FOOTIE fans across Sussex are gearing up for a World Cup bonanza as England kick-off tonight.
Businesses and workplaces across the county are also getting in to the World Cup spirit, with supermarket chains predicting a huge surge in Italian food and drink ahead of the England v Italy World Cup match.
One of Brighton’s largest employers will even be showing World Cup games in the office.
Domestic and General will also be splitting their employees into teams for the company’s World Cup incentive.
Each team has drawn a World Cup nation out of a hat and has decorated their desk in that nation’s theme.
Nicki Perry, HR manager, said: “The World Cup is an exciting time for many of us and we want to extend that energy into the office.
“We don’t want our employees to miss out so the challenge is about rewarding their hard work and showing them they’re appreciated.”
The Co-operative are expecting a 50% rise in pizza sales and enough Italian Prosecco to fill the 44,000 capacity stadium at Manaus in Brazil, which will host the game.
Andrew Mann, customer director for The Co-operative Food, said: “This weekend promises to rival the Olympics Super Saturday, with the good weather and a major sporting event contributing to increased consumer demand.
“Although we will be cheering on England on the pitch, Italian Pizza, wine and beer will certainly score with fans off it.”
He added: “Let’s just hope that it’s not an omen if shoppers stock up on Italian food and drinks.”
Tesco is expecting a surge of sales for pizzas as well as barbecue food.
Natasha Pitman, Tesco beer category spokeswoman, said: “We are preparing for what could be the biggest barbecue party night in years.
“We’ve brought extra supplies to our depots to make sure stores can be stocked up for a customers at the drop of a hat.”
Since Wednesday morning, sales of beer and barbecue food have been the most popular items at Tesco, with beer sales up 35%.
Tesco are expecting beer sales to rise by 100% by the time the England v Italy game kicks off on Saturday.
WHERE TO WATCH THE BIG MATCH
Rendezvous Casino, Brighton Marina Village, BN2 5UT, free entry and a free pint of Carlsberg if England scores, 0127 325 6917.
The Iron Duke, Waterloo St, Hove, BN3 1AQ. Food and rooms also available, 01273 734806.
Concorde 2, Madeira Drive, BN2 1EN. 7-metre big screen, tickets £5.00, 01273 673311.
The World's End, London Road, BN1 4JE, 01273 692311.
The Signalman, Ditchling Rise, BN1 4QQ, 01273 689783.
The Ancient Mariner, Rutland Road, Hove, BN3 5FE, 01273 748595.
North Laine Pub & Brewery, Gloucester Place, BN1 4AA, 01273 683666.
Wahoo Bar, West St, BN1 2RA, 01273 719364.
The Exchange, Goldstone St, Hove, BN3 3RL, 01273 821677.
Smugglers, Ship St, BN1 1AD, 01273 328439.
Sticky Mikes, Middle St, Hove, BN1 1AL, 01273 749465.
Font, Union St, BN1 1HA, 01273 747727.
The Lectern, Pelham Terrace, Lewes Road, BN2 4AF, free shots if England wins, 01273 685258.
Komedia, Gardner St, BN1 1UN, large screen and food deals all night, 01273 647101.
The Globe, Middle St, BN1 1AL, big screen and drinks deals, 01273 770685.
The Brunswick, Holland Road, BN3 1JF, 01273 733984.
Duke of Beaufort, Queens Park Road, BN2 9ZA, 01273 625429.
Visit our World Cup section on the website at www.theargus.co.uk
CHILDREN IN CAMPAIGN TO KICK POVERTY OUT OF RURAL UGANDA
THOUSANDS of Sussex schoolchildren will be taking part in a World Cup campaign to kick poverty out of rural Uganda The Summer of Hope Appeal, launched by The Quicken Trust based in Herstmonceux, is helping schools raise money for impoverished Ugandan youngsters.
The charity has produced a project sheet which includes ideas like a sponsored penalty shootout, a cake bake-off competition and a fashion show.
All money raised will help children in the Ugandan village of Kabubbu, where Aids and malaria have left 400 children in the village orphaned.
Four local MPs, including Stephen Lloyd, MP for Eastbourne and Charles Hendry, MP for Wealden, are throwing their weight behind the campaign.
Geoff Booker, Quicken founder, said: “The kids in Kabubbu love football and will be following the World Cup avidly.”
He also said: “It’s great that youngsters in Sussex can unite with them through the campaign, putting the boot into poverty and putting food on their plates.”
The Quicken Trust is also hoping that Sussex youngsters will join its student advisory council, which sends hundreds of teenagers to Kabubbu to participate in regeneration projects.
BROTHERS RELEASE SONG FOR ENGLAND
TWO football-mad brothers have released their own World Cup song.
The Credits, made up of Steve.T Standing and John Standing, have released For England and are hoping that a producer may remix and release it.
Steve revealed that both him and his brother were huge fans of the World Cup and have received inspiration for the song from another very popular England World Cup song.
He said: “I’m a massive Three Lions fan, it’s a real football song but that was 18 years ago now and I felt it was time to release a new song.”
Steve is proud that although he and his brother used Three Lions as a template, For England has its own unique sound.
He said: “There has been folk songs, there has been hip-hop songs but ours is totally unique.
“People who have listened to the song have told me that they think it’s better than Three Lions, but even if it’s as good as Three Lions then that’s a massive honour.”
Both Steve and John wanted to make sure that their song was uplifting, but did not descend into a novelty song. Steve said that he thought it was a song that the England team would enjoy.
When asked about England’s chances, Steve said: “I honestly think we’re going to win the World Cup this year, fans need to be more optimistic.”
To view For England, visit www.youtube.com/ watch?v=fcvrwNdmbDY.
FOOTBALL REPRESENTATIVE OFF TO BRAZIL
A FORMER homeless teenager from Brighton is packing his bags for Brazil.
Nathan Bowen will fly out to Rio De Janeiro to be part of the Global Youth Forum on Football for Social Change.
Nathan now works for Albion in the Community and attended their football sessions while living at Brighton Foyer, a hostel in the city for the homeless.
Nathan also captained the England team in 2007 Homeless World Cup.
He said: “I moved out of home when I was 16 and it was difficult. I was living in hostels and at that stage I could have gone down the wrong path.
“I got involved with AITC and they gave me the chance to do something positive with my life.”
He now works as a health development officer for AITC, working on projects across Brighton and Hove that use football to engage young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Nathan added: “I have been able to use my background and experiences to help other young people in a similar situation to me.”
Whilst in Rio de Janeiro, Nathan is hoping to make it to the world famous Maracana Stadium to see a second round game.
Nathan said: “To experience a World Cup in a country where football means so much will be incredible as will the chance to travel and meet new people.
“It is an opportunity I thought I’d never get.”
A RESIDENT of a llama park is attempting to follow in the footsteps of Paul the octopus and correctly predict world cup scores.
Freddie the llama has predicted the score of a number of first round matches.
The team at Ashdown Llama Park noticed that Freddie would become animated during football chats so they decided to put him to the test.
A line of buckets was set up with different flags representing the different nations participating in the World Cup.
The buckets were filled with llama food and Freddie was given a choice of which he preferred.
Through this method, Freddie has predicted that England v Italy will be a two all draw.
Freddie thinks that England will have a good first round, as he has predicted that England will win their other two group games.
Sian Padgham of Eastbourne, a practising psychic and medium was less optimistic about England’s chances on Saturday, She said: “I’m kind of in the zone at the minute and I’m seeing a 2-1 result for Italy, I just think they’re stronger.
“I think the first goal will be scored in the first nine minutes.”