England fans get ready to roar Harry Kane's lions to victory as Euros kick off
ENGLAND’S streets and pubs turned into a sea of flags yesterday as patriotic football fans got ready to roar Harry Kane’s lions to victory.
The Covid-delayed Euros start today and although England’s opening game is still two days away, the country is at fever pitch.
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Our front page rallying call today urges Harry’s heroes to do the nation proud on and off the pitch.
Wales and Scotland will be fancying their chances of beating the leading lights ahead of the July 11 final.
England fan Dean Scott, 32, has made his own “Dirty Bertie’s” shed bar.
Dean, of Chelmsford, Essex, said last night: “I’ve got crates of beer, a huge TV and more flags than I can count.
“It’s going to be absolutely epic in my shed. Come on Harry. On me shed son. Bring it home.”
£3M PINT BOOST
Punters have covered Dougie’s Tavern in Hebburn, South Tyneside, in flags and aren’t letting pandemic restrictions dampen their enthusiasm.
The drinkers banded together and have spent the past three weeks putting up scaffolding and hanging the bright banners from every available spot.
Regular Bobby Park, a 68-year-old retired wholesaler, said: “The lads have got together and this has been a group effort. After the year we’ve had we’re all waiting for that first game.”
Another punter added: “We’re just praying Harry and the boys can bring it home this time.”
Sunday’s 2pm match at Wembley against Croatia is predicted to boost pint sales in pubs by at least £3million.
Overall, around ten million pints will be sold — three million during the game, the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) said.
Ten million were sold the last time England played Croatia at the semis of the 2018 World Cup.
We’re just praying Harry and the boys can bring it home this time.
That was a higher-profile game, but the BBPA says the figures do show the severe impact of restrictions.
Table service only, metre-plus distancing, table sizes of up to six indoors and no bar service limit how many punters pubs can host.
Emma McClarkin, of the BBPA, said: “Nothing beats watching England at the pub. Unfortunately, the current restrictions do mean the experience isn’t going to be the same.
“Because of this, we expect pubs to sell a million pints less than they would have done without restrictions.
“That will cost our pubs £3million on Sunday alone. Given our pubs have been closed or faced restrictions for more than a year, every little helps and is critical to our recovery and survival.
'COUNTDOWN TO FREEDOM'
“It’s time for the restrictions on our freedoms to be replaced by the protection of the vaccination and for businesses and life to get back to normal. The Countdown to Freedom is on.”
Official Downing Street rules mean chanting and cheering are banned in pubs. That is because of fears airborne virus droplets travel further as revellers take deep breaths during singalongs.
Security staff will be asked to warn or even eject fans who belt out anthems like Football’s Coming Home or God Save the Queen.
Lawyer Graeme Cushion, a specialist in pub licensing, said: “Like it or not, the Government guidance covers hospitality venues including restaurants, pubs and bars.
“Any music should be played at a low level, and is effectively at a background level to prevent any shouting, singing or dancing.
“But I suspect our patriotism — particularly if England are doing well — may get the better of us.”
Mr Cushion, a partner at top London law firm Poppleston Allen, warned standing and singing was a definite no-no.
He said: “Businesses showing games may ask you to sit down and not stand up to sing.”
The song ban was confirmed as 85 per cent of fans said restrictions will ruin watching the Euros at the pub — piling more pressure on PM Boris Johnson to push ahead with Freedom Day on June 21.
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