Cathedral worshippers to say a little prayer
ENGLAND could gain the advantage over fierce rivals Germany in Sunday’s World Cup clash with help from a higher source.
With the hopes of a nation resting on a performance from Wayne Rooney, John Terry and captain Steven Gerrard, Fabio Capello’s men need all the help they can get for a win.
So, to give them a hand, Dean of Peterborough The Very Rev Charles Taylor has said he is expecting plenty of cathedral worshippers to be asking for a divine intervention before the match.
When asked if he himself would be praying for England success, he gave a wry smile and said: “With a congregation as ethnically diverse as ours we could never decide which team to support and pray for.”
Mayor of Peterborough Councillor Keith Sharp said that although civic duties meant he would not be able to watch the game, he would be thinking of the team.
He said: “I will be at the yearly remembrance service at the crematorium on Sunday and it is an important day. But I will be thinking of the lads as well. I think England will win by one goal on Sunday.”
To ensure that fans enjoy the match peacefully, a large police presence will patrol the city’s streets.
A Cambridgeshire police spokesperson said: “There will be extra police in Peterborough city centre this weekend to ensure football fans enjoy an incident-free match. We are working with pubs to make sure people do not drink too much alcohol and officers will take action to nip potential problems in the bud. If officers believe someone could commit crime or cause disorder, they could use orders under Section 27 of the Violent Crime Reduction Act to remove people from an area for 48 hours.”
After England beat Slovenia on Wednesday, ambulance staff saw an upsurge in drink-related calls and they are expecting a similar number this weekend.
A spokesperson for East of England Ambulance Service urged people to only phone 999 for serious or life threatening injuries and to visit walk-in medical centres for other problems.
She said: “Our control room experienced a spike in 999 calls on Wednesday evening following the England game. “Between 10 and 11pm, we received a 127 per cent increase in the number of calls and a 73 per cent increase in the number of actual responses we made to people asking for medical assistance.
“Based on past experience, we plan for events such as this by increasing staffing in our call centres and our vehicle crews.”
Many fans are expected to watch the game in pubs and Paul Gilbert, barman at Solstice bar, in Northminster, Peterborough, said: “We are expecting it to be much busier than the group stages. All the bar staff will be on and probably a few more will be drafted in.”
But while many pubs and bars are expecting a surge in business at kick off time, footfall at Peterborough’s largest shopping centre is likely to be much quieter than normal.
Roger Hutchings, Queensgate Centre director said: “I am sure that we will not be as busy as normal, but we will be open. Not everyone watches the football and we have to cater for everyone.
“But I am sure there will be a few crowds round the windows at some of the electrical goods stores.”