A reveller whose friend nearly lost his life serving in Afghanistan was refused entry to a Scarborough bar – for wearing a Help For Heroes shirt.
Dad-of-one Stuart Watson donned the polo on Saturday night to show his support for the military charity, which helped his mate wounded in a bomb blast battling the Taliban.
But the flabbergasted 36-year-old was told to move along by The Scarborough Flyers’ burly bouncers, because his smart shirt breached the bar’s weekend dress code.
Door staff thought the offending top, emblazoned with the charity’s famous logo, was “sportswear”.
“I was furious, absolutely livid – most places would give you a discount for helping a good cause, not refuse to let you in,” said the Cloughton man.
Apologetic bosses have blamed “over zealous” security staff for the error.
But Mr Watson added: “Even the bouncer admitted he was embarrassed telling me that I couldn’t come in, as he was ex-forces himself.”
The self-employed businessman instantly took to Facebook to complain to management, who issued what he called a “generic apology” on the bar’s page.
“It was the sort of reply I’d have expected if I’d told them they’d burned by dinner,” added Mr Watson.
“I have a brother who is serving in Poland and one of my mates was a dog handler who had an accident involving an IED and he thinks it’s pretty disgusting.”
Management at the St Nicholas Street bar, formerly The Barbican, admit he should never have been knocked back and the doormen have received a ticking off.
After being contacted by The Scarborough News, red-faced bosses are now reportedly even planning on collecting some cash for the charity.
But military fundraisers have slammed the bar, which boasts on its website that it offers punters an “unforgettable experience”.
“I’m very disappointed to hear this,” said John Senior, founder of Scarborough’s Heroes Welcome.
The initiative, which has been embraced across the country, ensures that any British military personnel receive a warm welcome, along with perks such as upgrades and discounts, at any venue that bears the scheme’s logo.
But John Senior, a military veteran himself, said: “It’s certainly not in the spirit of Heroes Welcome.
“I can’t think that Prince Harry and The Duke of Cambridge, who are patrons of Help For Heroes, would support this stance.
“I’m pretty disgusted with the Scarborough Flyer – perhaps they should change the name to ‘Take a Running Flyer!’”
Mr Watson opted to head to Blue Lounge following his rejection where he said he was welcomed with open arms.
But his post about the incident, posted online just moments later, sparked outrage on social media.
Facebook users branded it a “disgrace” while another said the bosses at the chain pub, which is owned by the same firm as Yates, should be “ashamed”.
A bar spokesperson said: “Our policy at a weekend is no sportswear after 9pm.
“I’ve spoken to the doorman and told them that that’s not sportswear, it’s a charity shirt, and that the customer should have been allowed in.
“This should never have happened – we have nothing against the armed forces.”