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England Supporters' band backs vuvuzela

The England Supporters' Band has vowed to compete against the deafening sound of the vuvuzela at the Football World Cup - and said the traditional instruments should not be banned.

The brass orchestra, which has not missed an England game home or away since 1996, promised "the band will play on" despite the din of the South African horns.

Trumpeteer John Hemmingham, who is leading an eight-man team, said the plastic instruments were part of the local culture and should not be banned from inside stadiums.

Mr Hemmingham, from Sheffield, said the vuvuzelas would be a memorable feature of this World Cup and were overall a "good thing".

Some broadcasters and players have complained about the noise of the vuvuzelas and there have even been calls for a ban.

But Mr Hemmingham said: "It's the way the South Africans express their joy and pleasure at the tournament being here. It's certainly a challenge for us but there's no point winging about it."

After England took on the US in Rustenburg on Saturday, football pundit Chris Kamara complained the noise was stopping fans from generating chants around the ground.

But Mr Hemmingham said: "We didn't have any problem. The fans around us were all singing along. And a lot of our fans were joining in with us using their vuvuzelas. It all added to the atmosphere.

"There was definitely a different vibe about the place. The South Africans are loving it. And when in Rome, you just have to go along with it.

"I bet there is not a single South African player complaining about the vuvuzela. They see it as more than just a noise, it's about the whole spirit of the thing."

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