We invest a percentage of our trading profit into local communities through our Community Dividend Fund scheme, have donated over £1.3 million to our corporate charity partner Dementia UK and also operate a pioneering food redistribution partnership with FareShare Midlands so unsold food goes to those in need.


Visit for more information or follow us on Facebook or Twitter using @mycoopfood



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