THERE was a surprisingly upbeat mood at Brighton’s Big Screen yesterday considering fans were there to watch England’s last game at this World Cup. Jamie Micklethwaite and Neil Vowles have been speaking to the fans who remained in good spirits.

THERE was a much smaller crowd for the England v Costa Rica game at the Big Screen, which could be attributed to the kick-off time or the lack of significance of the game.

Sam Pacelli, a 29-year-old performer from Brighton, saw England’s last game from the ice rink of a cruise ship and always had a sinking feeling about England’s World Cup chances.

He said: “I saw it coming early, but it’s a team for the future so we don’t need to go mental.”

“I’m looking forward to seeing players that I’ve never seen play before, that’s the beauty of the World Cup Matt Grant, 29, who is also a performer from Brighton, was looking forward to the rest of the competition now that England had been knocked out.

He said: “When you take away any threat, you can enjoy it more.”

Sam Hart, 26, a freelance journalist from Shoreham, had placed a bet on England to only achieve one point in the group stages so he was chuffed when England drew.

He said: “I think that there were two better teams than us in the group and they’ve beaten us.”

Jimmy McDonnell, 24, an underwriter from Brighton, said: “I think we’ve been unlucky, both games finished 2-1 and they were both really close.”

Steve Plant, a resident of Thailand who is visiting family in Brighton, said: “It could have gone their way twice but they would never have won the competition anyway.”


• A RESEARCHER from the University of Sussex believes he has found the answer to England’s World Cup woes.

Will Thomas, PhD researcher in elite team performance, believes that fear of failure brought down the Three Lions in Brazil. Since winning the World Cup in 1966, Mr Thomas feels that England have struggled with the burden of winning.

He also believes that the England players are so terrified of negative reaction from fans and the media that they are unable to enjoy their football. Mr Thomas believes that a solution to this is for the team to foster a strong sense of identity within the team, which would bring the players together.

If England players do this and believe that they can write a new chapter in the story of English football, then performances on the pitch will improve and England may begin to win again.


• Good news for World Cup widows

DESPITE England’s elimination many sports fans will remain glued to the television for the rest of the World Cup.

But for every football fan, there is a sports hater who wants to run and hide from the constant World Cup chatter and seemingly constant TV coverage, often leading to the cancellation of all their favourite TV shows.

Now a Brighton-based firm has come up with the perfect getaway for “football widows” who have lost their partners to the month-long festival of football in Brazil.

Hen Heaven has created a series of packages for those wishing to get away from discussions around the offside law or Wayne Rooney's best role.

The Queens Road-based company is offering a female-orientated weekend of relaxation and fun without a coloured football boot in sight in Brighton.

Alternatively, the city's residents are being offered a getaway to London, Manchester, Bournemouth, Newcastle or Liverpool.

In Brighton, the football widows tour takes in two nights in a three star hotel, a cocktail making experience, a spa pass and VIP entry to a seafront nightclub.

Stacey Johnson, 23, was one of the first to sample the tour in Brighton when she travelled down from Solihull for the first weekend of the World Cup with three of her friends.

She said: “The boys were having their boys' weekend for the England game and we just thought we should have a girls' weekend.

“We'd always wanted to come to Brighton and as we looked online the package was just #cheaper.

“The Saturday night was really interesting, everybody was so friendly and the atmosphere was really good, a lot nicer than going out in Broad Street in Birmingham.

“I really hate football and my partner said to me 'you are not going to have me for a month' for the World Cup.

“The boys paid for us to go to Brighton so they could watch the football, so it worked out for everyone.”

Lynsey Hamp at Hen Heaven said: "Hen Heaven created the World Cup Widows package in order to give women a special treat at a time when they might feel neglected by their other halves during the World Cup.

“Not every women likes football so the World Cup Widows package is the perfect excuse to escape the football fuelled madness"

For more details visit


• Some fans are still sticking around...

ONE target for this World Cup lives on for some England fans.

Games of swapsy might be synonymous with the school playground but this group of middle-age collectors are still stuck on the memories.

A new group has been set up in Brighton, bringing together fans of the Panini World Cup sticker albums to swap their stickers and complete their collections.

The group, who meet every Friday at the Clock Tower in Brighton at 12.30pm, are keeping alive a youthful love of the game of collecting the famous World Cup sticker albums.

Founder Rob Pearson admits the hobby is a little bit geeky but said completing the album and watching the tournament was bringing him closer to his daughters.

The father-of-two said part of the thrill of continuing to collect was from the nostalgia of completing his first book with his brother for the 1978 World Cup, when he was just six years old.

Geeks He also completed the album for the last World Cup in South Africa and said he nearly completed his collection for the 2006 tournament in Germany.

The 41-year-old from Clyde Road in Brighton is close to finishing the 2014 edition.

He said: “There has been a lot of interest in our meet-ups so far, it became a bit of an event.

“Somebody walked by and told a guy in their office and he ran down with his swaps and then came again the next week.

“We meet in person so there is a social dimension to it.

“For the last World cup I swapped some by mail after finding some people on message boards but this is more personal.

“The more people who do enter the swapping network, the more likelihood that they will find that one they need that they didn't have.

“One guy came last week needing four to fill the album and from the eight guys who were there, he found two of those he needed so he did pretty well.”

Rob, who is a director of Brighton-based web consultancy Amido, said his eldest daughter Ruby was born on the day of the World Cup Final in 2006.

His younger daughter Piper is also embracing the World Cup and the sticker album.

Rob said: “The World Cup does foster internationalism, exposing them to different cultures and all this diversity.

“It's a beautiful mixture of nostalgia, disposable income and the urge to collect all coming together.

“Nostalgia is a powerful thing and as a parent I can indoctrinate my girls into this thing in the same way as my dad did with me.”

For more information visit


• PUBS around Brighton and Hove are anticipating the downturn in trade due to England’s early exit.

Peter Lindars, owner of The Iron Duke in Hove, will be forced to change plans after learning that England will not be progressing to the next round of the tournament.

Mr Lindars explained that he had got extra stock in and staff were ready to do overtime in anticipation of the pub being busy.

He said: “We know you can’t rely on England and this has been the worst World Cup for us because we’ve only had one Saturday game and that started at 11 o’clock.

“We’d have liked to have sold more beer really.”

Craig Cook, manager of The Smugglers in Brighton was also anticipating a dip in trade.

He said: “Everyone loves to get behind the country so it will definitely affect our trade but there’s still some good teams left in the competition.

“When England got to the quarter finals we did really well, it’s business, you just have to take it on the chin.”

Jenna Pryor, assistant manager at the Ancient Mariner in Hove revealed that they were sceptical about England’s chances.

She said: “Obviously you hope that England will do well but you never make any particular plans, I think no one here was particularly surprised."