City celebrates England’s World Cup win
RELIEF was word as thousands of football fans celebrated England’s safe passage to the second round of the World Cup.
Jermain Defoe’s close range strike in the 22nd minute of yesterday’s match against Slovenia was enough to see the Three Lions through to the next stage of the tournament.
His goal sparked wild celebrations across the many pubs and bars in Peterborough, which were packed to the rafters throughout the afternoon.
But the joy soon turned to nailbiting tension for the avid followers as England missed a number of glorious opportunities which could have put the result beyond doubt.
However, as the referee blew the final whistle, the happiness was evident as fans spilled onto the streets into Cathedral Square and Cowgate.
Jubilant England fans beeped their car horns as they drove through the city centre.
The carnival atmosphere following the win was particularly evident at the Sports Lounge, in King Street.
Dominic Richards (42), of Peterborough Road, Farcet, said: “It was brilliant. It’s been a great atmosphere.
“There was proper passing and we played brilliantly. It’s nice to see this amount of people out in one place in the city.
“It was very nerve-wracking at the end – I was counting down the minutes – but they did it and now they are going through.”
Fellow fan Steven Cook (26), of Eastfield, added: “It was awesome. It was great to see lots of people in here and now we can look forward to Sunday.”
Co-owner of the Sports Lounge, Ian Bridgestock, said that the venue would be open from noon on Sunday for England’s second round clash. Tickets for the screening cost £5.
The day will include a giant television screen outside and live entertainment throughout the afternoon.
He said: “It’s been a really great atmosphere, a lot of people managed to get out for the time of the day.
“It was really nervous at times and we could’ve done with more goals to make it easier.
“It’s a shame we didn’t top the group but we will be open on Sunday for the next match.”
There were similar scenes at The Draper’s Arms, in Cowgate, where around 100 fans gathered to cheer England.
Manager Chris Parkes said: “It’s been really good. There was a lot of ‘ooohs’ followed by a big cheer for the goal. It’s been a good turnout for it as well.”
Hundreds of people also gathered in the marquee and grounds of Charters, on Town Bridge, to watch the game and also enjoy a barbecue and outside bar.
Danielle Cousins (23), of Gunthorpe, said: “This is the only time I watch the football as it brings the whole country together and the atmosphere is amazing.
“England did so well in the run up to the World Cup but now they seem to have lost their confidence.”
Luke Cox (23), of Fletton, Peterborough, said: “England aren’t up to the level they should be. I think it will be a team like Portugal or Italy that win overall.
“The atmosphere around town has been great. It is so good seeing so many people out and enjoying themselves.”
Some city pupils were also allowed to drop their pens and pencils to watch the game.
Around 100 students packed into the common room at Peter-
GRIPPED: England supporters at BGL in Orton Southgate take time out of work to watch England play Slovenia. (METP-23-06-10PF602)
JOY: Fans celebrate England’s goal at The Sports Lounge, in King Street. (METP23-06-10AS076)
PACKED: Fans flock to the outdoor screen at Charters bar, on Town Bridge. (METP-23-06-10AS017)