Brighton and Hove gears up for festival of football

Staff of Donatello

Billy Harris, Charlie Palnoch and Finn Ruttley-Dornan

Sian Padgham

Colin Bowman

First published in News

A TICKET to the World Cup is every football fan’s dream, but travelling halfway across the world simply is not possible for everyone. But Brighton residents and businesses are doing their bit to make sure there is a Sussex-style World Cup bash for everyone and some people are venturing across to Brazil. Reporters DANIEL WOOLFSON and JAMIE MICKLETHWAITE speak to those getting into the spirit of the biggest show on earth.

AS THE World Cup kick-off approaches, Brighton and Hove and the rest of Sussex is gearing up for a range of footie festivities.

So fear not if you cannot make it all the way to Rio or Sao Paolo.

From big-screen bonanzas to bargain barbecues, there are no shortage of places to sit back, relax and watch the games right here in Sussex.

For many fans the pub is the perfect place to watch a game, and Brighton’s pubs and bars are stopping at nothing to provide a huge variety of World Cup experiences.

And if you cannot bear the thought of missing even a single moment of action then Concorde 2 might be the World Cup venue for you.

The game will be shown on a seven-metre screen in Concorde 2’s main room as well as screens in the venue’s adjoining rooms.

A spokesperson for Concorde 2 said: “We’ve ensured that you can see the game no matter where you are in the venue – there’s going to be such a great atmosphere.”

Tickets cost £5 and come with a free drink, hotdog or burger.

Visitors to the seafront will be thrilled to learn they can watch World Cup matches on Brighton’s Big Screen, which will be on the beach near the Brighton Eye.

A spokesperson for Brighton’s Big Screen said: “We’ve got a 40 sq m screen and entry’s completely free – there will also be some dead good food courtesy of Meat Liquor and Santo Remedio Mexicana.”

The Lectern, in Lewes Road, is offering cheap drinks and plenty of summery snacks.

Mark Burton, who works at the pub, said: “We’re a very large pub with a great local community who are incredibly passionate about football. They’re all looking forward to watching the World Cup with us.”

Staff have a barbecue and 12ft by 15ft projector at the ready to show games in the pub garden if it’s sunny, and an exclusive function room with its own bar at hand if it rains.

Free shots are promised if England win.

However, it is not just pubs and bars incorporating the cup into their schedules.

Throughout the cup there will be countless opportunities to try a taste of some of the competing countries’ cuisines, courtesy of Brighton’s countless cafés and restaurants.

Ristorante Donatello, in Brighton Place, is throwing its full support behind the Italian national team this year with an Italia-themed pizza and specially designed shirts for its staff.

Sue Addis, owner of Donatello, said: “Of course I think Italy has a chance at winning – everyone here will be crying if they don’t.”

On June 15, Sainsbury’s in West Hove will play host to The Gastro Alfresco’s national summer dining and entertainment roadshow in conjunction with FIFA.

Visitors to the supermarket will be able to sample a wide variety of World Cup-themed food and drink for free.

One restaurant is offering football fans the chance of a lifetime.

Las Iguanas, in Jubilee Street, will be testing diners’ knowledge of Latin American football with a postcard prize draw and the opportunity to win a trip to Brazil.

Chris Killington, manager in training at Las Iguanas, said: “We’re very excited – we’ve got some special World Cup cocktails and the opportunity to win a really great prize.”

As well as a trip to Brazil, Las Iguanas is also giving away three £1,000 sponsorships to junior football teams.

For more information, visit www.iguanas.co.uk/news/sponsorship.

Even gambling fans will have a World Cup party to attend.

The Rendezvous Casino in Brighton Marina is bringing the kick-off in with a bang by hosting a Brazil-themed bash with a buffet and band at 8pm on June 12.

As well as food and entertainment, braver guests will be treated to Brazilian Samba and Salsa lessons.

Nick Pardo, venue director at The Rendezvous, said: “We are looking forward to seeing as many people as possible and we hope this event will help broaden the Rendezvous image from that of a casino to a complete entertainment complex.”

The opening ceremony will be shown on the casino’s large surround sound TV screens.

Entry to The Rendezvous is free and visitors are encouraged to bring a guest along with them.

For more information, visit www.brighton.rendezvouscasino.com

Students ready to celebrate

WANT to celebrate the World Cup but avoid the hustle and bustle of central Brighton? These Sussex residents are showing there’s plenty of football-themed fun to be had from the comfort of your own home.

Billy Harris and five other students in Brighton will be holding their own World Cup-themed house party for around 130 people.

Everyone attending the party is asked to wear a football shirt or an item of clothing representing a country at the World Cup.

The house will be decorated with Brazilian flags and memorabilia, and Brazilian snacks will be laid out for guests.

Billy, of Lewes Road, Brighton, said: “There are six of us in the house and we've all been excited about the World Cup for the last two years.

“We’re not too worried about the house getting trashed because it’s a student house, so most of the damage has already been done.”

Two bands from Sussex have created their own World Cup songs to support the Three Lions in Brazil.

Muddy Boots, partly formed by Brighton resident Nick Murray Willis, have created their own World Cup song called England’s Year.

Nick, from Coombe Road in Brighton, said: “Our song is made by football fans, for football fans, it doesn’t take itself too seriously and is a bit of a laugh.”

Nick revealed that thought too many of the recent England World Cup songs had been too serious and that their single drew inspiration from Vindaloo, a song released by the band Fat Les in time for the 1998 World Cup, which is one of Nick’s favourites.

Nick has always been a football fanatic and revealed that he and bandmate Joe McGairl had watched several World Cups together.

“We said to each other that we would always do a World Cup song and after hearing the Take That song, we thought this year was the perfect opportunity.”

Nick and Joe, along with friend Harleen Bahra, composed the song in around six weeks.

Nick, an animator, had the gruelling task of quickly producing a video for the single.

He said: “I did the video in about five to six exhaustingly long days, finishing at around 3am.

“I rewarded myself with a beer after that.”

England’s Year has yet to receive a response from the England camp, and Nick believes that the song’s comical edge could be the reason for this.

He said: “A couple of us have tried to tweet some of the players but I think we may have made too much of a joke of it.

“We didn’t make Wayne Rooney look too clever.”

England’s Year is available to download from ITunes for 79p.

The video for the single was uploaded to YouTube last week and has had over 20,000 views.

A Horsham-based band has also created a World Cup song.

Sing It Out For England, by Graham Noon and The Collector, will be released on June 2, with all proceeds going to Cancer Research.

The song is written from the viewpoint of an average football fan celebrating England’s involvement in the World Cup.

Gary Barlow’s reworking of the Take That single Greatest Day has been axed as England’s World Cup song, even before the tournament has begun.

Pyschic Sian predicts an exciting tournament to come

THE World Cup is all about celebrating the weird, wonderful and unique parts of every culture.

Football fans the world over watched with astonishment in 2010 as a German octopus named Paul correctly predicted the results of several important matches.

Sussex may not have a psychic octopus or a panda with premonitions.

But one woman claims she can predict upcoming match results without the aid of tentacles.

Sian Padgham, of Eastbourne, a practising medium and healer, claims she already knows the results.

She said: “I know very little about football, but I’ve used a pendulum for divination and see an exciting tournament ahead.

“However, Brazilians are going to have their hearts broken by their team’s result in their first game.

“There will be a few matches decided on penalties when the less fancied sides will be trying to stop conceding goals, a few shocks and some one-way traffic for the big guns who will fire in the goals.”

The Sussex psychic believes England will fail to make it out of their group, with Italy and Uruguay progressing in their place.

She said: “It’s definitely going to be challenging for them.”

She added: “They will give it a good go and come close in the heat of South America.”

She believes that Spain will reign supreme once again, defending their position as conquerors of the football world in the final against a reinvigorated Brazil.

Colin will be our blogger from Brazil

COLIN Bowman of Burgess Hill will be visiting his third World Cup in a row.

Colin, along with his best friend Brian, will be blogging from Brazil for The Argus.

Colin and Brian are due to land in Rio de Janeiro on the morning of the first England game, before seeing games in Manaus and Brazil.

Colin said: “Me and my best mate Brian will be leaving the wives at home and are heading out to follow England again.

“We went to the World Cup in Japan and South Korea and have been to every World Cup and European Championships since, we even went to the Olympics in Beijing.”

With many people stating that the cost of travelling to Brazil would be too much for them to go, Colin said that he and Brian were ordinary people who are careful with their money.

He said: “We don’t go overboard, we try and do everything on a budget. If you put a stake in the ground you can do things.”

Colin was at the last World Cup in Johannesburg and has awful memories of England’s second-round humiliation at the hands of Germany.

For that reason he is a lot more pessimistic about England’s chances this year.

He said: “I always go crazy and believe that we will win it but I’m flat for this one, I think that we’ve got a small chance.”

Don’t miss your World Cup supplement, free with The Argus next Wednesday. Tell us what you’re doing to celebrate football’s greatest tournament. Email news@theargus.co.uk

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