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Vote for local quote of year contender

Massey University has announced its 10 finalists for New Zealand’s Quote of the Year competition, and one special Wairarapa woman has made the cut.

Back in January, Featherston bar manager Debbie Sinclair made the news after asking popular British singer Ed Sheeran for his ID.

Now she’s back in the spotlight thanks to her question to the unrecognised popstar – “Oh, have you got ID?” – being nominated for quote of the year in the competition that closes at midday tomorrow.

Sinclair served Sheeran in January and asked the famous singer for his ID after noting that another person in his party seemed on edge.

“I was doing my job, thinking it was a sting,” she said.

After the experience, Sinclair said she was “on cloud nine. I couldn’t get off cloud nine”.

Sinclair only found out about her question being a finalist in the quote contest after a colleague shared a social media post with her.

While initially shocked to find herself in the running for quote of the year, Sinclair told the Times-Age she was grateful for her encounter with Sheeran because it has become a conversation starter and allowed her to chat with people she may not have been able to otherwise.

Since serving Sheeran in Featherston, Sinclair has run into people from all over the globe who have some connection to the ginger-haired performer, from people who have partied with Sheeran in England to others who served him during his many visits to Australia.

Patrons of the bar where she works also often ask her, “Are you the lady that served Ed Sheeran?”

Sinclair said she happily replies “yes”, and has even shown some of the younger guests where Sheeran sat – with one small boy asking for a picture in the seat Ed sat in.

Sinclair said she’d love it if Sheeran himself heard about the quote being included in the top 10 and that she’d welcome him back to the bar anytime with open arms – although she admitted she might ask him for a quick song next time.

As for anyone wondering the performer ordered, Sinclair confirmed it was Cassels Lager: “Yeah, he’s a lager man.”

Voting closes tomorrow at midday and there appears to be no limit to the number of times a person can submit a vote – giving Wairarapa residents the opportunity to pull John Oliver, à la Bird of the Century, and completely skew the competition for the local favourite.

The voting form can be found at: massey.ac.nz/about/quote-of-the-year-voting-form

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