Famous fans and fairweather supporters unite to cheer on England
David Beckham and Frank Skinner are among those backing the Three Lions.
The beer and wine is chilling, the retro shirts donned, and the face paint applied – England fans across the country are displaying their patriotism as the national team look to book a cherished World Cup semi-final place with victory over Sweden.
Supporters slapped the sunscreen on and sought out giant screens to watch the game communally, while others contented themselves with a spot on the sofa in readiness.
On streets across the land St George’s flags and bunting fluttered in the breeze, while chants of “three lions on a shirt” could be heard at regular intervals.
Comedian Frank Skinner, one of those responsible for the song which has been reprised this year as the unofficial anthem of the England football team, was among those demonstrating his excitement – uploading a video of himself dancing to the track with his shirt over his head.
Former England captain David Beckham shared the optimistic mood of the nation with his own message to supporters.
David Beckham knows it’s coming home 🏴 pic.twitter.com/t2yVvZfJfy— Soccer AM (@SoccerAM) July 7, 2018
He said simply: “It’s coming home. It’s coming home.”
Not everyone was convinced though, including former Oasis frontman Noel Gallagher.
He responded to his audience bellowing the popular refrain in typically dry fashion, telling them: “It’s f****** not.”
Elsewhere the expectation of an England quarter-final victory mixed with scorching temperatures in the high 20s as supporters clamoured for a spot underneath the huge screen on Brighton Beach.
Some dedicated fans even made last-minute adjustments to their own wedding day, with one couple in Doncaster installing a large television so guests could toast the real match of the day.
Others, it seems, already have half an eye on the next round and beyond.
British Airways reported a surge in patriotic fans desperate to get to Russia to cheer on Gareth Southgate and his lions in person.
Searches on ba.com for flights to the host nation have increased 700% since the tense penalty shootout against Colombia on Tuesday.