IT MIGHT have all gone wrong for Roy’s boys in Brazil – but that didn’t stop thousands of people celebrating the start of England’s World Cup campaign.
While the Three Lions prepared to lock horns with Italy more than 5,000 miles away in Manaus on Saturday night, Brighton and Hove was gearing itself up for a party of epic proportions in pubs, clubs and bars across the city.
In conditions considerably cooler than sweltering South America, the flag of St George was flown with pride at various city venues which showed the game live on TV.
They included the King and Queen pub in Marlborough Place, Brighton, whose landlord Mark Such said the venue was “packed to the rafters”.
He said: “We were at full capacity, there were hundreds. We’re a sports venue so we always expect to get filled up for massive events like the World Cup – but Saturday was great.
“Generally I think the mood from the fans was that we are lucky to be in Brazil. There was a great atmosphere before the game but people didn’t need much persuasion to go home after the defeat.”
Sussex Police did not report any significant trouble after the match.
Hundreds of fans flocked to the famous Concorde 2 nightclub in Madeira Drive, Brighton, to watch the big game.
Normally reserved for hosting live music and comedy, the club welcomed a sea of football supporters keen to watch their idols’ bid to win the World Cup for the first time since 1966.
But the red and white attire of English football fans weren’t the only colours on show in Brighton at the weekend. Hours before England’s match, Colombia fans were pictured in Brighton celebrating their team’s impressive 3-0 victory over Greece.
However, amidst the fun and frolics of the World Cup, revellers are being urged to stay safe and sensible while drinking alcohol to avoid scoring an own goal of their own.
South East Coast Ambulance (SECAmb) said the warmer weather, coupled with World Cup fever, is expected to bring an increase in calls relating to sunburn, dehydration and heat stroke.
Steve Carpenter, SECAmb paramedic, said: “Of course, we understand that people will be cheering on England for the World Cup, whether that is out and about in our towns and cities or at home with friends and family.
“We want everyone to have fun and create a friendly atmosphere but we’re urging everyone to also be sensible and look out for themselves and people they’re with.”
Brighton and Hove and the rest of Sussex will be bracing itself for another round of England World Cup fever when the team faces Uruguay on Thursday.