World Cup will in­spire the young

Kent Messenger Maidstone - - WORLD CUP SEMI FINAL -

Maid­stone United Foot­ball Club hopes to tap into a po­ten­tial new fan­base which has emerged dur­ing the Three Li­ons’ suc­cess this sum­mer.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive Bill Wil­liams said: “There will be hundreds of thou­sands of boys and girls who will be get­ting their shirts and boots on and smack­ing a ball around in the play­ground.”

There have also been lo­cal fans who’ve flown out to Rus­sia to sup­port Eng­land through­out the tour­na­ment.

In­sur­ance bro­ker Ivan Spikin, 49, from Pe­nen­den Heath, was there for yes­ter­day’s (Wed­nes­day’s) semi-fi­nal, mean­ing he has now at­tended four World Cups, hav­ing pre­vi­ously trav­elled to France in 1998, Ger­many in 2006 and South Africa in 2010.

“I had low ex­pec­ta­tions of get­ting a ticket be­cause it’s not a big al­lo­ca­tion,” he said.

“Hav­ing got this far we had to try and go - de­spite the cost.”

Ivan Spikin is one of the many Kent fans in Rus­sia

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