England fail fans enjoy
THE misfiring millionaire footballers representing England could not match the passion shown by loyal fans that cheered them on all over the city yesterday.
Thousands flocked to Peterborough city centre to watch England’s lacklustre 0-0 draw in the crucial World Cup game with Algeria.
Passionate supporters crammed outside The Sports Lounge, on King Street, where a capacity 700 fans gallantly cheered the misfiring squad on while watching on a big screen TV.
The bar’s booming soundsystem blared football anthems such as “Three Lions” and “World In Motion” across the city centre while fans clad in replica shirts and flags of St George descended on Peterborough bars.
However, the carnival atmosphere that preceded the crucial match became replaced with a nervous mood when the Three Lions put in a second limp performance in a tournament many optimists have tipped them to win.
Mayor of Peterborough councillor Keith Sharp joked: “The team need to start playing better though or there might be a riot in the town centre.
“But seriously, anything that brings the people together has got to be good and I just hope the team can start putting in a performance half as good as their fans.
England can still qualify for the next round if they beat Slovenia on Tuesday, but even then they may have to settle for second place in what many pundits saw as one of the weakest groups.
Shrugging off the disappointment from the match Tom Roberts, from Fletton, said the atmosphere generated by the legions of England fans outside The Sports Lounge was brilliant.
He said: “The outdoor screen helps create a big match atmosphere and it is just great to have a chance to have these events.”
The revenue from the fans watching the game in city bars will come as a welcome sight to landlords vying for additional business during the recession.
The game was also being shown in Charters in Town Bridge on three outdoor screens.
Manager Hugh Sherwood said: “We have put on a ‘beers from around the world promotion’. We haven’t been able to find a beer from every country and don’t have an Algerian one – but I don’t think we would have sold many.”
Urban regeneration company Opportunity Peterborough chairman John Bridge said that the public gatherings would help the city’s economy.
Mr Bridge said: “It is great news for pubs going through a difficult time.
“The key thing is we need them to start winning – the longer that we stay in the competition the more nights like these the city will have.”
AGONY: Fans at the Solstice can’t hide their frustration. (metp-18-06-10pf401)